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We hear you: What trended in 2021

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Children returning to schools, workplaces re-opening, and vaccines all seemed to point to a return to normal but like 2020, 2021 has been a year of hope, loss, and uncertainty for people around the world. The UNSDG has brought you stories from Thailand, Lebanon, China, Chile, Benin, and Uzbekistan to name a few. Stories of innovative ways to connect, protect our planet from climate change, and ways we, as a society, have joined forces to protect each other from the pandemic that has ravaged all our lives.

As we wrap-up the year, the UN country teams across the globe would like to offer our thanks to you, the reader, for doing your part to leave no one behind and help us reach the 2030 agenda. We look forward to sharing with you more stories of innovation, change, and community in the coming year.

Today, we offer you a roundup of the content and themes that have defined the United Nations’ Country team’s efforts across the globe. In solidarity and with an emphasis on uniting the world, our stories were produced into the six official languages of the United Nations. With access to more information our UN teams are better able to recover, implement new strategies, and achieve results at a faster pace.

From our country teams

The trending issues that our readers were especially interested in learning more included the response to the global pandemic, the fight against hunger, gender equality, youth, the humanitarian crisis in both Afghanistan and Haiti, and climate action.

Responding to the global pandemic. The United Nations was on the frontlines of the global pandemic. With the launch of the COVAX Facility millions of people gained access to the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine and In March, the United Nations delivered the first vaccines in Benin.

Fighting against hunger. Current resources are not enough to meet critical needs or to hold back the massive famine. Two thirds of Yemenis need humanitarian assistance to survive. The United Nations has been on the frontline of the response but more needs to be done.

Protecting women and girls against the “Shadow Pandemic.” Reducing inequalities between the genders has been paramount to the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in India, the United Nations has helped make agricultural work safe and equal for all.

Youth and innovation.Girls in Uzbekistan participated in Technovation, a UN-supported programme that help girls solve real-world problems through technology.

Staying and delivering in times of crisis

In 2021, Afghanistan became the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The United Nations teams are going through great lengths to leave no one behind, and ensure protection for all in the country.

The UN remains on the ground supporting those impacted.Haiti has been experiencing a multi-dimensional crisis including an upsurge in violence, lack of resources and devastated infrastructure due to a shattering earthquake that killed thousands and affected hundreds of thousands of people.

Championing for all

UN Resident Coordinators across the globe advocate and help to accelerate progress to achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Climate action in small islands. In Samoa, Simona Marinescu clearly outlines the multidimensional vulnerability of Small Island Developing States that indicates the uncertainty of their future if the world doesn’t address climate change.

Gender parity at the forefront of the discussion. Valerie Julliand, makes a commitment to gender equality by pledging to end all-male panels, known as ‘manels’.

A model of sustainable development. Pablo Ruiz Hiebra of Uruguay demonstrates how a coordinated, multidimensional and data-centric approach has been drawing attention to the opportunities and challenges that the UN is tackling to improve production, employment quality, education, health and the environment on daily basis.

2021 and Beyond

Despite the great and many challenges 2021 has brought, UN teams look forward to 2022 with continued vigor. As we move toward the 2030 Agenda, Country teams continue to work tirelessly in solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable communities to reduce hunger, poverty and violence. Teams will carry on placing women and girls at the centre of our actions, because improving gender equality leads to a more evolved, inclusive world.

We have one world—one planet. If it suffers every negative imprint of mankind, it won't survive. It is our job to bring this world to a better place together. Together, the teams are working to raise awareness, to improve access to information and to vital services. Only together can we obtain an equitable recovery of our societies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

What can you do?

You can become an advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals to help keep our global promise. You can also volunteer your time as a United Nations Volunteer. Or, we encourage you to donate to the Joint SDG Fund, to help the United Nations reach the 2030 agenda.

Written by Diana Jimenez, Development Coordination Office. The United Nations team is currently working in 162 countries and territories. To learn more about our work in your country and across the globe please visit: UN in Action.

***To learn more about the results of our work with data and beyond, please read the latest UNSDG Chair Report on DCO. ***