Dec 01, 2019

This Month at the United Nations

December 2019


The United States holds the presidency of the Security Council in December.

The 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, will be held in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 13 December under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. The Secretary-General’s report of the September Climate Action Summit will be presented in Madrid.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December): This annual event advocates urgent action to end violence against women and girls. This year, Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape aims to galvanize audiences around the world to take a stand against sexual violence in all contexts and spark a global conversation about what it will take to prevent and end rape.

A high-level event on 17 December marks the conclusion of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The President of the General Assembly is convening a day long discussion to mark the closing of the year and its achievements in drawing attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote them. Half of the approximately 6,700 languages in use today are projected to disappear by the end of this century. The large majority of these are spoken by indigenous peoples, putting their cultures and knowledge systems at simultaneous risk.

Reports and resources:

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2020 is UN-OCHA’s annual flagship report, the most comprehensive and evidence-base assessment of world humanitarian needs. It identifies recent trends and challenges, including:

  • In 2019, many more people needed humanitarian assistance than we had forecast, largely because of conflicts and extreme climate events.
  • Compliance with international law is declining. Armed conflicts are killing and maiming a record number of children, forcing them to flee their homes.
  • Highly violent conflicts are causing widespread hunger, displacement, death and destruction around the world.

It also identifies emerging trends and risks; details the extent of humanitarian needs and requirements; offers a regional and country overview; advocates for more people-centered humanitarian action and for innovative humanitarian funding.

The Human Development Report 2019Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century – UNDP’s exhaustive annual report, finds:

  • Disparities in human development remain widespread, despite achievements in reducing extreme deprivations;
  • A new generation of inequalities is emerging;
  • Inequalities accumulate through life, often reflecting deep power imbalances;
  • Assessing – and responding to – inequalities in human development demand a revolution in metrics; and
  • Redressing inequalities is doable if action comes before imbalances in economic power are politically entrenched.

Africa Renewal: Silencing the Guns highlights the African Union’s campaign to end all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and preventing genocide in the continent by 2020.  It looks at hot spots in Africa, and the efforts underway and the successes in resolving key issues. It includes an interview with Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary-General Bience Gawanas; details the African Union Development Agency’s new role in Africa’s development, and the recently-established continental free trade area; highlights Africa’s $31 billion fashion industry; and profiles Algerian youth describing their hopes for the future.

SDG Book Club: New reading list on SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. This goal-a-month approach offers an opportunity for children to discover new voices and concepts from around the world and for educators and parents to open discussions about each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

International days:

Also of note:

 For more information:

 To find out which UN events will be webcast see: