In September 2019, Young UN initiated an Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General calling for even stronger climate action in the UN system. The letter gathered signatures from nearly 2000 UN system employees in three days, demonstrating the strong support among UN employees for bold climate action at the UN and our collective commitment to change. To harness this momentum, an online action hub has been launched to spark new conversations and thinking among UN colleagues and experts, gather examples of best practices and co-design stronger policies and actions for UN offices around the world. Full press statement here.

This builds on work already done by the Living the SDGs and Climate Action focus groups in Young UN. As shown in the Young UN Global Ideas Survey (see excerpt below), network members want to work for a UN that embodies the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in its internal practices and operations, providing an inspiration to other organizations.

Previous work by Young UN on these topics includes partnering with the Geneva Environment Lab to kickstart a discussion around living the SDGs in our daily lives through SDG Anonymousclick here to find out more!

Vision by area:

Sustainable investing 

Investments of the UN as an institution (UN pension fund) and UN employees as individuals are aligned with the SDGs – triggering other organizations and individuals to invest in the SDGs.

Equitable internships

The UN opens its doors to and benefits from the talent of young people all over the world regardless of socio-economic or other background by providing stipends for interns and ensuring quality standards across the UN system, including in recruitment.

SDG Ambassadors

All UN employees are empowered to serve as ambassadors for the SDGs and UN principles in their communities and peer networks.

Green action

All UN buildings and operations in all duty stations are green and employees lead green lives – more recycling, lower food waste, food gardens, no plastic in cafeterias, bike to work schemes and more.

Letter to the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, sent December 2016:

thumbnail of Letter from Young UN_UNJSPF

As part of Young UN’s work on living the SDGs, Young UN members initiated a Bicycle Advocacy Group to engage with management at the UN Headquarters building in New York to improve bicycle parking facilities to enable cycling to work. The group materialised following an open letter sent to the Department of Management and the Department of Safety and Security.