Author Archives: Umair Khaliq

Secretary-General’s Message for World Habitat Day – 7 October 2019

World Habitat Day highlights the central role our cities and communities play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  Well-planned and smartly managed cities can steer us towards inclusive growth and low-emission development.

At the same time, rapid and unplanned urbanization can generate or exacerbate many challenges, including the climate crisis.

This year’s observance focuses on the problem of waste – and the potential of frontier technologies to transform waste into wealth.

Solutions begin with small steps individuals can take to alter the way our cities function.  We must reduce the amount of waste we produce, and, at the same time, start seeing it as a valuable resource that can be re-used and recycled, including for energy.

Frontier technologies can offer better and cheaper answers to these daily challenges.   For example, automation and artificial intelligence can help sort recyclables more efficiently. Sensors in smart packaging can help reduce food waste, while other innovative technologies are turning organic waste into renewable energy and compost. And new materials – such as advanced biodegradable plastics – can reduce environmental impact.

But we still need to invest much more if we are to improve waste management.

With cities in the lead and frontier technologies in widespread use, we can achieve make major advances on the road to sustainable urban development.

António Guterres

Call for submissions – Mobile Film Festival 2019

Grab your mobile! The 15th edition of the Mobile Film Festival in partnership with YouTube CreatorsforChange & UNFCCC is about to open, the theme is ACT NOW on climate change!

Use your creativity and talent to imagine better and sustainable futures. How can we ACT NOW on climate change to successfully reach better futures?

🎬 Simple rules: 1 Mobile • 1 Minute • 1 Film • 1 Theme : #ACTNOW on climate change
 Film submissions will open on August 27th until Oct 16th, 2019
🏆 Win 46 000 € grants to produce your film!


YouTube #CreatorsforChange & UNFCCC support the Mobile Film Festival

Message to staff by the acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Pakistan, Mr Knut Ostby

Dear colleagues

I take this opportunity to formally introduce myself as the acting Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Designated Official for the UN in Pakistan. I am very excited to return to the country after 14 years. I look forward to building upon the excellent work of Neil Buhne in positioning the UN as a trusted development partner of the Government as we accelerate our support on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Although it has only been a week since I have arrived, I have already seen that your work at national and sub-national levels speaks volume of your dedication, passion and conviction in producing impactful results and upholding the UN values of integrity, diversity and professionalism.

I am impressed by the work that you have done in producing the UNSDF/OPIII (2018-2022). It clearly sets out the strategic direction of our support to the Government of Pakistan with the strongest emphasis on Leave No One Behind. Our Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus and the humanitarian support in drought-stricken areas of Balochistan and Sind is another area where your works stands out.

The UN Reforms call for more agile, smart and flexible approaches in our support to the Government and our partners. Our coordination structures provide us a good starting point to collectively brainstorm and take action. I am keen to work with you on how we leverage innovation, big data and new partnerships so that we continue to be relevant and support the Government to produce more results. We must continue to deliver under all the three pillars of the UN Charter: Peace, development and human rights, and also attending to humanitarian needs, we need to keep in mind that truly sustainable development can only be achieved by people themselves, and with national leadership and ownership. Our role will always be to work in support of national partners, and to underpin the people’s own initiatives for development.

My office and I remain committed to supporting you in your work and in creating an enabling environment so that, together with our partners, we can help the Government achieve the SDGs with Leave No One Behind at the heart of it. 

It is my honour to serve you and this country.

Warm regards



FAO Poster Contest

World Food Day – Poster Contest


The @UNFAO is calling children and teens all over the world, from age 5 to 19, to use their imagination and create a poster that illustrates their idea of what needs to be done to make healthy diets available for everyone and how each of us can improve our diets #ZeroHunger.

Take a photo or scan your poster and submit your entry by filling out the form on our #WorldFoodDay website.

Deadline: 8 November 2019

For more details about the poster competition and to submit entries: