Facebook at UNGA 2021

By Flavia Alves, Head of International Institutions and Relations

This week, leaders from around the globe will once again gather for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss some of the world’s most pressing issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and humanitarian needs. As reflected in the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda, the world faces significant challenges that require governments, international organizations and private sector companies to take action together. 

We’re proud to join this effort and are committed to upholding the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. As we work to make progress toward global development goals through partnerships and in our own operations, we are equally focused on preserving the future of the free and open internet. Trends toward data sovereignty and localization pose significant risks to economic opportunity, human rights and global security. The UN is uniquely positioned to strengthen the internet’s governance and avoid fragmentation, and that’s why we’re working closely together in these efforts

Here are a few new ways we’re supporting the UN’s efforts:

  • Launching a new set of data and maps to help public health leaders better deliver COVID-19 vaccines
  • Combating climate change and climate misinformation with new tools and activities on our platforms and through a $1 million investment in a new climate grant program
  • Driving progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 

New Data to Aid in COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery 

Today, we’re launching a new set of maps through our Data for Good program to help public health leaders better deliver vaccines where they are most needed. Using aggregated mobility patterns from Facebook, streets detected in satellite imagery and known clinic locations from crowdsourced platforms like OpenStreetMap, this set of maps will estimate the populations served and travel times for all known health facility locations globally. This data can help international institutions like the World Health Organization and the COVAX working group to determine and serve populations most in need. 

“This new dataset demonstrates the potential of big data from social media to better characterize healthcare facility catchments, which is a critical variable for determining the burden of infectious diseases in data-poor areas.” – Dr. Daniel Weiss, Associate Professor of Health Sciences at Curtin University

New Investments to Help Fight Climate Change

To better support global efforts to combat climate change, we’re expanding the Climate Science Center to include new tools and activities and announcing a $1 million investment in a new climate grant program, in partnership with the International Fact Checking Network. This is in addition to the work we’ve been doing to improve our own operations, including achieving net zero for our global operations last year and committing to be water positive by 2030.

New Commitments to Help Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to our commitment to the UN Global Compact, we’ve been working alongside partners to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. To help track our efforts, we recently launched a new website to showcase how we’re using our resources and platforms to advance global progress in key areas like health, gender equality, economic growth, innovation, climate action and partnerships. 

Throughout the week, we’ll discuss how we’re partnering with public and private sector institutions to address these immediate challenges and prepare for the future. Join us for the following events:

For more information and to participate in our virtual events, visit facebookatunga.fb.com.



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