Insights & Analyses

As UN turns 71, work continues toward 2030 target for ‘legal identity for all’ – One World Identity

This week’s U.N. Day marked the 71st anniversary of the founding of the international organization, which continues to pursue a plan to legally identify all people around the world, among whom some 2.4 billion lack official identification.

Announced in 2015, the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 will be reviewed at its high-level political forum in 2019. Of particular interest is item 16.9, which reads: “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”

Back in 2015, The World Bank estimated that 2.4 billion people lack proper identification — a number that helped put the goal on the U.N.’s radar.

Overall, Sustainable Development Goal 16 aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, (and to) build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

One way of helping to ensure that fairness and accessibility is giving citizens around the world some way to properly verify and present their identity. Many of those lacking proper identification today are in poorer areas of Africa and Asia.

Oct. 24 has been recognized as United Nations Day since 1948, three years after the organization was founded with the ratification of the U.N. Charter.

“Humanity has entered the era of sustainability – with a global commitment to fulfill the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet.”