illUmiNations: Protecting our Planet

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Illuminations

To kick off this week’s United Nations Climate Summit, hundreds gathered outside United Nations Headquarters to watch a special event on Saturday evening, 20 September, called illUmiNations: Protecting our Planet. The facades of the United Nations General Assemblyand Secretariat buildings were lit up with spectacular projections streaming images depicting the impact of climate change along with solutions.

Illuminations

With the goal of inspiring global citizens to call on their leaders to take climate action, the projections were organized by the United Nations Department of Public information in partnership with Oceanic Preservation Society and Obscura Digital.

Illuminations

The projections included portraits of animals that are on the verge of extinction, as well as imagery depicting the impact of global warming on oceans and lands of planet earth. “There’s no bigger billboard on the planet,” said Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens, producer of the projections.

Illuminations

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “These exceptional projections being shown at the United Nations will help draw attention to the need to make climate action a reality in every community and every society. Now is the time to take decisive action.”

Related information

Recap for Thursday at the UN General Assembly and what’s still to come

The busiest week of the year continued on Thursday at UN Headquarters and we used our social media platforms to report on the events.  Below are some highlights. 

See all our behind the scenes photos in our Flickr gallery.

World leaders, including the President of Guinee Alpha Conde, at a high-level meeting on the Ebola outbreak.

“We come together today in solidarity with the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as they face the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a High-level Event on Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak which aimed speed up the global response to the outbreak that has evolved from a public health crisis into a threat to peace and security.

New UN human rights chief Zeid (centre) with ministers attending a meeting organized by the UN’s Free and Equal camapaign.

Foreign ministers met to discuss anti-homophobia efforts at an event organized by the UN’s Free and Equal Campaign. All week, delegates and UN staff have been taking photos to show support for LGBT rights at a photo booth set up in the lobby of the General Assembly building.

  • Hashtag: #freeandequal

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today appointed British fashion designer Victoria Beckham as its International Goodwill Ambassador, with a focus on women and children affected by the virus.


Less than two years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, the Arms Trade Treaty has now received the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force. The milestone was announced Thursday at a joint ceremony held as part of the 2014 Treaty Event, an annual undertaking on the margins of the Assembly’s high-level debate that seeks to promote wider participation in the multilateral treaty framework.

More on Thursday’s events

Still to come on Friday and the weeknd 

The General Debate of the General Assembly continues on Friday. All speeches by delegates at the meeting can be seen live on webcast.

Also taking place on Friday:

globalcitizen

On Saturday, Ban Ki-moon will once again join an array of top artists including Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, Fun, The Roots and Tiesto at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park. The performers, along with the thousands of people in the audience, will be there because they have taken action to end extreme poverty. Watch the concert live on cable on MSNBC  or at msnbc.comNBC News will also produce a one-hour primetime special of the event to air in the United States on NBC at 9 p.m. on 27 September. 

General Assembly quick links