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Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, said on Tuesday International Volunteer Day (IVD) offered an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Apart from mobilizing thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries.
This was contained in a stateement issued by the Secretary General in commemoration of the International Day of Volunteerism (IDV), which falls on December 5 every year which was made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
“As we celebrate the impact of volunteers on our world, let us remember the many places they are needed: in war zones and classrooms, in hospitals and homes – wherever struggling people seek a helping hand,” the statement said.
“The main focus of IVD 2012 is the creation of awareness and recognition for volunteers and volunteer organizations, and its purpose is to recognize this commitment, to inform people about the impact of volunteering on peace and sustainable development, and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact.”
The statement urged all to remember that volunteering could embrace all people, from the activist who worked full-time for a cause to the occasional citizen who reached out when he or she could. It explained that each set an example of the spirit of compassion we needed and each made a valuable contribution to reaching “our common goals”.
The statement said the timeless act of volunteering in the service of others had taken on new dimensions in today’s digital age and anyone with an Internet connection or a mobile phone could make a difference.
“I applaud all people who volunteer each year for the benefit of their communities. I am especially grateful to the 7,700 United Nations Volunteers who support efforts to prevent conflicts, help societies recover from fighting, promote sustainable development, assist in crisis situations and carry out numerous other projects for the greater good. Their work has advanced the Millennium Development Goals, and I am confident they will also contribute to the progress on the post-2015 development agenda.” Mr Ban Ki-Moon said.
It said volunteerism was founded on the values of solidarity and mutual trust and now transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries.
“By giving their time and skills without expectation of material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular sense of purpose. On this Day, let us renew our determination to offer strength and inspiration to others through volunteerism.” The statement added.