UNDP marks 10th anniversary of International Year of Volunteerism
The United Nation Development Program (UNDP), on Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteerism on the theme “International Year of Volunteers +10” and launched the state of the world’s volunteerism report in Accra.
The anniversary is to celebrate the work of volunteers worldwide and the contribution they make to the development and well-being of communities and also to support those who light up the world through their commitment to peace, human development and sustainability.
Mr Flavia Pansieri Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers, said volunteerism was an essential component of any strategy that recognized that progress could not be measured solely in terms of economic returns.
He said volunteerism provided an opportunity for all people to be active agents of positive change, saying it did not only deliver peace and developmental results but was also uniquely able to impact on the inner lives of individuals, communities and societies, binding them with bonds of trust and reciprocity.
“Volunteerism provides cooperation and contributes to the well-being of individuals and of society as a whole. Active participation empowers people from the grassroots up, especially when supported by strong partnerships at every level”, he said.
Mr Pansieri said the launch of the first state of the world’s volunteerism report also showcased the universal values of volunteerism that are the key to moving the world towards a more sustainable future.
Mrs Helen Clark, Administrator UNDP, said UN Volunteers form a significant part of UN peacekeeping missions, saying a guiding principle for UN Volunteers was that people closest to the problem were also often people most able to contribute to the solutions.
She said everyday volunteers made a difference for the environment, for peace, for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
Mrs Clark said the first state of the world’s volunteerism report indicated that there was still room in development for volunteers and citizen actions to find solution to the shared problems of the world.
She appealed to all to make a difference for sustainable development in their communities, through civil society participation and individual actions.
Mr Kamil Kamaluddeen , Country Director UNDP, said volunteerism was a value of selflessness, equity, partnership and cooperation that encouraged development stakeholders to promote safety and comfort for all to remember the dreams of development.
He said International Volunteers Day should be the beginning of the renewal of the spirit of promoting volunteerism, saying people who volunteered were those who knew exactly what humanity meant.