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Volunteer agencies lead Cambodia┬┤s official IYV launch
05 December 2000

The global official launch of the International Year of Volunteers 2001 (IYV) in the Kingdom of Cambodia took place on 5 December 2000 at the Chey Chumneah Hospital, in Takhmau, Kandal and was presided over by Madam Bun Rany Hun Sen, the President of the Cambodian Red Cross on the request by the IYV 2001 Working Group. The IYV 2001 is globally launched by the National Committees of the IYV 2001 throughout the world on 5 December. The International Year of Volunteers 2001 aims to recognize and celebrate the vital contributions of volunteers worldwide.

The official launch of the IYV 2001 brought together many organizations and agencies including the United Nations Agencies, the UN Volunteers in particular, the Cambodian Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies and other international and non-governmental organizations involved in volunteerism. Invited to participate in the event were representatives of government ministries, heads/representatives of diplomatic missions, the UN and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, volunteers, provincial and medical personnel.

Following the opening ceremony, Madam Bun Rany Hun Sen inaugurated the Renovated Centre for Child Mental Health, the result of the efforts of volunteers in fundraising and providing support to the Centre. The CRC President also inspected the exhibition hall on volunteers' activities in various aspect of life for health and social welfare.

The International Year of Volunteers 2001 was opened at the UN Headquarters by the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan on Tuesday, 28 November in a ceremony participated in by he UNV Executive Coordinator Sharon Capeling-Alakija, the President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Dr. Astrid Heiberg, and others.

In Cambodia, around 500 volunteers conducted a clean-up and children's activities in the Chey Chumneas Hospital compound to prepare for and to mark the IYV, which falls on 5 December. The Red Cross will stress the importance of the IYV on three specific dates: 5 December 2000 - the official launch of IYV 2001, 8 May 2001- World Red Cross Red Crescent Day under the global theme: Volunteerism, and 5 December 2001 - Closing of the IYV 2001.