05 July 2011
With the final International Year of Volunteers +10 (IYV+10) regional conference ending in Dakar, Senegal, on 7 June, the series of five consultation meetings came to a very successful conclusion.
From March to June, stakeholders from more than 95 countries convened on four continents to exchange experiences and practices of volunteerism from their countries and regions. Valuable recommendations on volunteerism were made and fruitful discussions held in informal and invigorating formats like a‘World Café’.
The meetings took place in:
- Quito, Ecuador, for Latin America (March 2011)
- Ankara, Turkey, for Europe, the CIS and Arab States (April 2011)
- Manila, the Philippines for Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean (May 2011);
- Dakar, Senegal, for Francophone Africa (May 2011)
- Dakar, Senegal, for Anglophone Africa (June 2011)
Representatives from 144 partner and stakeholder organizations, including UNV field units, IYV+10 committees, volunteer-involving organizations, UN entities, donors, governments, and inter-governmental bodies attended the conferences.
In each of the regional consultations, dialogue was facilitated through panel discussions, ‘World Café’ style workshops, and ‘share fairs’. People attending could creatively map their plans, share ideas with each other, and make lasting contacts through special Teamworks social networking spaces created for each event.
While general volunteerism topics were universally addressed, recommendations from each conference touched the special realities of the specific regions under focus. For instance, while the discussions in Senegal covered issues involving peace and conflict, the Asian reality of large populations was taken into account in the recommendations following the Manila consultation.
The discussions and outcomes of the meetings have laid a solid foundation for formulating international visions for the future of volunteering. They have also helped to create a framework of strategic actions required at the regional and global levels to accelerate the progress towards achieving the MDGs through voluntary action.
These regional meetings have really built the momentum for international celebrations to mark IYV+10 in 2011. The conclusions drawn from the five sets of discussions will provide further inputs to the Global Volunteerism Conference in Budapest, Hungary, in September and the two planned sessions of the UN General Assembly in New York in December.
We don’t want to underplay the achievement – it has been years since UNV has laid on comparable events of this scale. It’s been an intensive period not just for the IYV+10 team at UNV, but also for the UNV Field Units and many contributors from all UNV headquarters departments and beyond: a massive thanks to them all!
- Total attendees: 300+
- Number of countries represented: 97
- Number of organizations attending: 144
- Governments represented: 48
- Civil Society Organizations attending: 85
- Regional bodies represented: 5
- IYV+10 global stakeholders attending: 20
- Number of UNV Field Units Attending: 68
- UNV Coordinators for IYV+10: 40
World Café: What we discussed
- Influencing public sector policies
- Identifying strategies to inspire positive advances in volunteering-related areas
- Promoting legislative frameworks
- Supporting the drafting and amendment of relevant laws
- Advocacy for volunteerism
- Raising the visibility and documenting the contributions of volunteering
- Volunteering for impact
- Engineering better recognition and more enabling environments for volunteers make a difference