24 October 2008
The UN General Assembly meets on 6 October 2008. (UN photo)New York, USA:
A UN General Assembly committee has unanimously adopted a new UN resolution that calls on governments to mobilize support for volunteerism research and asks the UN system to integrate volunteerism into its programmes.
More than 70 countries co-sponsored the resolution proposed by the Governments of Brazil and Japan, and Japan and Germany made supporting remarks.
The General Assembly (GA) 'Third Committee' deals with Social, Humanitarian and Cultural affairs. It met on 23 October 2008 to discuss the report of the UN Secretary-General on progress since the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) in 2001
The new resolution, which will be voted on by the GA in the next weeks, requests the UN system to integrate volunteerism into its policies, programmes and reports and calls on governments to mobilize support for volunteerism research.
It also looks forward to the tenth anniversary of IYV in 2011 ('IYV+10'). Noting that IYV in 2001 had contributed to the vibrancy of volunteerism globally, the resolution schedules two plenary meetings of the 66th session of the General Assembly in 2011 devoted to its follow-up.
Japan expressed its appreciation to the co-sponsoring countries and provided some background to its support for volunteerism. The Japanese delegate highlighted the sacrifice of Japanese UNV volunteer Atsuhito Nakata, who was killed on active service while monitoring the Cambodian elections in 1993.
Japan also noted the outpouring of volunteering during recovery efforts after the Kobe earthquake, which led to its advocacy for the International Year of Volunteers. Recalling that the new resolution highlights the contribution of volunteerism to development, the delegate said he hoped that it would continue to generate support for voluntary efforts.
Germany remarked on its longstanding support for volunteerism, recognizing the important work of UNV as a global leader in the promotion of Volunteerism for Development. The delegate hoped to see UNV play an active role in IYV+10, including “at its headquarters in Bonn”.
The delegate expressed appreciation for the nature of UNV’s work and the universality of its programme activities, citing the broad scope of its work and the extensive reach of its geographical involvement. UNV was a major actor in the promotion of South-South collaboration, she said.
In addition, she called on member states to contribute to the Special Volunteer Fund, which allows UNV to pursue innovative Volunteerism for Development projects.
Germany also appreciated the opportunity to host UN agencies in Bonn, said the German delegate, and will continue to extend support to them.