21 October 2009
UN staff and the local volunteer community 'Stand Up Against Poverty' outside UNV’s Langer Eugen headquarters in Bonn, Germany. (UNV)In October 2009, civil society, government and UN partners will convene at UNV's 'Langer Eugen' headquarters to discuss a plan of action for the anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers. (UNV)Bonn, Germany:
Volunteer organizations, governments and international organizations from across the world are joining UN partners to plan for 2011, the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers.
The consultative meeting aims to discuss preparations for the anniversary year in 2011, often referred to as ‘IYV+10’. The dialogue will take place at the Bonn headquarters of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme from 22-23 October 2009, and should result in an enhanced Plan of Action for the anniversary year with ideas on guiding themes and milestone events.
Looking forward to the Bonn gathering, UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri described the meeting as “a big moment for the world of volunteerism and a key event for UNV and many of its international partners.”
She explained: “In order to maximize the impact of the ten-year anniversary and draw attention towards the contribution of volunteerism to our societies – in developing as well as in developed countries – it is essential to coordinate efforts and ensure that activities are mutually supportive.”
The meeting will bring together delegates from several well-known names in volunteering and civil society such as the Peace Corps, the Scout movement, YWCA and the Red Cross, as well as umbrella groups like CIVICUS, IAVE and AVSO.
UN delegates will come from UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, ILO and other related agencies and offices. Attendees also include representatives of the European Commission and the German, Japanese and Korean Governments, all of which are firm supporters of volunteering for peace and development.
In June 2009, the European Commission designated 2011 as ‘European Year of Volunteering’ and allocated €8 million towards awareness-raising and other activities. Its participation may lead further synergies between the European Year and the International Year of Volunteers anniversary.
The Year itself will culminate with International Volunteer Day on 5 December, at which time the United Nations General Assembly is set to discuss the significance of volunteerism for peace and development.
Work towards 2011 began in earnest in December 2008 when United Nations General Assembly Resolution 63/153 invited governments, civil society, the private sector and the UN to mark the anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers for Economic and Social Development.
The General Assembly proclaimed the 2001 International Year of Volunteers in December 1997 based on a proposal from the Government of Japan, and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was designated as its international focal point.
With its main objectives of increased recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteering, the International Year of Volunteers in was successful in highlighting the achievements of millions of volunteers worldwide and encouraged more people to engage in volunteer activity.