24 October 2001
Marking this year's United Nations Day, the UN Volunteers programme (UNV) and musicians from 18 countries today launched a double album with 27 songs in nine languages in celebration of the UN designated International Year of Volunteers (IYV) 2001.
The album features Jamaican reggae star Tony Rebel, who donated the song, "Not all about money", and Portugal's well-known, Paulo De Carvalho. This world-beat album showcases styles as diverse as Uzbek dance, Japanese techno, French rock, spicy Latino salsa and Arabic traditional. It includes songs voicing diverse perspectives on a wide range of volunteer issues. Some songs praise the virtues of volunteers while others provoke political debate and question social issues about volunteers.
"Like volunteerism, music is a universal form of expression that cuts through all cultures, but with just two months remaining in the Year, we hope volunteer organizations and IYV supporters around the world can help highlight the importance of volunteers by bringing this album to radio stations in their countries," said Henri Valot, Coordinator of Team IYV.
One of the featured artists is Canadian-born singer/songwriter Tim Henneberry, whose song, "I'll be there", will be part of the upcoming IYV television announcement with UN Secretary-General and this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan, who speaks about the merits of volunteerism.
The album comes packaged with a CD-ROM for IYV and which will be distributed to radio stations through the global network of individuals and organizations taking up IYV 2001 activities. The UNV encourages radio stations to use the album to help promote and encourage volunteerism, especially from now to the end of the year. It can accompany interviews with local volunteers or be used in association with community service programmes.
The peak time for airing songs from the album will be before 5 December 2001 -- the annual International Volunteer Day. On this day, over 125 nations will join in celebrations to mark the closing of the Year. Additionally, the United Nations General Assembly will convene two plenary sessions on how governments and the UN system can support volunteering.
The United Nations Volunteers produced this album with the generous support of the Government of Japan. All songs were donated by the artists and supported by a wide variety of volunteer organizations. A full list of artists, supporters and contributors to the album is available at www.iyv2001.org.
Selected songs will be available on the IYV web site Real Audio format and each week till the end of 2001, a new IYV song will be available for downloading, free of charge, in near CD quality in MP3 format.