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Report of the Secretary-General: IYV: outcomes and future perspectives
30 September 2002

The General Assembly, in its resolution 55/57, requested the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-seventh session on the outcome of the International Year of Volunteers and its follow-up. The present report describes the background to the Year, provides an overview of actions taken, presents conclusions and discusses the future.

The Year was successful by any account. One hundred and twenty-three National Committees and scores of local, regional and state committees were formed. The official web site received close to 9 million hits. A heightened recognition of the role of volunteerism in development resulted from the plethora of activities, including efforts to measure the contributions of volunteers, in every part of the world. There were marked improvements in legislative frameworks and national and local infrastructure for voluntary action, and networks were established among stakeholders from Governments, the United Nations system, civil society, the private sector and elsewhere. These should help sustain many of the advances resulting from the Year.

The Year highlighted the relevance of volunteerism to achieving the goals set out at the Millennium Summit and at other major conferences and summits. It underlined the central role of United Nations Volunteers within the United Nations system in enhancing the recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteerism, in collaboration with other stakeholders. Governments and the United Nations system, together with civil society and other actors, are urged to work together to ensure that more citizens from all societal groups are willing and able to volunteer time in ways that bring benefits to society and self-fulfilment to the individual volunteer.