Background: State of the World's Volunteerism Report
The target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals is 2015. With only four years left, there is a very real prospect of falling short of many of the goals identified by world leaders in 2000. Volunteers and volunteerism are acknowledged as a powerful, potentially transformational, force for world peace and development. However, this has not yet been the subject of a focused and systematic study due to the magnitude of the task and the necessity of dealing with the most urgent problems first.
Since the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) in 2001, successive resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) have recognized the significant contributions of volunteerism to economic and social development. UNGA resolution A/Res/63/153, adopted in 2008, reaffirms the significance of volunteerism for the achievement of the MDGs. It calls for the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers to be marked in 2011 as "IYV+10". UNV is designated as the focal point for IYV+10.
As an expression of this convening role, UNV considered this an appropriate time to commission a global publication entitled the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR). This report offers both information and advocacy for the role and contribution of volunteerism in peace and development which includes achieving the MDGs. The first SWVR was presented to the United Nations General Assembly on 5 December 2011 in New York. It has also been launched in about 80 countries around the world as part of global and national events supported by UNV to mark IYV+10. The advocacy of the report and volunteerism as a valuable contribution to peace and development continues throughout 2012.
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