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UNV head addresses Santo Domingo conference on university volunteerism
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: In a pre-recorded message, UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri addressed the opening session of the Second International Conference on University Volunteerism in Santo Domingo.

At a time when much of the world’s attention is focused on financial markets and the stabilization of national economies, Ms. Pansieri noted that the conference was a good opportunity to redouble efforts in advocating for volunteerism as a powerful force that engages people to work for peace and development. "There is still too little global recognition of this," emphasized Ms. Pansieri.

On a more optimistic note, Ms. Pansieri observed that volunteerism, and particularly youth volunteerism, had played an invaluable role in the recent election campaigns of both U.S. presidential candidates. "If volunteers can be such a relevant force in political activism, imagine how much they can also contribute to peace and development, when properly harnessed, encouraged and supported," she said.

Establishing university volunteerism as a new social agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean was very important observed Ms. Pansieri. Increased skills for youth employment, enhancement of their social capital, and improvement of educational performance during school or university years were among the significant benefits to be gained by involving youth in volunteering and community services, she concluded.

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UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)