UNV and Arab Federation of Voluntary Activities sign an historic Memorandum of Understanding
Cairo, Egypt: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme formed a groundbreaking partnership with the Arab Federation for Voluntary Activities (AFVA) under the patronage of the League of Arab States (LAS). UNV Executive Coordinator, Flavia Pansieri, and Secretary General of AFVA, Mr. Yousef Al Kazim, signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) at AFVA’s eighth annual conference, held at the LAS premises. The AFVA conference was attended by over 200 participants from 16 Arab countries including government representatives, AFVA country delegates, volunteer-involving organizations (VIOs), notable volunteers from the Arab States and distinguished guests from the region. The event received broad media coverage, especially through Egyptian TV stations.
Together, UNV and the AFVA have committed to build and strengthen a structured approach to volunteering in the Arab States and to increase partnerships at the global, Arab regional and country specific levels. The MOU facilitates the work of the Arab States in order to produce innovative ideas and proposals for establishing an appropriate framework for collaboration at the regional level and between country counterparts and UNV Field Units.
Furthermore, the MOU enables UNV’s programme strategy to be realized in the Arab States region and beyond by intensifying the AFVA’s capacity to implement joint initiatives at the regional level or through its assigned organizations at the country level. As part of the MOU, UNV takes on bilateral arrangements to extend technical and advisory services and to support the AFVA VIOs; mobilize government resources for joint activities at the national level; and develop cost-sharing agreements with a number of AFVA country representatives, regional donors and Arab State governments to support programmatic activities for peace and development in the Arab States region, as well making annual pledges to the UNV SVF.
The main purpose of the MOU is to provide a framework of cooperation and collaboration between the parties, on a non-exclusive basis, in areas of mutual interest.
The MOU has been developed in consultations between UNV and AFVA following the launch of the Arabic version of the State of the World’s Volunteering Report (SWVR) in Doha, Qatar, on 9 May 2012. Jointly with the LAS, AFVA organized the ceremony, related meetings and the signing process of the MOU.
The following is an excerpt from the MOU:
"Within their support for volunteering, both organizations recognize and value both formal and informal volunteering (including online) and are open to supporting the development of volunteering in the governmental, non-governmental and private sectors. They support an open recognition of the benefits of volunteering to the development of the volunteer, in terms of skills development and active engagement in civil society and to the host organization as well as the contribution to development. The support to the development of volunteering is not restricted to any particular type of volunteering and could include volunteering that falls within any of the following categories: mutual aid or self-help; philanthropy or service to others; participation; or advocacy and campaigning."