In FACT: United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme
25 April 2008
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is a global advocate of the concept of Volunteerism for Development (V4D). It works with UN entities, governments and other partners to integrate volunteerism into development planning and programmes, and mobilizes thousands of volunteers, including UNV volunteers, every year in pursuit of distinctive contributions to development effectiveness.
These contributions take the form of increased access to opportunities and services, and better delivery of services, greater inclusion and participation in development, and the mobilization of communities through voluntary action.
UNV helps countries to foster and develop volunteerism as a force for sustainable development. It provides strategic advice on the role and contribution of volunteerism in development programmes. UNV helps countries to improve public inclusion and participation in social, economic and political development, and it supports the growth of volunteerism within communities as a form of mutual self-help.
Volunteerism is a natural and fundamental part of most societies. Volunteerism plays a role in capacity development by promoting peoples’ involvement in developing their own societies. It is a renewable and sustainable resource and, if encouraged and harnessed, volunteerism can play a significant role in national and international development planning. UNV believes that the Millennium Development Goals will only be achieved through the voluntary support of millions of people worldwide.
UNV partners with governments and with UN, non-profit and private sector organizations in order to support development programmes. UNV delivers a prompt, efficient and value-adding service to identify and engage professionals who can deliver services and fulfill a wide range of specialized tasks.
UNV directly mobilizes more than 7,500 UNV volunteers every year nationally and internationally. More than 75% of UNV volunteers come from developing countries and more than 40% volunteer within their own countries.
UNV volunteers help to organize and run local and national elections and support a large number of peacekeeping and humanitarian projects in post-conflict and disaster-prone areas. UNV volunteers comprise almost one third of all international civilians working in UN peacekeeping operations.
UNV manages the World Volunteer Web (www.WorldVolunteerWeb.org) to support the volunteer community by serving as a global clearinghouse for information and resources linked to volunteerism that can be used for campaigning, advocacy and networking.
UNV also operates the Online Volunteering service (www.OnlineVolunteering.org), which connects development organizations directly with thousands of online volunteers who can provide services and advice over the internet.
“Volunteering is about empowering individuals and communities at the grass-roots level. It is about giving them a voice and letting them take the lead. And it is the foundation upon which rests achievement of the MDGs. For over 30 years, the United Nations system has been tapping into this vital human resource through the fielding of skilled and experienced professionals under the UN Volunteers programme. ”
UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, 2007
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