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UNV at the IAVE World Conference

05 April 2008

Panama City, Panama: UNV senior staff and UNV volunteers have been highlighting the potential of volunteerism for development at the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference in Panama.

The IAVE forum was themed 'Volunteering for Human Development: More Solidarity, Less Poverty'. UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri spoke at the opening plenary on 3 April. This was her first official visit to Latin America since her appointment in February 2008.

UNV’s Senior Policy Specialist, Robert Leigh, provided briefings about the follow-up to the International Year of the Volunteer (IYV) and invited contributions to the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on progress since IYV 2001. Volunteer Infrastructure Specialist, Mae Chao, shared examples of volunteer centre development in the South, with special mention of initiatives in Ecuador, Egypt, Thailand, Togo and Sri Lanka.  

In addition to the representatives from UNV's head office in Bonn, two former UNV volunteers engaged in UNV partner projects attended, with support from the Honduras and Ecuador UNV programme officers.  

UNV also sponsored a joint workshop together with IAVE and CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation) titled 'Volunteers as Agents of Social Change: More Solidarity, Less Poverty'. The workshop previewed key themes and findings of the upcoming joint publication on the relationship between volunteering, social activism and development.  

Held in Panama City from 2-5 April 2008, IAVE's biennial World Conference was attended by about 400 people. During the visit to Latin America, Flavia Pansieri also met with other UNV partners in Panama and Honduras. The next IAVE World Conference will be held in Singapore in early 2011 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Volunteer.

UNV has a memorandum of understanding with IAVE and CIVICUS to "undertake joint activities that serve to promote and generate greater awareness of the contributions of volunteers and the value of volunteer action to society". Founded in 1970 by a group of volunteers from around the world, IAVE has since grown into a global network of volunteers, volunteer organizations, national representatives and volunteer centres, with members in over 70 countries.

IAVE website (external site)

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