UNV Regional Websites

UNV works in 150 countries and territories, deploying UN Volunteers to advance sustainable development at grassroots level. Explore our work in the different regions of the world.

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East and Southern Africa
East and Southern Africa
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West and Central Africa
West and Central Africa
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Arab States
Arab States
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Europe and the CIS
Europe and the CIS
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Latin America
Latin America and the Caribbean
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Asia and the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific
UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam (centre) and Regional Manager Hilda Paparoni (fifth from left) take part in the equalizer campaign as part of the celebrations of International Volunteer Day in Peru.
UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam (centre) and Regional Manager Hilda Paparoni (fifth from left) take part in the equalizer campaign as part of the celebrations of International Volunteer Day in Peru.

International Volunteer Day 2019: Volunteer for an inclusive future

This year, International Volunteer Day (IVD) highlights volunteers contributing to inclusion, and Sustainable Development Goal 10, reducing inequality within and among countries.

By empowering people to act, and by increasing interactions between groups, volunteering can promote recognition of the inherent value of all people regardless of gender, age, ethnic background, disability or sexuality. Volunteerism is universal and, when accessible to everyone, can become a powerful equalizer. --Olivier Adam, UNV Executive Coordinator, in his IVD message

Every day, an estimated one billion volunteers make a difference to the people and communities where they live and work. They create social bonds and give a voice to marginalized and vulnerable groups. They are often the first to act in moments of crisis. They dedicate their time, skills and passion to make the world a better place.

The United Nations keenly understands the need to harness the almost limitless power of volunteers bring to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals — a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the year 2030. --Olivier Adam and Achim Steiner, Volunteerism - An antidote to a world in flux.

UN Volunteers are part of this effort, with over 8,000 serving with over 40 partners in the United Nations family to date in 2019.

In addition to increasing the number of UN Volunteers to contribute to the UN system activities in support of Agenda 2030, we must continue to promote volunteerism worldwide - as it nurtures solidarity and cohesion through underlying values of cooperation and reciprocity. Volunteerism is essential to ensure that global sustainable development efforts are owned by all people, implemented by all people and for all people. --UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his IVD statement

As part of our IVD special feature, we have highlighted our partnerships with IOM with a series of volunteer voices of inclusion from IOM Bangladesh, Somalia, Niger, Rwanda and Thailand, with more to come from Turkey and Peru.  We also share how Communication gives inclusion a boost in Angola via a UN Volunteer with the UN Refugee Agency.

We also recognized the efforts of UNV towards advancing disability inclusion across the UN system through volunteerism, on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities..

Follow our social media campaign and engage in the conversation about what inclusion means to you and how volunteerism contributes. You are also invited to join the Equalizer Campaign for #IVD2019, our social media challenge.


Message of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the occasion of International Volunteer Day

Arabic       Chinese       English       French       Russian       Spanish


Video message of UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam, on the occasion of International Volunteer Day

English       French       Spanish


Message of United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner, on the occasion of International Volunteer Day

English       French       Spanish