UNV harnesses capacities to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals through volunteerism. UNV’s Annual Report 2016 showcases our results delivered in partnership with the United Nations, UN Member States and civil society, and through our valued UN Volunteers.

UN Volunteers, international and national, serve side-by-side with United Nations personnel, bringing their knowledge and unique perspective. Volunteers engage in the work of the United Nations in all areas of sustainable development – from eliminating poverty, empowering women and youth, and playing critical roles in peacekeeping missions and humanitarian response, to advocating for climate change mitigation and the rights of marginalized people.

Executive Briefing

words of welcome

Olivier Adam

Olivier Adam
Executive Coordinator,
United Nations Volunteers
Bonn, May 2017

For UNV, 2016 was a year of consolidation. We worked to further enhance the capacity of our partners to deliver at community level, responding to the call of the Agenda 2030 to 'leave no one behind'.

At UNV, our comparative advantage is our capacity to mobilize a rich diversity of UN Volunteers in over 100 professional areas. During 2016, 6,600 UN Volunteers delivered on site and 12,600 UN Online Volunteers completed 22,700 online assignments.

Our highly specialized UN Volunteers, international and national, serve side-by-side with United Nations personnel. These UN Volunteers operate within a human resources framework that provides for fair and equitable conditions of service. Together with our hosting partners, we look out for the wellbeing, satisfaction, safety and security of our UN Volunteers.

Our UN Volunteers are embedded within the United Nations system, and with UN Member State governments, civil society and communities. They volunteer for prosperity, planet, people, peace and partners.

Together, we are delivering volunteer solutions for sustainable development.

UN Volunteers

UN Volunteers – 25 years supporting peace around the world

For the past 25 years, UN Volunteers have supported peace processes in multiple societies and countries in complex political transitions around the world. Over 14,000 UN Volunteers have been deployed to support peace processes in more than 40 different peacekeeping and political UN missions, as well as UN peacebuilding offices around the world.



The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is ambitious, and calls for action by all. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals depends on national ownership, and on individuals showing solidarity. There is no greater way to do this than through volunteerism.

UNV’s Annual Report 2016, Volunteer Solutions for Sustainable Development, is structured around the themes PLANET, PROSPERITY, PEOPLE, PEACE and PARTNERSHIPS. Here, we showcase our delivery in partnership with the United Nations, UN Member States and civil society, and through our valued UN Volunteers. Links lead you to our website where you can read in-depth about our programme results. Each section also provides a snapshot of some of the UN Volunteer professional profiles UNV offers in support of the development, peace and humanitarian interventions of our partners.

Under PARTNERS, we highlight the contributions UNV received from funding partners during the period 2014-2016. It also provides an overview of UN Volunteer mobilization with our key United Nations partners in 2016.

DOWNLOADS include our annual Statistical and Financial Information, Full Funding and Special Voluntary Fund Reports for 2016.


Our volunteer

17 arrow From the
global North

83 arrow From the
global South

6,590 arrow UN Volunteers
served with 30
UN entity partners
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156 arrow Countries
of origin
126 arrow Countries
of assignment

UN Online Volunteers

Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Online volunteering is fast, easy – and most of all, effective. When skilled, passionate individuals join forces online with organizations working toward sustainable development goals, everyone wins.

access to social services

Online Volunteers



From global South


UN Volunteer Inspirations

UNV funding partners 2014-2016


UNV thanks its UN Member State partners for their generous contributions in support of volunteerism for sustainable development and peace.

UN Member States are listed by magnitude of contributions received during the three year period 2014-2016.*

* Amounts indicated are in thousands of US dollars.

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United Nations partners 2016


UNV is as strong as its partnerships. UN Volunteers deliver on sustainable development for our United Nations partners. During 2016, 6,590 UN Volunteers and UN Youth Volunteers, national and international, served with 30 United Nations partners in support of peace, security, human rights and humanitarian delivery.

Refer to our partnering publications and data snapshots for detailed information on our collaboration with key UN entity partners on


partners icongraphic

a day in the life
of a un volunteer

UN Volunteers advance sustainable development every day by fostering participation, building social cohesion and promoting dialogue within communities. They serve with UN partners, working tirelessly in support of their development, peace and humanitarian efforts. In these videos, inspiring individuals share a glimpse of a day in the life of a UN Volunteer.

Etab, Rachel and Khaled are Palestinian refugees in Lebanon serving as national UN Volunteer Teachers. They enable UNRWA to provide education Palestinian refugees, now twice displaced from Syria to Lebanon.

UN Youth Volunteer Blanca contributes through UNDP to improving the livelihoods of isolated communities living in poverty, with food insecurity and poor opportunities for employment in San Marcos, Guatemala.

National UN Volunteer An encourages men and boys in Viet Nam to reflect on gender stereotypes, challenge misconceptions and change attitudes towards violence against women through Partners for Prevention.

Albert was a national UN Volunteer Livelihood Specialist with UNHCR in Uganda, who supported the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement, helping refugees set up businesses, farms and savings societies.

Download the full 2016 report