Rebeca Grynspan (left), UNDP Associate Administrator addressed UNV headquarters staff in Bonn, Germany, during her visit, hosted by Flavia Pansieri (right), UNV Executive Coordinator. (Philip Sen/UNV, 2011)

UNDP Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan, visits UNV headquarters

During a recent visit to UNV headquarters in Bonn, Rebeca Grynspan, the UNDP Associate Administrator, said she was inspired by the impact of volunteerism and the contribution made by volunteers, and pledged to take time to meet with UN Volunteers and visit UNV supported projects during her field visits.

Inspired by the impact of volunteerism and the contribution made by volunteers, Rebeca Grynspan, the UNDP Associate Administrator, pledged to take time to meet with UN Volunteers and visit UNV supported projects during her field visits.

During a recent full day visit to UNV headquarters in Bonn, Ms Gyrnspan noted, “As a Regional Director, I have personally seen the contribution that volunteers make in Latin America and Haiti.”  In 2005, Ms Grynspan was appointed Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Now, as Associate Administrator, I hope to witness their contribution in many more places,” she said.

Based on her experience, Ms Grynspan cited the added value of engaging volunteers and integrating volunteerism into programming. “They provide a very important service immediately in the aftermath of crisis or disaster, bringing specific expertise, experience and the ability to do the job quickly,” she said. 

“The other important aspect is the message they bring about the importance of volunteerism in the building of societies and in the building of social cohesion and communities. That’s their fundamental added value.” 

In welcoming Ms Grynspan, Flavia Pansieri, UNV’s Executive Coordinator, noted, “Your visit highlights how important the synergy between UNV and UNDP is, given our common objectives.”

Ms Grynspan highlighted the importance of the impact of volunteerism on social cohesion saying, “You cannot rebuild a society without the participation of the citizens who make up that society.”

Ms Grynspan saw the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers as an important opportunity to recognize volunteerism and to unleash the power of volunteerism that she said was “inherent to societies.” “UNDP Country Offices can take the opportunity to make this energy part of the programme, part of what they do at the county level to support this voluntary movement,” she added.

“UNV appreciates the work UNDP is doing both at HQ and Country Office levels to celebrate IYV+10,” commented Ms Pansieri.

During her visit to UNV headquarters, Ms Grynspan met with the UNV Executive Coordinator and the Senior Management Team.  Ms Grynspan also updated the almost 150 headquarters personnel gathered on the most recent developments at UNDP before engaging in a Q&A session.

“It is a good time to think of the post-MDGs phase,” Ms Grynspan told UNV personnel. “The programming countries are now coming to New York to talk about what they have done instead of what needs to be done for them.  The question before us is ‘What will be the agenda after the MDGs deadline?”

Ms Grynspan said the first item on the agenda was the acceleration of the MDGs and that UNDP has put forward the acceleration framework.

“The need for growth in the post-MDG period must also follow an inclusive growth paradigm which offers economic opportunities, freedom of choices and the opportunity to live with dignity,” she said.

“Not just to achieve economic growth, but to achieve economic growth and human development,” she continued,  “….And not only inclusive, the growth must be sustainable growth in conjunction with Rio+20”  referring to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4-6 June 2012.

On the environment, Ms Grynspan said in the wake of the Nagoya Summit and anticipation of Rio +20 meetings, there was a nexus between poverty and the environment.  “I think it should be a triangle among gender, poverty and environment,” she said.

Before ending her visit, Ms Gryspan observed that many donors acknowledge UNV as an important partner.  Ms Grynspan lauded UNV for its growth, its positioning and financial health. 

Ms Grynspan is an Under-Secretary-General to the United Nations. She also served as Director of the Subregional Headquarters in Mexico of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  Ms Grynspan was also a member of the UN Millennium Project’s Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and of the UN High-Level Panel on Financing for
Development. . From 1994 to 1998, she was the Vice-President of Costa Rica.

Bonn, Germany