Seven of the UN Volunteers recruited by UN Climate Change to support COP 23. (UNV, 2017)

Flood of interest to volunteer at COP 23: Over 6,000 applications received

As the international community prepares to advance progress towards the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in Bonn, at the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23, from 6 to 17 November), a mobilization of a different kind is taking place behind the scenes.

UN Climate Change, in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers (UNV), is conducting an ambitious and innovative campaign to mobilize over 650 volunteers to assist in the delivery of this year’s conference.

The call for volunteers has attracted a flood of interest. Since registration opened on Monday 18 September, over 6,000 applications have been submitted.

This is the first time that volunteerism has been integrated into the planning and delivery of UN climate conferences on such a large scale.

The initiative also contributes to the goal of the Fijian COP 23 Presidency to unite a grand coalition of governments, civil society, the private sector and ordinary citizens in fighting climate change.

Volunteers selected for the initiative will receive task-specific training for a wide range of duties and functions at the conference, including side events and exhibits assistants, registration desk and ICT support staff, sustainability and greening project assistants, ushers, room assistants, note-takers, and information desk clerks.

Volunteers will also take part in training designed to provide an understanding of the issues surrounding climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, and the vision and mandate for COP 23.

Beyond the conference, volunteers will have access to ideas and resources that will enable them to launch local sustainable development initiatives that will have an impact for years to come.

The initiative is expected to attract applicants from a wide range of professional, academic, social and geographical backgrounds.

The hope is that the integration and inclusion of volunteers into this year’s conference will encourage collective climate action and inspire citizens and civil society to take part in the global effort against climate change.

Please note that visa assistance (including letters of support) will not be provided. Volunteers must ensure their own legal status in Germany. Furthermore, volunteers must secure their own travel and accommodation, and cover all living expenses.


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