UNV and the private sector
Last update: 09 December 2019
Through its alliances with multi-national companies and business networks, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has been strengthening volunteering for decades to meet the talent needs of the United Nations and its Member States. At local, national and multi-national levels, growing numbers of private sector partners are joining forces with UNV through onsite and online corporate volunteering to support achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
…We must unite public and private investors around new concepts, solutions and instruments, and we need to do so at scale. I am speaking here of addressing major issues such as health, food, water, sanitation, education, women’s empowerment – and, of course, infrastructure. The world has the resources to deliver the 2030 Agenda. --United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Remarks at the UN Private Sector Forum, 18 September 2017
An opportunity to inspire the world
The SDGs can only be achieved with greater cooperation. UNV accomplishes its mandate to mobilize volunteers through multi-stakeholder partnerships, as a necessary step for leaving no one behind. The private sector plays a central role in making this happen.
Through its wealth of knowledge, expertise and implementation capacity, the private sector complements the work undertaken by governments, civil society organizations, academia, the United Nations system and other development actors to foster peace and development through volunteerism.
Why work with us?
UNV provides a unique service to identify, recruit and support on-site and online volunteers for the United Nations.
In 2018, 7,201 onsite UN Volunteers (52% male and 48% female), from 158 countries of origin, served in 146 countries with 42 UN partners. Of these, 83 per cent came from the global South, 55 per cent were international UN Volunteers and 45 per cent were national UN Volunteers. Furthermore, 16,748 Online Volunteers supported 308 UN partners, Member States and civil society organizations. While these numbers are impressive, they are also far from being enough. More partners are urgently needed to achieve the SDGs.
By partnering with UNV, the private sector will help the whole UN system to deliver on its mandates and will foster a faster response and in a more flexible manner to crises and development challenges. UNV’s impact and interventions could expand exponentially as a result. For instance, the support UNV provided by deploying volunteers as first responders in Nepal to aid 5,000 people in rebuilding their houses after the earthquake in 2015 could have been even more successful and extensive with more partners involved, and thus would have benefited even more people.
Volunteers are at the forefront of UN peacekeeping operations, comprising around a third of the civilian personnel and working around the clock to build more peace and resilience. Stronger partnerships with the private sector will ensure continuity and expansion of such operations and will provide the UN System with the talent solutions needed to implement their mandates.
How to partner with UNV
- Promote volunteerism for the SDGs by partnering to strengthen volunteerism worldwide, including working together to implement the Plan of Action 2016-2030 for integrating volunteering into peace and development or collaborating to generate evidence and research on volunteerism for flagship publications such as the State of the World's Volunteerism Report
- Sponsor UN Volunteers: UNV enables its partners from the private sector to fund UN Volunteer assignments to provide the UN System with the talent solutions needed to implement their mandates and to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Your company can work with us through some of our Service lines.
- Corporate support to UNV new initiatives, such as the UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities aiming at leaving no-one behind. This further enhances the impact of UN initiatives and strengthens volunteering as a means to source talents among most vulnerable groups.
- Be part of a global alliance on volunteerism for development. Among the many ways that UNV works to make private sector involvement a reality, the organization is taking part in some of the most important worldwide efforts in this field. UNV is a founding stakeholder of IMPACT 2030, a global private sector-led collaboration that mobilizes employee volunteers to advance the achievement of the SDGs. UNV also collaborates with the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.
- Engage with the UNV Online Volunteering service. The SDGs provide a global framework that nourishes comparable reporting mechanisms across sectors on sustainability and progress towards achieving the SDGs. UNV’s employee online volunteering solution poses a unique opportunity for such collaboration with companies. Companies can partner with UNV to receive a dedicated and co-branded website with in-built reporting capabilities to measure their employees’ volunteering impact.
- Participate in marking International Volunteer Day, and recognize the dedication and delivery of volunteers and contribution of volunteerism to the fabric of society worldwide.
By working with UNV, the private sector can support the entire UN system work to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.