“I commend the work of volunteers worldwide -- a contribution that will be ever more critical in the upcoming Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals” says Toily Kurbanov, Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, during International Volunteer Day celebrations in China this week.
The Deputy Executive Coordinator joined the celebration of the 34th IVD in China, the 5th Chinese Youth Volunteer Service Project Competition and Volunteer Service Exchange EXPO2019 held from 1-4 December in Dongguan, China.
Delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the EXPO on International Volunteer Service, SDGs and Inclusion on 2 December, he said, "The values of volunteering – solidarity, inclusion, community service, compassion – have a rich history in China". He also touched on what volunteering mean in the 21st century and how relevant it is to this year’s IVD theme – Volunteer for an Inclusive Future.
The event on Volunteer Service and Social Governance was co-hosted by the China Communist Youth League (CYL), Central Civilization Committee, Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CPC and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and other ministries. More than 1,000 people from government agencies, universities and volunteer organizations participated in this event.
During the visit, the Deputy Executive Coordinator also took a firsthand look at volunteer projects in Guangdong, where more than 4 million volunteers are actively engaged through the I Volunteer online system managed by the Guangdong Volunteer Action Center. The local volunteer projects cover a range of different fields from cultural activities to assistance for children with disabilities and urban environmental protection.
As part of Youth Volunteer Service Project Competition for IVD 2019, 100 shortlisted teams from the Chinese Youth Volunteer Service Project Competition across the country conducted final roadshows and competed for the championship. They also participated in volunteer mentoring and sharing sessions. The guests and team representatives also took part in the 2019 China Young Volunteer Service Release Conference, Volunteer Service Theoretical Research Results Sharing Exchange and Volunteer Literature Sharing Exchange.