UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam (left) and President of KMUTT Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sakarindr Bhumiratana (right) signing an agreement to deploy UN University Volunteers in Bangkok, Thailand. (UNV, 2017)

First agreement to deploy UN University Volunteers in the ASEAN region

Today, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), a leading national research university in Thailand with innovative programmes and strong curricula in science, technology and engineering, signed an agreement on cost sharing basis to provide volunteering opportunities for KMUTT graduate students as UN Youth University Volunteers. This is the first UN Youth University Volunteer agreement in Thailand as well as in the ASEAN region.

Under the five-year KMUTT-UNV University Volunteer regional pilot programme, 20 - 25 graduate students will develop capacities and contribute to specific development programmes supported by the United Nations in ASEAN countries, specifically in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Viet Nam. The students will leverage their knowledge and skills in science and technology and dedicate their creativity as well as energy to peace and develop in their six-months assignments.

"The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda recognizes the role youth can play both as critical agents of change, and as vital implementers of change. The world must support youth’s energy and efforts, but also help foster within young women and men the important values of solidarity and meaningful civic participation," said UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam, who attended the signing ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand.

The value of the partnership between UNV and KMUTT is opening the door to young women and men to transformative experiences and making a difference in sustainable development." UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sakarindr Bhumiratana, President of KMUTT emphasized, "The Volunteer Programme is in line and will also enhance preparedness of our university to cultivate our students to become social change agents that will be beneficial for society. Our partnership with UNV underpinned our strong commitment to enable students to take active roles in utilizing their science and engineering to reach out for communities. In addition, the collaboration will help strengthen our student qualification framework as we move towards twenty first century".

The number of UN Youth Volunteers and UN Youth University Volunteers assigned in Asia and the Pacific has increased from around 140 in 2016 to more than 160 in 2017 as of October 31, 2017. This agreement will contribute to meet the increasing request from UN agencies to integrate young women’s and men’s creative and flexible approaches in their initiatives.