UNV's presentation to the annual meeting of the International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) in Ottawa helped to provoke discussion on the impact of volunteering to the changing development environment.
Volunteering for Development: Innovation and impact in a changing development environment was the theme of this years annual meeting of the International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO 2012) held in Ottawa from 14-17 October. The conference brought together senior representatives of volunteer organizations from all around the world. Among the many issues discussed was how the global volunteer community could engage in the debate on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda and on the follow up to Rio+20 and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme had been asked to prepare a discussion paper for the conference and its presentation was captured imaginatively by the graphic harvester present at the event (see pdf below). The IVCO 2012 participants said that outcomes of the discussions being coordinated by the United Nations and other global, regional and national bodies will affect all member agencies of IVCO and the International Forum on Development Service as well as other stakeholders working within development. For this reason they required their active engagement. After discussion and deliberation the organizations present called for the ongoing mobilization of volunteers and organizations working with communities and individuals across the world as change actors for sustainable development during the next three years and post 2015. Participants expressed their desire that that the value of volunteering be amply recognized in the future global development framework to follow the post-2015 meeting by adopting the Ottawa Declaration. The Declaration emphasized the role which millions of volunteers all over the world are playing and their contribution to sustainable development. It also requested that the UN ensure that organizations involved with international volunteering are among the stakeholders to be consulted in the ongoing processes. The International Forum on Development Service urged all volunteer groups and volunteer involving organizations to sign up to the declaration to strengthen the recognition of volunteerings contribution to development, peace and sustainability.