The Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Annual Session 2014 took place from 23-27 June in Geneva, Switzerland. This formal interaction of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme with its Executive Board occurs once every two years.
“Months of preparation have gone into ensuring success at the Executive Board Annual Session and we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Mr. Richard Dictus, UNV’s Executive Coordinator. “However this was really about showcasing the work of UNV over the past two years: the work of the UN Volunteers and the work with our key partners – and the member states welcomed this.”
The session on 24 June opened with a statement from Ms. Gina Casar, the new UNDP Associate Administrator and was followed by a detailed presentation of the Administrator’s Report by the Executive Coordinator of UNV. The main focus for UNV during this session was to seek further engagement and advance the creation of partnerships on volunteerism for development and peace through ‘Innovation in Volunteering Action’.
The UNV Executive Coordinator conveyed three key strategic issues to the Executive Board. The first was to demonstrate the impact of UNV’s results from 2012 to 2013. The second was to highlight major achievements of the biennium while demonstrating that UNV is an organization building increasingly deeper partnerships with Member States and other development partners. The third strategic issue Richard conveyed was UNV’s position as an organization dynamically addressing strategic adjustments to enable it to continue delivering development and peace results.
In response to the presentation from the Executive Coordinator, UNV received very positive feedback from the Executive Board membership through statements delivered by Brazil, China, Germany (endorsed by Ireland), Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, the Russian Federation and Tanzania. The overriding sentiments were of strong endorsement for the strategic direction UNV has been taking with its new UNV Strategic Framework and Integrated Results and Resources Framework – with a strong appreciation for the value of UN Volunteers and volunteerism for peace and development results.
Nepal, the facilitator of the UNV decision, took the floor first to state that “UNV has, through providing trained, skilled and motivated human resources, significantly contributed to the realization of the objectives of the United Nations in general, and UNDP in particular.” Japan highlighted a successful UNV university volunteer scheme that began at a university in Japan and has since been expanded to other countries across the globe. Japan also pledged its support of the Strategic Framework and stated its intention to continue to work with UNV in order to implement it.
The delegation from Germany (supported by Ireland) called upon Member States to continue to support the Special Voluntary Fund. The Members also commended UNV on many of our efforts including our work in connecting volunteerism in the Post-2015 debate as well as our efforts in building new partnerships and in signing Memoranda of Understanding with United Nation entities and governments.
A reception, which was informally entitled ‘Celebrating volunteers and volunteerism in peace and development’, took place in the evening of 24 June, and included statements from the President of the Executive Board, Ambassador Peter Thomson – Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN – and the UNDP Associate Administrator. The Board item and the reception were a precursor to the UNV Partnerships Forum which will be held on 30 September and 1 October 2014 in Bonn, Germany, where UNV has its headquarters. The Forum will provide a platform for UNV’s longstanding and new partners to share and exchange knowledge and experience of good practices and innovative partnerships.
Overall, the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Annual Session 2014 was a collective success for UNV. The Report of the Administrator was very well received by the Executive Board, the UNDP leadership was very pleased with UNV’s delivery and relation with the EB, and UNV achieved the Board’s approval of a very strong decision that will guide our work for the next two years.
UNDP Associate Administrator speech 2014 (250 kb) UNV Executive Coordinator speech 2014 (477 kb) UNV Report of the Administrator 2014 (292 kb) UNV Report of the Administrator 2014 Annex 1 (90 kb) UNV Report of the Administrator 2014 Annex 2 (128 kb) UNV Report of the Administator 2014 Annex 3 (412 kb) EB President Ambassador Peter Thomson remarks at UNV reception 24 June 2014 (101 kb)