Strong support for UN Volunteers asserted by UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board and Member States

02 June 2017
New York, United States

On 31 May, the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS convened in New York to discuss the positive findings of an independent evaluation of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, which was based on broad stakeholder consultation, and UNV’s new Strategic Framework goals and objectives for 2018-2021.

From left to right: Ms. Nina-Retzlaff, Independent Evaluator of the UNV Strategic Framework 2014-2017; H.E. Ambassador of Panama to the UN, Ms. Laura Flores, Chair of the Executive Board session; Mr. Olivier Adam, UNV Executive Coordinator; and Mr. Dominic Allen, Chief of the UNV Office in New York. (UNV, 2017)

Chaired by Vice President of the Board and Permanent Representative of Panama, Her Excellency, Ms. Laura E. Flores, the meeting was attended by more than 50 participants, representing 20 Member States which included Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malta, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and United States of America.

UN partners were also in attendance and included UNDP, the Department of Field Services (DFS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Following introductions from Ambassador Flores, Global CAD Evaluator Ms. Nina Retzlaff elaborated on key points and early findings from the independent evaluation of UNV’s Strategic Framework for the 2014-2017 period. Broad stakeholder consultation revealed a high level of satisfaction from UN partners on the work of UN Volunteers by iterating that, “91% of UN partners confirm UNV responds to their needs, [and that] 92% of the UN Volunteers report a satisfactory experience.” Furthermore, the Evaluator observed that, “UNV’s programmatic niche is in Youth and Volunteer Infrastructure.” UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam confirmed that UNV’s next Strategic Framework will focus efforts on these areas and presented on the next Strategic Framework.

Shortly after the presentations, seven Member States, namely Japan, United States of America, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Brazil, and Panama, raised unanimous support for UNV and UN Volunteers for their work, with Japan particularly noting that, “Japan continues to emphasize the importance of UNV” along with Brazil that concluded the meeting complimenting the, “potential of UNV in developing countries [as amazing], especially amongst the thousands of youth.”

When asked how this goal would be achieved, UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam responded that “there are many ways to constructively engage youth (…), but no one size fits all; UNV helps Member States to define how to best do it.”

See below a selection of photographs from the event:

Executive Board session (2017)