Australian Government

UNV commends Australian support towards volunteerism for peace and development

UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri is in Australia this week meeting with government and civil society representatives to share information about the unique contribution of volunteerism to peace and development and the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10).

UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri is in Australia this week meeting with government and civil society representatives to share information about the unique contribution of volunteerism to peace and development and the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10).

Following her presentation at the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) conference in Singapore, and involvement in a State of the World's Volunteerism Report regional consultation in Bangkok, Ms Pansieri¬ís visit coincides with an independent review of Australian Aid, to which the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has contributed a submission.

In its submission to the review, UNV notes that it has had a long interest in Australian aid effectiveness, primarily through collaboration with Australian volunteers and also through a partnership between Australia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Over 500 Australians have already served as UN Volunteers, with more than 40 serving only in 2010. Since the year 2000, over 700 Australians have also provided their services through the UNV Online Volunteering service, which connects volunteers with organizations working for sustainable human development.

The submission acknowledges that Australia is renowned for its volunteering efforts, most notably through the Sydney Olympics in 2000 in the lead up to the International Year of Volunteers in 2001, and more recently as shown by the thousands of volunteers helping to clean up after the floods that devastated parts of Australia in December 2010 and January 2011.

UNV praises the creation in 2010 of the Australian Civilian Corps to assist the rapid deployment of civilian specialists to countries affected by natural disasters or conflict. UNV is well experienced in this area, as many international and national UN Volunteers who reside and work together with crisis-affected communities are providing critical support to humanitarian partners.

UNV also commends the Australian Government's social inclusion agenda which provides a vision and strategy to further advance the recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteer service during IYV+10 in 2011 and beyond.

UNV highlights Australia's commitment to mark IYV+10 through release of a National Volunteering Strategy in 2011, and celebrates the important role of Australia's international volunteers working for development and peace which it says are becoming increasingly recognized.