SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
The two-day conference is co-hosted by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Beijing Volunteer Service Federation (BVF), and aims to continue building a strong Southern constituency and voice in international volunteering and co-create new ideas on how volunteering can be effectively mainstreamed to support national development priorities by low- and middle-income countries. It also aims to identify new opportunities for innovative partnerships to jointly overcome development challenges through international volunteering.
Around 150 young people and potential volunteers met UN agencies and local NGOs during the Volunteer Fair in Pristina. The event also allowed participants to register on the Kosovo Volunteer Platform designed by the UNICEF Innovations Lab. The aim of this platform is to connect non-profit organizations and passionate volunteers for future collaborations.
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.
This year, United Nations Volunteers in Egypt have collaborated with the Egyptian Red Crescent in implementing a joint 3-day event from the 5th to the 7th of December. This event aims to shed light on how #VolunteersActFirst support their communities and reinforce joint action on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr. Dominic Allen, Chief of the UNV Office in New York, opened the event welcoming the over 100 participants from Member States, UN entities and other interested partners, including serving and former volunteers. Mr. Allen acknowledged the immense contribution of volunteers and the significant role that volunteers play as first responders in the aftermath of crisis and as mobilizers and campaigners in crisis prevention and preparedness.
What was once an informal network of helpers to people in need, many volunteers are now highly organized and play a fundamental role in humanitarian and development initiatives through organizations, clubs and groups that span the world. In recognition of the contributions they make, governments have taken steps to promote volunteer action by strengthening policies and institutions, and by increasing funding to support volunteer infrastructure.
The event, under the title “Volunteers as First Responders in Times of Crisis: Volunteers for resilience and solidarity,” kicked off International Volunteer Day (also called IVD) worldwide.
The event aligned with the IVD global campaign to promote volunteers as first responders in times of crisis and instability, helping people to rebuild their lives in the immediate aftershock of tragic events.
UNV Executive Coordinator Mr. Olivier Adam acknowledged the efforts of the Nepali people after the devastating 2015 earthquake:
The number of people affected by humanitarian crises is unprecedented. In the past decade, over 1.5 billion people have been affected by natural disasters, and more than 65 million have been forcibly displaced – internally in their own countries or seeking shelter across borders. Worldwide, one in nine people go to bed on an empty stomach every night, and one in three suffer from some form of malnutrition.
The meeting provided a unique opportunity to share and discuss best practices in supporting capacity development for young professionals with disabilities, to identify areas for collaboration and to exchange ideas on creating disability-sensitive and inclusive workplaces. Fruitful discussion among the 70 participants also generated practical tips to ensure the successful implementation of the UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities.
The training, which occurred between 31 October and 3 November, included interactive sessions, group work, case studies, role modelling and competency design to better understand the complexity of sustainable development and to identify comparative advantages of volunteerism in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).