Ladies and gentlemen,
UNV is a shared UN service hosted and administered by UNDP. Every year we enable thousands of global citizens to contribute to peace and development serving as UN Volunteers across the globe. I am taking the floor to share with the Conference two reflections and two acclamations.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of UNV, and Mr Jorge Chediek, UNOSSC Director and Envoy of the Secretary-General on South-South Cooperation.
In line with UNV’s Strategic Framework 2018-2021, this alliance sets an unprecedented opportunity for both organizations to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by promoting volunteerism and engaging volunteers for South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
For more than ten years, the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has maintained a large-scale peacekeeping operation following years of civil war. The mission is unprecedented in its ever-evolving nature, due to challenges posed by the harsh desert conditions of West Sudan.
Prior to my UNV assignment, I worked with the UNHCR representation in Ghana as a national staff member, thus UNV presented an excellent opportunity and platform to further develop a career in programme management in that it afforded me an opportunity to work and learn from more experienced colleagues. I was also particularly excited about international UNV as it was a platform where I could gain experience and knowledge of humanitarian response within the UN, particularly UNHCR.
Volunteer programmes are frequently not well integrated into their own country’s broader overseas national development programming, with potential partnerships with official mechanisms, national strategies and development actors (including the government, the private sector and the third sector) limited by a lack of trust and experience.
East and Southern Africa are vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity and water scarcity. These issues have been exacerbated further by rapid population growth, urbanization and overgrazing. Over 36 million people face hunger across East and Southern Africa largely due to drought and high temperatures.
South-South Cooperation is embedded in UNV’s Strategic Framework 2018-2021. Working closely with partners, UNV facilitates South-South cooperation by deploying UN Volunteers and promoting the value of volunteerism for peace and development.
Volunteering and South-South Cooperation share common ideals that make them perfect partners: solidarity, respect and equality. Both have an opportunity to derive mutual benefit from their alliance. --UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam
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.
Volunteering and South-South Cooperation share common ideals that make them perfect partners: solidarity, respect and equality. Both have an opportunity to derive mutual benefit from their alliance. The landscape of international volunteering, like that of international cooperation, has changed immensely in the past decades. Today’s programmes are no longer limited to the participation of traditional donor countries of the North.
From 20-23 June in Bangkok, Thailand, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) co-hosted a conference entitled South-South Exchange on Youth Volunteering for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Sharing Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and Other Approaches from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Countries.