UNDP Administrator Message on the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

Dec 5, 2010

Today, as we mark International Volunteer Day, we celebrate the contributions volunteers are making to peace and development around the world, and towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

UNDP and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme work with governments in developing countries to promote volunteer engagement, national volunteer service programmes, and volunteer centres. We believe that strategies supported by community-level action can help tackle development challenges. National volunteers can also bring valuable knowledge of the local context, allowing development partners to reach out to communities and strengthen the capacity of these communities to become active players in addressing the challenges they face.

Over 7,500 UNV volunteers support the work of UNDP and other UN organizations and missions, and more than 3,500 international UNV volunteers are themselves drawn from developing countries. As 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, next year offers a good opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the volunteers who are working to spread peace and development around the world. I wish the volunteering community every success in celebrating the role and contributions of volunteers worldwide.