Power of volunteerism can help build more sustainable world, says Ban on International Day

UN Volunteers and members of local organizations clear a busy road as part of activities for International Volunteer Day in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

5 December 2015 – To celebrate the power of the volunteerism, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon is marking the International Volunteer Day by emphasizing that volunteering fosters creativity, “draws strength from our passions and connects us to those who need us most.”

“Volunteerism is a global phenomenon that transcends boundaries, religions and cultural divides,” said Mr. Ban in his message on the Day, adding that volunteers embody the fundamental values of commitment, inclusiveness, civic engagement and a sense of solidarity.

The Secretary-General recalled the volunteering spirit during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, saying: “community volunteers, international volunteers and United Nations Volunteers were crucial to the response.”

“A similar spirit of volunteerism and solidarity has been on display in addressing the current refugee crisis and this year's devastating earthquake in Nepal,” added the UN chief.

The Day has been observed on 5 December every year since 1986. This year, the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer another opportunity for individuals to show solidarity through volunteerism.

As such, Mr. Ban called the world to contribute through volunteerism towards realizing the 2030 Agenda's vision of ending poverty.

He went on to highly commend volunteers' contributions, saying: “I thank the more than 6,300 United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and 11,000 United Nations Online Volunteers who help millions of people to make sustainable change and peace happen. I also commend and salute the one billion community volunteers worldwide.”

“As we mark International Volunteer Day,” the Secretary-General concluded, “let us strive to make the most of the power of volunteerism to build a more sustainable world and a life of dignity for all.”


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