"I extend my deepest gratitude to the more than 6,700 United Nations Volunteers, 12,000 United Nations Online Volunteers and the one billion community volunteers worldwide. You are all instrumental to the future of people and the planet. Your commitment and passion can act as inspiration to us all." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

2016 Theme: Global Applause – give volunteers a hand

The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming. 

Through the Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development, working to achieve the MDGs and engaging people to shape the sustainable development agenda.

IVD 2016’s theme #GlobalApplause – give volunteers a hand, recognizes volunteers worldwide and all they do in making peace and sustainable development a reality.