On International Volunteer Day, I appeal to all governments to promote volunteering, support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Volunteers deserve our heartfelt thanks.António Guterres
Volunteerism is one of the most vital delivery mechanisms for social, environmental and economic transformation, ensuring a lasting impact with its ability to change people’s mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. People become actors of change and equal partners in the attainment of local, national and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme recognizes the shared universal values underpinning volunteerism – free will, commitment, equity, engagement, solidarity, compassion, empathy and respect for others.
UNV is supporting the United Nations and UN Member States with the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The organization has also put measures in place to ensure duty of care for its currently serving 6,000 UN Volunteers, deployed with over 50 UN entity partners worldwide. Online Volunteers are a valuable resource to support United Nations entities and other partners with COVID-19 response. Go to “COVID-19 response” to see relevant assignments.
International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.