Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in addressing development challenges

UN Secretary-General Youth Envoy calls for partners to join the Global Partnership for Youth in the post-2015 development agenda

YouthEnvoy SocMediaGraphics-1v2The UN Secretary-General Youth Envoy has recently launched the Global Partnership for Youth in the post-2015 development agenda, bringing together UN agencies and many stakeholders to help ensure that youth priorities are reflected in the post-2015 framework.

Through an online platform, youth and youth-development stakeholders from around the world will identify and formulate what they think should be included in the post-2015 development agenda that pertains to youth. The exercise will address five of the 16 thematic areas identified in the MyWorld2015 survey, namely Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Health, Good Governance, and Peace and Stability.

Register to join the partnership - Deadline for registration: 10 February 2014

People need to be actively engaged both during and after the post-2015 process, according to the latest UNDG issue brief for the Open Working Group meeting which opens today

The UNDG issue brief for the 8th meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) underlines the connection between citizen engagement and local governance by pointing at the need to involve people not only to hear their voice in the planning phases that  define priorities for policy-making, but also to actively engage them in the roll out and implementation of policies and strategies. The brief includes findings from the thematic consultations on environmental sustainability, addressing inequalities, conflict & violence, and governance.

United Nations Development Group (UNDG) People’s Voices Issues Brief address the topics of the meetings of the OWG, drawing upon existing material from the national, regional and thematic consultations, along with findings from relevant thematic consultations and analysis of the relevant findings of the MY World survey.

The 8th OWG meeting opens today to last for the entire week, covering a wide range of topics: oceans and seas; forests and biodiversity; promoting equality, incl. social equity, gender equality and women's empowerment; conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and promotion of durable peace; rule of law and governance. The OWG is mandated by the Rio+20 Outcome document to prepare a proposal on SDGs for consideration by the UN General Assembly at its 68th session (Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2014).

See also

UNV youth consultations in Bangladesh rank equality as top priority for development

BGD Post-2015 Youth-English w200Equality emerged by far as the main development priority from three national youth consultations organized in Jessore, Chittagong and Dhaka by UNV Bangladesh and Bangladesh volunteer groups. Youth emphasized the need for non-discrimination, whether by gender, sexual orientation, colour, caste, class, religion or abilities.

The consultations are part of the global conversation on the post-2105 development agenda that is under definition. Outreach to youth and their overall inclusion are among UNV's priorities. 'The world we want - Bangladeshi youth voices on a post-2015 world' presents the views of young people from Bangladesh on their top ten development issues, along with suggested ways forward and requests to decision-makers. It is interesting to note that the priorities set by the 84 Bangladeshi consultations participants match those expressed by other young people across the globe through the MY World survey.

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New UNV thematic papers summarize the contribution of volunteerism

UNV has released the first three thematic papers of a series that summarizes the contribution of volunteerism to different issues and highlight its cross-cutting role. These papers support UNV's advocacy efforts to recognize volunteerism in the post-2015 development agenda as a form of civic engagement that provides a key complementary mechanism for social, economic and environmental transformation.

  • The UNV issue brief on Peacebuilding and volunteerism uses evidence from post-conflict situatioIssueBrief---stack 3ns to illustrate how volunteerism can be a key means for supporting national peacebuilding and global sustainable development.
      
  • The UNV issue brief on Social inclusion and volunteerism uses research-based evidence to show that volunteerism, when well facilitated, can be a powerful mechanism for promoting social inclusion all over the world. Any framework that aims to reverse a "top-down" approach must recognize the contributions of volunteerism in aiding progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ensuring sustainable human development in a post-2015 world.
      
  • The UNV issue brief on Environmental sustainability and volunteerism demonstrates that incorporating volunteerism into the post-2015 development framework as a mechanism for achieving environmental sustainability is absolutely critical. When well facilitated, volunteerism not only supports the achievement of environmentally sustainable outcomes but also promotes long-term processes and shifts in mindsets that sustain environmental gains.

Volunteer-involving organizations and other stakeholders can use them as reference materials for advocacy opportunities. The closest opportunity to-date is the 8th session the Open Working Group (OWG) on 3-7 February 2014, where discussions will address equality, gender equality and women's empowerment as well as conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.

New opportunities to advocate for the integration of volunteerism in the post-2015 framework

Following the announcement of six additional sessions by the Co-Chairs of the Open Working Group, the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Dr. John W. Ashe has recently announced the organization of three high-level events and three thematic debates between February and June 2014 to set the stage for the post-2015 Development Agenda.

In preparation for these events, the President of the General Assembly will hold an interactive briefing with civil society working with NGLS/DESA/DPI to inform and encourage the contributions of civil society and other relevant stakeholders in the events. The interventions from civil society have the potential to contribute to the substantive background papers that will be prepared for the six events.

The concept notes prepared for two of these events include specific references to volunteerism and/or citizen participation:

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Open Working Group to discuss issues relevant to volunteerism at its next session

On 3-7 February 2014, the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will hold its 8th session covering inter alia equality, gender equality and women's empowerment as well as conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance. The session offers an opportunity to highlight volunteerism as a cross-cutting enabler for these themes.

TST issue brief on 'Promoting equality, including social equity' open for comments

Among the background documents for the OWG 8th session, this issue brief is particularly relevant to advocate for volunteerism in the post-2015 agenda because it mentions civic engagement mechanisms. Don't miss the opportunity to make your point!

Read and comment the TST issue brief on 'Promoting equality, including social equity'

About the OWG

The OWG is mandated by the Rio+20 Outcome document to prepare a proposal on SDGs for consideration by the UN General Assembly at its 68th session (Sept. 2013 – Sept. 2014). In December 2013, the OWG Co-Chairs announced dates for five formal decision-making sessions that will take place after the conclusion of its eight initial stocktaking sessions, from March through July 2014. The modalities for civil society participation in these five additional sessions will be discussed in February.

Dates for the new sessions are: 3-7 March 2014, 31 March-4 April 2014, 5-9 May 2014, 2-6 June 2014, 14-18 July 2014. Topics are not available yet.

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New UNV Bangladesh publication features UN Volunteers stories on progress on the MDGs

Publication coverTo mark International Volunteer Day, the UNV Field Unit in Bangladesh has published 'Volunteering for the MDGs in Bangladesh'. This booklet provides an overview of UNV's activities in Bangladesh and relates the country's progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through stories about volunteering.

The booklet features a volunteer story for each of the MDGs with all but one directly involving a UN Volunteer. Recent and current efforts to address the post-2015 development agenda in Bangladesh are also presented.

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Call for papers on volunteerism and governance

UNV invites submission of abstracts for evidence-based research papers on volunteerism and governance, to be presented at a special session of the 2014 International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) Conference in Muenster, Germany, July 2014. The theme of the special session is "The impact of volunteerism on governance: shaping the post-2015 Development Framework". UNV will also be seeking additional papers to contribute to the State of the World's Volunteerism Report 2014 on Volunteering and Governance.

The call for papers is open to people of all ages. Emerging scholars under the age of 30 are strongly encouraged to make a submission. There is also a preference for studies from a Southern context.

Abstracts can be submitted in French or Spanish, however the paper will have to be presented and discussed in English.

UN Staff and Volunteers are welcome to submit a paper and are invited to share the submission guidelines, downloadable below, with their associated networks, organizations, universities, and interested individuals as soon as possible.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 3 February 2014