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

Volunteer-involving organizations collaborate towards the inclusion of volunteerism in the post-2015 framework

On behalf of volunteer-involving organizations, the Volunteering Task Force issued a joint statement affirming their will to engage with decision makers to advance the involvement of volunteer groups in the development and implementation of the post-2015 framework.

The Volunteering Task Force was established to scale up efforts to make volunteering more visible. This should translate into a plea to integrate volunteerism more systematically as an enabling factors for the implementation of the next set of internationally agreed development goals.

Task Force members include FORUM, CUSO, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA), World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts (WAGGGS), Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).

More information on stakeholders engagement for post-2015



UNV Executive Coordinator presents the MY World Volunteerism Award

UNV Executive Coordinator, Richard Dictus, handing over the MY World Volunteerism Award to Mr. Mazher Hussain, Representative of the Peace Gong Kashmir Bureau in India, during the MY World Partner Recognition Event and Award Ceremony on 25 September 2013 in New York. (Photo: Joel Sheakoski/UNV, 2013) New York, USA: On 25 September, United Nations representatives, Goodwill Ambassadors, members of the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and representatives of civil society organizations from around the world gathered in New York to publicly announce the winners of the MY World Partner Recognition Awards.

Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, presented the award to the winner of the volunteerism category: the Peace Gong Kashmir Bureau, a children's newspaper run by dedicated volunteers in India. An initiative of the Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Foundation, Peace Gong promotes volunteerism and media literacy education towards a culture of peace and sustainable development by bringing together children and youth from diverse cultures, backgrounds, regions and communities.

Richard emphasized that "[...] volunteerism is instrumental in generating civic engagement. Volunteerism has enabled people and organizations to find a voice".

Peace Gong volunteers have collected several hundred votes for the MY World survey from different regions and communities in India, often travelling extensively to remote areas, and reaching out to many people, including marginalized and poor households, tribal communities, slum areas, and youth.

The Volunteerism Award recognizes the over one million citizens who have voted through the MY World survey, as well as the efforts of MY World partner organizations to foster volunteerism and civic engagement as a core ingredient for the success of the MY World initiative. Over half of all votes have been collected "offline" through paper ballots distributed by volunteers and discussed with respondents in the most remote communities around the world.

World leaders renew commitment to anti-poverty targets, agree to adopt new development Goals at 2015 Summit

On 25 September 2013 world leaders agreed to scale up action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease and called for a 2015 Summit to adopt the next set of Goals to focus continued efforts after the target date for the Millennium Development Goals.

In the outcome document adopted at a Special Event on the MDGs, hosted by the President of the UN General Assembly, countries lauded the remarkable progress made so far towards achieving the eight Goals, which have provided a "common vision" for meeting the needs of the world's poorest.

Member States also expressed concern at the unevenness and gaps in MDG achievement in the face of immense challenges, and agreed to take the purposeful and coordinated action required to accelerate progress.

Speaking at the opening of the event, President of the General Assembly John Ashe said that "we must do everything possible to accelerate action and get the job done by 2015. Urgently implementing the global partnership for development is not only a moral obligation but will also put us at the best possible starting point for agreeing what comes next."

In the document, countries agreed to hold a high-level Summit in September 2015 to adopt a new set of Goals that will balance the three elements of sustainable development – providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment.

The post-2015 global process is illustrated in this diagram adapted by UNV after the Summit.

25 September 2013, New York - Special Event to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals

On 25 September, a Special Event that includes the participation of heads of state and other government officials will discuss efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event will be broadcast live and on archive video at http://webtv.un.org.

Throughout the week, side events will accompany the key meeting of Member States. Find out here more about the high level segment of intergovernmental meetings and other events.

On the same day, the Secretary-General report “A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 (A/68/202)” will be discussed by the membership of the General Assembly. In paragraph 98, when elaborating on advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, “volunteer groups” are mentioned as a separate constituency to take into account when implementing the “transformative actions of the post-2015 development agenda”. This explicit mention provides an important lever for interaction with UN Member States as the intergovernmental process approaches the next phase.

The UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC), in cooperation with UNV, will hold a MY World Partner Recognition Event at the Danny Kaye Centre, UNICEF House, on 25 September at 6.00pm. Awards for outstanding My World partners will be given in the following categories: Volunteerism, Innovation, Communications, Outstanding Partner, People’s Choice. Five regional outreach awards will also be given. The winners will receive the award from Goodwill Ambassadors and UN personalities, including Richard Dictus, UNV Executive Coordinator, who will personally hand over the “My World Volunteerism Award” to recognize the volunteer efforts of partners in fostering civic engagement as a core ingredient of the success of the MY World initiative. Hundreds of thousands of citizens who have voted through the My World survey will be recognized at the event – and their messages and voices will be passed on to world leaders as they consider the future steps in defining the post-2015 development agenda.

September 2013: post-Rio+20 and post-2015 related high level events

The convening of the 68th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) on Tuesday 17 September 2013 represents the start of a key period for Member States and stakeholders. This includes a high level segment of intergovernmental meetings and a number of other events ‐ many of which relate directly to a range of post ‐ UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 (Rio+20) and post‐2015 processes.

The convenors of these high level events will have established or be in the process of establishing the specific modalities for the engagement of stakeholders. In some cases this includes gathering of stakeholder inputs prior to the meeting, as well as during the event itself.

Thursday 19 - Friday 20 september 2013 - UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Held every three years, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit brings together chief executives, and representatives of civil society, governments and the UN. Chaired by UN Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon, this year's meeting will be on the theme "Architects of a Better World" – aiming to link the UN's universal values with a new global architecture for corporate sustainability. The Summit hopes to set the stage for business to shape and advance the post‐2015 development agenda, and forward an architecture for business to contribute to global priorities.

Life-long Volunteering Conference in Turkey

Turkish GSM-Youth Services Centre in cooperation with UNV Turkey organized the Life-long Volunteering Conference in recognition of volunteering as a life-long learning tool and to promote an enabling environment and infrastructure for youth volunteering. 100 representatives of volunteer organizations and the public sector met in Ankara between 4-7 June 2013 voicing concerns and proposals regarding volunteering in the Turkish national context. The volunteering practitioners participated in many interactive sessions to bring forward their concerns and collect their inputs. The participants developed a joint declaration highlighting the importance of volunteering in tackling the emerging issues prioritized during the post-2015 National Consultations in Turkey. The declaration “Volunteering for the World We Want” underlines five areas where volunteering can make a powerful contribution: social inequalities, education and youth employment, personal development, active citizen participation and local development.

The document cites: “As the new development framework, which will influence the lives of young people for the coming decades, takes shape, we foresee a future in which all individuals embrace a shared commitment to voluntarily contribute, within their capacity and regardless of their background, to the pursuit of the common good and to the ideals of harmony and peace.”

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MY World Launch in Cameroon

MY World Launch coupled with Cameroon International Model United Nations (CAMIMUN) at the National Youth Council Head Office in Yaoundé/Cameroon with full support from the United Nations Volunteers

Closing the post-2015 consultations in Algeria

The process of post-2015 consultation in Algeria came to a close with a meeting held on 30 June in Algiers. Post-2015 UN Volunteers Salima Remal and Katharina Meyer-Seipp organized the day in two moments: a validation workshop and an informal meeting of civil society organizations with UN representatives, at the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator. During the workshop, the results of the post-2015 national consultations were presented to a wide range of stakeholders, including concerned Ministries, CSOs and UN representatives. The workshop successfully brought together 28 representatives of the government and civil society, giving the opportunity to present the importance of volunteerism in the overall consultation process. During the second meeting, 11 CSOs were represented along with representatives from the many entities of United Nations system.Resident Coordinator Mrs. Amaral underlined the importance of a strong partnership with civil society and committed to reinforce this link with mutual and reciprocal understanding and exchange.

Mrs. Amaral also appointed Wissam Benyettou and Katharina Meyer Seipp as national focal point for the dissemination of the My World survey.

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