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

The power of volunteerism as a cross-cutting means of implementation

WHEN:  22 April 2015, 13:15-14:30 hrs
WHERE: Conference Room 9, UN headquarters, New York, USA

CUSO International, the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (FORUM), the UN Volunteers programme (UNV) and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), part of the post-2015 Volunteering Working Group, co-organized this side event to explore the contribution that volunteerism makes to sustainable development, and how the means of implementation of the post-2015 framework can recognise, support and maximise this contribution. Participants included representatives from Volunteer-involving organizations (ViOs), UN agencies and Member States.  (Flyer)

The event took place during the April session of the post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations (New York, 21-25 April 2015), which focused on the means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda and the global partnership for sustainable development. 

Highlights from the event
  • Volunteerism should be a crucial component of the proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17. Goal 17 ("Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development") currently covers issues relating to finance, technology, capacity building, trade, systemic issues, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and data, monitoring and accountability.
  • ViO panelists called for shaping the means of implementation component in a way that looks beyond financial and technological means and also includes people-centred approaches. ViOs also agreed to produce a shadow report presenting examples of impact of the contribution of volunteers towards development outcomes as expressed in the SDGs.
  • Ambassador Hiroshi Minami, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, stated that he saw three possible opportunities for volunteerism to fit in final post-2015 agenda, namely in the Declaration (although volunteerism may not be specifically mentioned since the Declaration is envisaged to be short); in the Means of Implementation section; and in the Global partnerships section, since volunteers should have an important role as stakeholders of global partnerships. Mr. Tim Mawe, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, also reaffirmed that volunteers will play a major role in the implementation of the SDGs and that the role of volunteers should be enhanced.