Volunteering empowers change from the grassroots up, especially when enabled by strong partnerships at every level.

Last year, 2011, marked 10 years since the International Year of Volunteers, and the United Nations called for this anniversary to be marked across the planet. The partners’ continued aims are to promote and recognize volunteering’s positive impact on peace and development, to reinforce volunteering networks, and to help all people make a difference through volunteering.

Download the commemorative compendium, summarizing the major themes and events of the year:

English - Español - Français


Actions culminated on 5 December 2011 with the UN General Assembly session on volunteering. For the biggest International Volunteer Day of the last 10 years, UNV held a special campaign: http://volunteeringmatters.unv.org/


An exhibition on ‘Volunteers of the World’ was unveiled in the New York visitors’ lobby. It closed at the end of February for reinstallation in Geneva in summer 2012.

The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/66/67 which calls for global action on volunteering.

Click here to download Resolution 66/67

Read the report from the day here.


Resolution 66/67 drew from recommendations and declarations gathered throughout 2011, the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers: for example, at five regional consultation meetings, the 64th Annual DPI-NGO Conference, the Global Volunteer Conference and the Southern Africa Conference in Johannesburg. Download all of the texts here.


During the General Assembly session on 5 December, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark launched the UN’s first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report in New York. It was separately launched in about 80 countries and territories.

Click to download:

English | Español | Français | عربي | 中文 | Русский | Deutsch | Türkçe | Tiếng Việt

Watch videos produced for and during the Year:

YouTube | Vimeo

The Pillars


Acknowledging the value of volunteerism to society all over the world and the connection between volunteerism and the MDGs.




Promoting inclsuive volunteerism representative of the diverse groups in society.


Ensuring that the maximum number of people from the broadest range of backgrounds have access to volunteer opportunities.


Fostering the exchange of experience and strengthening partnerships among different entities promoting and implementing volunteer projects.