The UN General Assembly recently approved a resolution on volunteerism, paving the way for integrating volunteering in the 2030 Agenda.
The UN Resolution “Integrating volunteering into peace and development: the plan of action for the next decade and beyond” was adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly during its seventieth session. As in past years, the resolution was co-facilitated by Brazil and Japan and co-sponsored by 100 Member States! The text welcomes the latest report of the UN Secretary-General on volunteerism, which summarizes progress since 2012, including examples from many volunteer involving organizations around the world, and presents the Plan of Action. The General Assembly also welcomes the publication of the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 and recognizes that volunteerism can be a powerful means of implementation for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Furthermore, the resolution welcomes the integration of volunteerism in key post-2015 documents, such as the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other related documents; Member States also acknowledge the multi-stakeholder engagement at global and national level in the lead-up to the post-2015 Summit. In this regard, the resolution explicitly names the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) and the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE). This is the first time a UN Resolution names volunteer-involving organisations along with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), as auxiliary to governments, which has consistently been mentioned in past resolutions. This represents an important recognition of the joint efforts to position volunteerism in the post-2015 agenda - along with all the good work on the ground over past years.
The resolution also acknowledges the Plan of Action 2016-2030 for integrating volunteering into peace and development, calling upon Member States, UN and a wide range of stakeholders to support and resource it, and recognizing UNV as the appropriate UN entity to support its implementation. The Plan of Action identifies three strategic objectives: strengthening SDG mainstreaming to increase people’s ownership for the agenda; integration of volunteerism; and measurement of volunteerism’s contribution to peace and development.
UNV will support the implementation of the Plan of Action from its headquarters and in the field. After an initial period of national level situation analyses and regional consultations, the UNGA Resolution invites the collaboration of UNV and other organizations, such as the IFRC, in jointly organizing a global technical meeting in 2020 to further strengthen the engagement and contributions of volunteers with regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.