“Volunteerism is a feature of all cultures and societies. It is a fundamental source of community strength, resilience, solidarity and social cohesion,” said the United Nation Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, yesterday as his fifth International Volunteer Day (IVD) message
The UN Secretary General said volunteerism “can help effect positive social change by fostering inclusive societies that respect diversity, equality and the participation of all.” “Such contributions are vital to the three pillars of the United Nations’ work – promoting peace and security, advancing development, and protecting human rights and human dignity,” he emphasized.
“That is why”, Ban Ki-Moon continued, “every UN agency draws on the spirit of volunteerism, including through the United Nations Volunteers programme, to expand the reach of its activities. Voluntary action is also essential in our global effort to address climate change, which poses a serious threat to our ability to reach the Millennium Development Goals.”
Today [yesterday], the UN Sec Gen said, “the world’s governments are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, at the landmark UN Climate Change Conference. They hope to negotiate a way forward to save our planet from the effects of global warming. But even governments cannot hope to do so alone”.
Instead, he said, “we need people everywhere to volunteer for this challenge, and to help communities mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Voluntary action is also critical to build domestic solutions for sustainable economic growth, and to develop capacities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.”
The UN Secretary General called on all to recognize the power of volunteerism to promote peace and development around the world.
“Let us also pay tribute to the many millions of citizens all over the world who, every day in ways small and large volunteer their time, ingenuity, solidarity and creativity to help build a better, more sustainable future,” said he.