A special tribute to volunteers working on implementing new Global Goals paid on International Volunteer Day
This year’s International Volunteer Day paid a special tribute to volunteers working on implementing the new global goals. The global theme of the day was “The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer.” The theme challenges each and every one of us to be part of the change that the new development agenda is bringing along. It embraces the grassroots level of engagement, possibility of everybody to be part of the change, and it underlines leaving no one behind. International Volunteer Day 2015 started the dialogue about how volunteerism is vital to the success of the Global Goals. Recently the UN General Assembly approved a resolution on volunteerism, paving the way for integrating volunteering in the 2030 Agenda. The resolution recognizes that volunteerism can be a powerful means of implementation for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
In Uzbekistan the volunteers of various organizations: UN Volunteers (UNV), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) celebrated the day together and held a joint workshop at the UNDP conference hall. UN RC Stefan Priesner opened the event thanking the volunteers for their devotion and congratulating them on International Volunteer Day. “The ending of year 2015 is a significant turning point when the world changes its development focus from Millennium goals to new Sustainable Development Goals, so called Global Goals. Some time ago the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on volunteerism, making it easier to integrate volunteering in the new development agenda.“
UNV Programme Officer a.i. Heli Nykanen introduced the discussion topic of the workshop. The topic “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” was chosen to kick start the discussion on how the Global Goal 11 could be supported by volunteers. The workshop brainstormed and developed ideas, how volunteers and ordinary citizens can contribute to help achieving Global Goal 11 that has been agreed upon by all UN Member States.
Four working groups pondered how volunteers can help making cities and communities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Ideas from advocating pedestrians to use light reflectors for road safety to organizing networks of volunteers to identify safety issues were presented by the workgroup that discussed safe cities. The working group on inclusiveness suggested that volunteers could record audio books for visually impaired people or accompany people with disabilities to help them in their daily activities. To make the communities more sustainable the workshop group recommended that volunteers could educate and raise awareness on waste management and recycling with their own example. The group that pondered resilient cities suggested city gardening and campaigning for saving electricity and water.
A global selfie campaign was launched for the day, and the selfies tagged with #IVD2015 featured on interactive map of the worldwide volunteer community www.volunteeractioncounts.org, which grew as pictures were gathered from around the globe. Volunteers from Uzbekistan featured also on the global map as they showed their support for the Global Goals in their pictures.