On the eve of International Volunteer Day (IVD), I extend my warm greetings to all the volunteers around the globe. International Volunteer Day (IVD) (December 5) is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The International Volunteer Day is marked by many non-governmental organizations, including Red Cross, scouts and others. It is also marked and supported by United Nations Volunteers.
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations over the Internet. The main focus of IVD is not only celebrate volunteerism in all its facets – but also pay special tribute to people’s participation in making a difference locally, nationally and globally. IVD highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to: stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development.

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