Interview: Volunteerism is essential in sustainable development: UNV

March 1, 2012 10:05 am 

By Guo Xinyu, Han Mo

BONN, Germany, March 1 — People's voluntary involvement is essential in sustainable development, and the whole world should recognize the importance of volunteerism for development and peace, head of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program Flavia Pansieri said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

"People's voluntary involvement is important. That is why programs like UNV are actively engaged in supporting and participating in dialogues around the preparation for the Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development," said Pansieri.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June. The global summit aims to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date, and address new and emerging challenges.

Pansieri said the conference was important because the challenges the world faced today, and the decisions the international community had to make were going to require political will.

"But that is not enough," she said. "If we – you, I , and everyone – don't engage, participate and recognize our unsustainable lifestyles have to change, how can we expect to build a sustainable future for the generations after us?"

That is where the power of volunteering comes in, Pansieri said, adding that everyone should play a role and engage in the spirit of solidarity for our fellow human beings today and generations in the future.

She said the summit in Rio de Janeiro represents a unique opportunity for UNV, the United Nations organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide, to promote the role of volunteers as a key driver to achieve sustainable development.

"UNV's active participation at the Earth Summit comes at a crucial moment of its ongoing push for an increased policy uptake of volunteering issues," Pansieri said. "Achieving sustainable development will require volunteers and people's participation at the policy and decision making level and when implementation takes place."

On the obstacles for developing volunteerism, Pansieri lamented that misconceptions and the lack of standard measuring methodologies obscured the reach and scope of volunteerism. Without an accurate understanding the important resource for development cannot be exerted to its full potential, she said.

"It is essential to establish reliable data that governments need for developing strategies to mobilize this valuable resource for their country's overall well-being," Pansieri said.

Commenting on international volunteerism's future, Pansieri said she hoped the whole world would recognize the power of volunteerism and how important it was to include it as a pillar in the planning for development and peace activities.

"Our plan for the next ten years will be to continue to advocate greater recognition for volunteerism and demonstrate with our UN Volunteers on the ground how big a difference we can make to peace and development," Pansieri said.

"More concretely, we recognize we have an important role to play in the context of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Five-Year Agenda, which recognizes the importance of youth, who account for more than half the world's population," she said.

Pansieri stressed the important role volunteerism played in young people's lives as it was a way to acquire new skills and therefore make them more employable and help them grow as human beings and active citizens.

Asked about China's volunteerism in recent years, Pansieri said volunteerism had been further boosted in China since 2008, when volunteers were involved in the massive rescue efforts in the aftermath of Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province and the successful Beijing Olympic Games.

"In both cases, what came out very clearly was that the ability to help recovery efforts could be achieved successfully because large numbers of volunteers were involved," Pansieri said. "These experiences have contributed to a greater recognition in China of the power of volunteerism."

Pansieri noted that the Chinese society had a very strong tradition of community self-help and cooperation, which was a form of volunteerism that leads to a prosperous and harmonious society.

"That is what we are very happy to see being constantly supported in China and many other countries," she said.

Noting the rising trend of international volunteerism, Pansieri said it is an important opportunity to get in contact with other societies and cultures and also serves as a school for tolerance and understanding.

Programs underway by groups, including Young Volunteers Serving Africa Program of China, enhanced opportunities for people from the developing world to volunteer, either abroad or together with international volunteers in their home country, and had built sustainable local capacity to contribute to development, she said.

"I am happy to see that China is very strong in sending volunteers abroad as messengers of peace and understanding, and also as a way to strengthen its ability to build strong human, social and economic relations," Pansieri said. (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/ebp

Comments

21 Responses to “Interview: Volunteerism is essential in sustainable development: UNV”

  1. Andaku Edward Eddy on March 3rd, 2012 5:53 pm

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have Bachelors degree in environmental science thus would like work as a volunteer to develop my career further.

    Your positive response shall be welcomed

  2. Mohammad Jahidul Islam on March 5th, 2012 4:39 am

    Hello UN Programme Family,
    This is Mohammad Jahidul Islam from Bangladesh.
    I would like to offer myself for UNDP Volunteer.
    I have completed my post graduation in Accounting.
    And present time I am continue my study in ICMAB, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Thank You All,
    Take care.
    Regards,
    Mohammad Jahidul Islam
    Cell No: +8801716624505.
    jahid.bds@gmail.com

  3. Brenda Kagoro on March 5th, 2012 8:34 pm

    Hello Dear/Sir!I have a degree in Education and acquiring another degree in Public relations and i would very love to be a Volunteer with UNV.. I will be grateful if my request is put into consideration.
    Thank you and best regards,
    Brenda

  4. Masood Mirza on March 7th, 2012 1:26 am

    i would like to offer myself for volunteer worker . I hope you will consider me.

    thank you

    Masood Mirza
    B-65 Block “J” North Nazimabad
    Karachi / Pakistan

  5. Md. Ruhul Amin Majumder on March 7th, 2012 3:39 pm

    Hello dear,

    I came to know about your organisation from Stephen Knight and interested to dedicate my service for the organisation. I’m a teacher, have been teaching at different levels with handsome salary in my country compared to our country standard but from last summer I decided to dedicate my service as a Volunteer Teacher, so did in Myanmar. I should mention here that I don’t have any lust for accumulating money and also not in a position to spend money from me but can dedicate my time, knowledge for the cause of imparting education to others. So, in this regard please find my Resume/CV for your ready reference and doing the needful paving the way for my dedication. I should be thankful if I can get the opportunity to serve the cause of humanity.
    With best regards.

    Ruhul

  6. Md. Ruhul Amin Majumder on March 7th, 2012 3:40 pm

    Interested vto serve the cause of humanity and human development, await for opportunity.

    Ruhul

  7. wilhelmina karugaba on March 9th, 2012 3:20 pm

    Dear sir/madam
    This is wilhelmina karugaba from Tanzania im a holder of bachelor of art in community development.i would like to work with as a volunteer in your organization inorder to develop my career of community development officer

  8. kabugo stephen on March 9th, 2012 8:45 pm

    Hi UN Team,
    Am a graduate of social sciences , work with YALDA uganda a Africa Union
    youth organisation, am ready to work as a volunteer on youth activities within
    Africa and the world. Thank you,
    regards
    stephen

  9. Yvonne Augustine on March 10th, 2012 1:14 am

    hi, UN
    The idea of me being a volunteer, so as to be able to give my assistance to those who need it most in the world is the idea that always play on my mind. please consider me to be part of that team. thank you,
    regards
    Yvonne

  10. Rita Dande on March 10th, 2012 1:18 am

    hallo, UN
    ITS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I DID LOOK INTO THIS WEBSITE FOR I THINK THAT THIS IS WHAT HAS BEEN LACKING IN MY LIFE. THE ABILITY AND THE THOUGHT OF HELPING OTHERS AROUND THE WORLD AS A VOLUNTEER.
    THANK YOU.
    REGARDS,
    RITA

  11. Yves Ndakebuka on March 10th, 2012 2:08 am

    Dear Sir,Madam,

    Am a holder of a bachelor degree in management and I would like to offer my assistance to those who need it. I’m available for the assignment .I hope my request merit your consideration

    Best regards.
    Yves

  12. MARC ANTHONY ALEJO on March 10th, 2012 5:10 pm

    Dear Sir/ Madam

    I came to know about your organisation from my friend Elmer Ortea and interested to dedicate my service for the organisation. I’m a BS Nurse, have been working as a Safety Officer here in Manila and middle east. I decided to dedicate my service as a Volunteer Care Giver. I should mention here that I don’t have any lust for accumulating money and also not in a position to spend money from me but can dedicate my time, knowledge for the cause to others. So, in this regard please find my Resume/CV for your ready reference and doing the needful paving the way for my dedication. I should be thankful if I can get the opportunity to serve the cause of humanity.
    With best regards.

  13. Md JahedulAnwer on March 11th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Dear Sir / Mada,
    I have updated my roaster profile and I am available to join UNV assignment.

    Regards.

    Md Jahedul Anwer

  14. Md JahedulAnwer on March 11th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Dear Sir / Madam,
    I have updated my roaster profile and I am available to join UNV assignment.

    Regards.

    Md Jahedul Anwer

  15. rana mohsen on March 12th, 2012 5:10 am

    Volunteer work that serves a lot of people and thanks to him can help in eliminating various serious problems that threaten our lives so much pleasure that I share with you my time Abjahdy or if possible where I am in the field of social work skills through a specialized researcher in the Master of Social Planning and thank you

  16. AHMED TWAHIRWA on March 12th, 2012 7:15 pm

    Dear Sir / Mada,
    I have updated my roaster profile and I am available to join UNV assignment.
    Vehicle MECHANIC, to driving Heavy vehicles
    Best Regards.

    From Ahmed Twahirwa

  17. How can I get a job with UN? on March 12th, 2012 10:16 pm

    I have longing to work with United nations but I don’t know how I can get a chance.
    I am a trained refrigeration and air conditioning technician from Kenya polytechnic university college with knowledge in Auto CAD. Please assist.

  18. Bindu Pandey (Awasthi) on March 13th, 2012 12:59 pm

    Hello;
    I am Bindu From Nepal. I am a PG student of Education and I want to join UNV so how can possible to join it.

    with best regard
    Bindu Pandey (Awasthi)

  19. JOAB OKULLO on March 14th, 2012 1:29 am

    HI UN,
    I wish to acknowledge the important role this organisation plays towards enhancing unity and integration amongst communities in different areas of the world. my greatest desire ever is to be part of that mission. having applied for a volunteer position, especially at UNDP I believe this is just a begining of this great dream. kindly hope to make it.

  20. Alam on March 15th, 2012 12:10 am

    Dear Sir,
    I am already posted my profile in roaster but no response received from you. I am last 12 years in development sector in Bangladesh. I would like to be an UNV in UNDP, please inform me procedure.
    regards.
    Shamiul

  21. Sharif on March 15th, 2012 3:55 am

    I walusimbi Sharif from Uganda and completed a diploma in procurement and logistic management and would like to at-lest be in volunteer team am of the united nations