UNESCO and UN Volunteers sign a strategic partnership to promote volunteerism
On 24 February, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) Executive Coordinator, Olivier Adam, signed a strategic partnership to advance the causes of peace and sustainable development through volunteerism.
This Memorandum of Understanding recognizes the impactful and transformative role that volunteerism plays in building peace and in contributing to the implementation and attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“UNESCO and UNV are part of the same family.” Said the Director-General. “We believe together in the power of youth as agents of change to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement. We believe in the power of dialogue to foster new forms of global citizenship. We believe in the importance of volunteering to strengthen the foundations of peace and sustainable development.” She added.
“UN Volunteers are highly-specialized professionals who work at grassroots level to empower communities to pursue learning and education to overcome development challenges, including extreme poverty,” says UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam. “Leaving no one behind is at the heart of what makes UN Volunteers special, and we are looking forward to engaging engage more with UNESCO.”
Irina Bokova acknowledged the importance of this newly formalized collaboration with UNV and the mutual benefits that would ensue for both Programmes following the signing. She noted that, “volunteering is more than working for a good cause. […] It is about forging bonds of trust to reinforce a sense of shared destiny.”
As at the end of 2016, some 13 United Nations Volunteers are deployed with UNESCO, 69% of which serve in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Tanzania, South Sudan, Mali, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire and Mozambique. The UNV programme offers a diverse, talented and highly skilled pool of talent which will complement that which already exists within the Secretariat.
The signing ceremony, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, also provided for an interactive exchange between the Executive Coordinator of the UNV Programme and the UNESCO Senior Management Team.
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