UN chief lauds millions of volunteers for helping to build better world

08:08, December 06, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Sunday lauded millions of volunteers across the globe for their "vital role" in building a better world.

"From working in their own communities on climate change adaptation and poverty reduction to supporting global causes of peace, justice and development, the millions of volunteers around the world play a vital role in building a better future," the secretary-general said in a message marking the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.

The UN General Assembly called for the establishment of the UN Volunteers (UNV) program 40 years ago, and since then tens of thousands of UN volunteers have contributed to the world body's global mission, from peacekeeping and special political missions to humanitarian aid and development.

The United Nations annually observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on Dec.5. The day, which is also known as International Volunteer Day, gives volunteers a chance to work together on projects and campaigns promoting their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.

"Together, let us strengthen the institutional frameworks that support volunteerism," he added, citing the strong growth in recent years of online volunteering connecting people -- professionals, students, homemakers and people with disabilities around the globe -- and providing them with opportunities to contribute to development and the work of the United Nations.

"Still relatively new, online volunteering has great potential and I encourage all partners to explore what more can be done to harness the power of the Internet in this way," he said.

"It (volunteerism) is a powerful means of mobilizing all segments of society as active partners in building a better world, " Ban said. "Let us honor volunteering as an expression of our common humanity and a way to promote mutual respect, solidarity and reciprocity."

Source: Xinhua


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