Message from Ms Nisha, UN Resident Coordinator a.i in Samoa on International Volunteer Day 2017Dec 5, 2017
Today, 05 December 2017, we celebrate International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (IVD), a day adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/40/212 on 17 December 1985.
The theme IVD 2017 is #VolunteersActFirst. Here. Everywhere. The theme is a recognition of the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world who answer calls in times of crisis, helping save lives today and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow. The role that the volunteers play in the Pacific is as significant as in any other part of the world.
On this IVD, we acknowledge the volunteers and their host organizations as they celebrate their efforts, share their values, and promote their work among communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations organizations, government authorities and the private sector.
Here in Samoa, UN Volunteers (UNV), a mechanism of the United Nations, formally supports the work of seven local and international UN Volunteers. These volunteers work on projects relating to climate change, disaster risk reduction, gender equality and youth employment. Today, I recognise and applaud their invaluable contribution to the work of the United Nations in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.
In addition, volunteer programmes of the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations, through volunteerism, have contributed to stimulate greater awareness about international development, supported specific technical needs of the Member States, and brought together knowledge to inform policy making and decision-making on matters concerning socio-cultural and economic development.
IVD is however not just about those volunteers who work with the United Nations or respond to crises or formally volunteer their time and skills. Equally important are those who heed the call to volunteer in their local communities or support NGOs and community based organizations. It is not only about the international volunteers but also local volunteers who may not be affiliated with any organization but have taken initiative and contributed to the betterment of their community or specific groups of people or addressed particular local issues. IVD is a day to reflect on those who work tirelessly to make communities stronger, safer and prosperous. It is also a day to celebrate and thank the many Samoans, Cook Islanders, Niueans, and Tokelauans who volunteer their time and efforts for community organizations, churches and NGOs.
On behalf of the One-UN family in Samoa, I wish you all a happy International Volunteers Day.