International Day of Volunteers for Economic and Social Development 2021: theme, history and significance

The International Day of Volunteers for Economic and Social Development is celebrated on December 5 of each year. The day is also called IVD and is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. To achieve goals at local, national and international levels, the UN offers voluntary organizations and individual volunteers the opportunity to promote volunteering.

History and importance

The General Assembly calls on governments to observe IVD and urges people to take action to raise awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service in encouraging people to volunteer at home and abroad. The United Nations, in its resolution 52/17 of 20 November 1997, proclaimed 2001 the International Year of Volunteers.

In 2001, International Years of Volunteering, the General Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on how government and UN systems can support volunteering and also called on them to disseminate them widely. Later, in 2002, the General Assembly called on the UNV program to ensure the potential of International Volunteer Day.

IVD is observed in 80 countries around the world. The UNV program coordinates annual campaigns to promote IVD to strengthen the impact of volunteers among communities at national and global levels for peace and development.

Theme of the International Volunteer Day 2021

On the International Day of Volunteers for Economic and Social Development 2021, the UN aims to inspire people, policy makers, leaders or citizens of the world to take action for people and the planet. The theme for International Volunteer Day 2021 is Volunteer Now for Our Common Future.

Several countries are focusing on voluntary contributions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets to fight poverty, hunger, disease, health, environmental degradation and equality of the sexes.

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Joel C. Hicks