UN Secretary-General's Message on International Volunteer Day

05 Dec 2013

On International Volunteer Day (IVD) we recognize the contribution of volunteers to peace and development worldwide. Today, we are highlighting the millions of young volunteers around the world who are acting globally for social change.

There are more than 1.2 billion youth in the world today, with incredible potential
to tackle challenges and act as agents of change. When young people volunteer, the opportunity provides them with valuable life and job skills; it strengthens their capacity to lead and become engaged in their communities and global society.

I am especially grateful to the nearly 1,000 young UN Volunteers who are supporting the work of the United Nations for peace, sustainable development and human rights.  UN Volunteers work alongside UN staff to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.  They will continue to play a key role in accelerating our work for the Millennium Development Goals, combating climate change and shaping and implementing the post-2015 development agenda.

Volunteerism is a two-way street.  Even as volunteers help generate positive change for others, their own lives are often transformed by the act of volunteering itself.   On this International Volunteer Day, let us renew our commitment to offering young people diverse and meaningful volunteer opportunities to become active and confident contributors to global change.