Today, on International Volunteer Day 2018, we celebrate the more than 1 billion volunteers who are helping to transform our world for the better.
This year, nearly 2,000 UN Volunteers served with the United Nations Development Programme worldwide - as peace building officers, engineers, gender equality advocates, youth counsellors, and in many other critical roles.
UN Volunteers often work is some of the most challenging environments, helping to shape a brighter future for the poorest and most vulnerable, including those affected by conflict.
In Iraq, for example, after extremist violence destroyed large parts of the country, UN Volunteers work with UNDP to help Iraqis who fled the violence return home, and help rebuild their homes so they have someplace to return to. They have also helped strengthen the resilience of communities in the face of climate change and natural disasters in countries such as the Central African Republic, Liberia, and Senegal.
The United Nations is committed to help countries build inclusive and resilient societies. Societies in which the voices of women, youth, the disabled, and other vulnerable or marginalized groups are heard and respected.
Nurturing local volunteerism is a valuable way to bring unheard opinions, and know-how to the table, and helps to weave and strengthen the social fabric of all societies.
Today, we thank and celebrate the over 1 billion volunteers who are working to advance peace and development around the world. We also call on all actors to collaborate with these dedicated volunteers who are contributing their experience and talent to secure a better world.