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IVD 2014 Opening Remarks by Dennis Curry, UNDP Vietnam Head of Governance Unit

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be here today to celebrate the International Volunteer Day in recognition of the valuable contribution of volunteering towards achieving development goals in Vietnam.

At UNDP, we have seen from our work around the world that when citizens are engaged as volunteers to share their experience and expertise and help communities overcome their challenges, development efforts have greater impact. Volunteerism can help turn national strategies and development policies into meaningful and sustained change in communities and in the lives of people.

Hanoi, Hoa Binh Park, 6th December 2014

To do this, it is important to open up more space for volunteerism and International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014 Event establish the channels which enable and encourage people to contribute. As in the words of the UN Secretary General in his Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, ‘As we seek to build capacities and to help the new agenda to take root, volunteerism can be another powerful and cross-cutting means of implementation. Volunteerism can help to expand and mobilize constituencies, and to engage people in national planning and implementation for sustainable development goals. And volunteer groups can help to localize the new agenda by providing new spaces of interaction between governments and people for concrete and scalable actions."

Building on the long-established volunteer tradition in Vietnam and on strong partnerships, such as with the Youth Union, we are working to improve Vietnam’s civil society texture and the volunteering management infrastructure, in order to create more innovative volunteering opportunities. Through UN Volunteer assignments – of which we have about 30 every year - we bring the volunteering element into the development support that the UN provides to the Government. In these years, events like this International Volunteer day event have brought together individuals who want to volunteer and volunteer organizations and advocated for everyone’s contribution to a more sustainable and equitable society.

We cannot do all this alone. I would like to especially thank the Vietnam Volunteer Center for its more and more prominent role of guidance in the volunteering sector, and the organizers of this event, the Vietnam Youth Union, Vietnam Youth Federation and the United Nations Volunteer Program in Vietnam.

Last but not least, I would like to share with you part of the message from the Secretary General on this day that celebrates volunteerism:

“This year’s International Volunteer Day takes on special significance as the
United Nations prepares to shape a new vision for sustainable development and a new universal climate agreement, both to be adopted next year. I thank the more than 6,300 UN Volunteers and 11,000 UN Online Volunteers who helped millions of people to make change happen by giving them a voice in sustainable development and peace efforts across the globe.”
Thank you once again, and Happy the International Volunteer Day!
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