UN Volunteers take the stage at Japan Expo

1 September 2005

The critical role of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in promoting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be highlighted at Expo 2005 at the UN Pavilion in Aichi, Japan this month.

The critical role of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in promoting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be highlighted at Expo 2005 at the UN Pavilion in Aichi, Japan this month.

“Time and again, volunteers reach far beyond our expectations and help us take major steps forward in development,” said Ad De Raad, Executive Coordinator of UNV. “This is all about the capacity to cooperate—to get things done,” he added.

More than 30,000 UN Volunteers have played an important role at the UN since 1971, working to reduce illiteracy and poverty, promote gender equality, and reduce HIV/AIDS.

Today, volunteers are helping to achieve the UN’s ambitious MDGs, which seek to halve extreme poverty and hunger, slash maternal and infant mortality, and increase access to health care, education, water and sanitation, all by 2015.

In June UN Volunteers travelled to Sri Lanka to assist local communities overcome the post-tsunami devastation of their coastal areas through beach rehabilitation and biodiversity renewal, drinking water replenishment, and income-generation projects.

Hundreds of UN Volunteers were also deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July of this year to assist that country in its preparation for democratic elections following years of civil war.

Being held from 4 to 25 September the exhibit will demonstrate the ways that more than 5,000 women and men of nearly 160 nationalities serve each year in developing countries. Recently UN Volunteers have been promoting education and literacy through the introduction of innovative educational tools, and have been working towards greater gender equality through the development of women’s networks and training programmes.

Created by the General Assembly in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in development cooperation at the request of Member States, the UNV is administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Currently, nearly 70 per cent of the volunteers are citizens of developing states while the remaining 30 per cent come from the industrialized world.

The UNV exhibit will be held jointly with the UNDP’s Equator Initiative that is promoting a global movement to reduce poverty and conserve biodiversity.

Since the start of Expo 2005 in March of this year, 40 UN agencies and 121 countries have participated.

 

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