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Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS)
Information
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

Input for the Compilation Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

This input to the compilation of views realized in the preparation of the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development is submitted on behalf of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS). CCIVS represents over 160 International Voluntary Service organisations and networks from all over the world: Asia, Africa, America and Europe. CCIVS has been working in partnership with UN agencies since its creation in 1948, and particularly with the UNESCO and the UNV, with whom diverse levels of successful cooperation have been achieved.

The action of International Voluntary Service all over the world is developped in thousands of communities and with tens of thousands of volunteers every year. Their contribution to sustainable development starts from a vision of a world in peace, where human beings live as active and solidary citizens taking care of their environment, cultural heritage and diversity within the principles of mutual understanding and respect. Voluntary Service actions, based on the importance of local participation, development of civil society, non-formal education and global coordination, adress environmental, social, educational and cultural challenges through voluntary work, complemented by global campaigns that give support and visibility to the local actions.

Volunteers Organizations play a crucial role in promoting sustainable development and address social issues at all levels, raising awareness and mobilizing public support, as well as supporting the implementation of concrete solutions. Our organizations are committed to contribute further to environmental sustainability and poverty eradication and we are willing to take actively part to a renewed global partnership for sustainable development.

The important contribution of volunteers organizations was already recognized in 1984 by the World Commission on Environment and Development which identified in its mandate to the urgent need to ?to raise the level of understanding and commitment to action on the part of individuals, voluntary organizations (?)? (Mandate of the World Commission on Environment and Development). Agenda 21 recognized in 1992 the important contribution of volunteers organizations in ?efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for low-income families?, in the context of urban development (Agenda 21, Chapter 7).

The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development further recognized the importance to secure funding through all available sources in order to ?provide all community members with a wide range of formal and non-formal continuing educational opportunities, including volunteer community service programmes, in order to end illiteracy and emphasize the importance of lifelong learning and promote sustainable development? (WSSD Plan of Implementation, para. 123). It also expressed the commitment of all countries to ?enhance partnerships between governmental and non-governmental actors, including all major groups, as well as volunteer groups, on programmes and activities for the achievement of sustainable development at all levels? (para.168).

In the context of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, we call governments to recognize in the outcome document of the Rio Conference the specific importance of volunteering. We call governments to identify a set of concrete actions to promote the values of volunteerism and create a supportive environment enhancing the ability of volunteer organizations to contribute to sustainable development.

International institutions should also renew their commitment in order to create favorable conditions for the extension of voluntarism. International institutions should further promote and raise awareness about the benefits of engaging civic engagement and support international cooperation in this field. We also call these institutions to work in closer cooperation with voluntary organizations in the design and implementation of their policies in order to increase the mutual benefits resulting from such cooperation.

Governments and UN institutions should review the implementation, exchange best practices and elaborate a plan of action to ensure the effective implementation of the Recommendations on support to voluntarism adopted by the UN General Assembly (Resolution 56/38), as well as the commitments adopted in the UN General Assembly Resolution on Further initiatives for social development (Resolution S-24/2).
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