Discussing volunteerism at the national level

Jun 15, 2015

Today, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), Network of Mongolia Volunteer Organizations (NMVO) and Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS), Mongolian Youth Federation (MYF) jointly organized a National Consultation Workshop on Volunteerism in the UN House, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The Workshop brought together participants from the government, civil society, volunteering organizations and private sector partners.

In recent years Mongolia has witnessed progressive dialogues and cooperative efforts towards the enabling environment creation for volunteerism in the country, which was led by the Office of the President of Mongolia and civil society partners. Currently there are many more promising discussions going on in relation to promotion of volunteerism, civic engagement and youth roles for peace and development, not only at the national level but also at regional and global levels in the run up to adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Against this backdrop, the National Consultation Workshop on Volunteerism aimed at helping all stakeholders to keep abreast of the recent development on the agenda, to suggest constructive recommendations to move further and to share common base for collaboration.

The welcome and opening remarks of the Workshop were made by Mr. Thomas Eriksson, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Mongolia. He emphasized contributions and importance of volunteers, mentioning that volunteers are central to the future development agenda - the SDGs. Mr. Eriksson also encouraged all stakeholders’ cooperation and support to create an enabling environment for and promote volunteerism more fruitfully in Mongolia. UN in Mongolia is preparing a new UN Development Assistance Framework for the next 5 years (2017-2021), and reflection of concrete recommendations on volunteerism and civic engagement is expected.

Presentations and substantive discussions were followed. Representatives of BookBridge Mongolia, NVMO, MRCS, MYF, National Emergency Management Agency and Zig Zag Autoservice shared current status of various issues related to volunteerism, and proposed recommendations for follow up actions by all stakeholders. The topics presented and discussed include enforcing the legal and regulatory framework on volunteerism; youth participation and empowerment through volunteering; disaster risk management, roles of volunteers and protective measures; and private sector’s contribution in promoting volunteerism.

Mr. Chuluunbileg Orosoo, Policy Advisor on Living Environment and Green Development to the President of Mongolia delivered a message at the end of the Workshop. He mentioned about invaluable contributions and potentials which can be provided by volunteers for the society. Commitment and interest of the President towards the volunteerism and relevant programmes initiated by the Office of the President were also shared.   

Participants recommended that Mongolia should have a framework law on volunteerism, policy and programmes, which can benefit solving social development issues and promote participation of different population groups for development of the country. It was strongly suggested that the Office of the President take a more progressive leadership to lead the progress and harmonize the process together with all stakeholders. 

Consultation summary with major discussion points and recommendations will be shared among the Workshop participants, and made public to facilitate further dialogues and cooperation.

The newly published UNV’s State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) 2015 was also introduced to the participants of the Workshop. The report is the first global review of evidence around the contribution of volunteers to better governance, a pre-requisite for the success of the new SDGs to be agreed at the United Nations in September this year. Drawing on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh, the UN report shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed and engaged at local, national and global levels.

The Workshop was held ahead of the upcoming “North-East Asia Forum on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace”, which will take place from 26 June to 2 July 2015 in Mongolia. The Forum will focus on strengthening the contribution of youth engagement and volunteerism to enhance peace and development. Scaling up of successful programmes and models involving youth and multilateral partners will be also discussed.

Contact information

Stepanka Pechackova stepanka.pechackova@undp.org , Azzaya Munkhtur munkhtur.azzaya@gmail.com

For more information, please visit: http://www.mn.undp.org/content/mongolia/en/home/presscenter/articles/2015/06/10/national-consultaton-meeting-on-volunteerism.html

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