Opening speech by Thomas Eriksson, UNDP DRR: Inclusive participation through volunteerism in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda

Jun 15, 2015

Inclusive participation through volunteerism in the post-2015  sustainable development agenda

Opening remarks by Mr. Thomas Eriksson, Deputy Resident Representative,               UNDP Mongolia


Good morning, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, And volunteers!


First of all, thank you very much to all of you for participating in today’s consultation workshop on volunteerism. I am very pleased to open today’s consultation on behalf of UN Volunteers (UNV) programme and UNDP.


Volunteers are central to the future development agenda of any country and of the world – the SDGs. I will highlight this in three ways:


One. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September, which will succeed the current Millennium Development Goals, is approaching. Demand for greater civic participation and engagement has emerged strongly. Volunteers and voluntary groups are embedded in the agenda explicitly recognizing volunteers and volunteer organizations as development stakeholders. While governments remain mainly responsible for achieving the agenda, the document underlines the importance of up-scaling multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure that implementation leaves no one behind.


Two. The recent release of the State of the World Volunteerism Report 2015 by the UN Volunteers entitled “Transforming Governance”. It shows how volunteers can be catalysts for better governance and help ensure that development efforts profit from the valuable contributions of all sections of society. This is crucial in the SDG agenda. Volunteers are catalysts of civic engagement making them critical agents of change for achieving sustainable development.


Three. In Mongolia there are very relevant and timely dialogues linked to the SDGs. One Asia 2015 to better recognize youth’s role. The High Level Development Dialogue on Strengthening the Coherence between Disaster Reduction, Response to Climate Change and Sustainable Development, where the contribution of volunteers is highlighted. Next will be the North-East Asia Forum on Youth Volunteerism. I believe all discussions and recommendations made in these conferences will bear fruits, only through active partnership and collaboration in follow up actions. Today’s consultation is organized in this spirit. This is to resume a dialogue and set a common agenda for around promotion of volunteerism.


Looking back, a lot has been done in Mongolia over the last few years to promote volunteerism and to create an enabling environment for volunteerism. These efforts were led by the Office of the President, civil society and volunteer organizations. This includes: Situation analysis of volunteerism in Mongolia, citizen hall public consultation with many recommendations, concept paper on a proposal for a national volunteer programme for Mongolia, drafting of a legal framework for volunteerism with contributions from various stakeholders. A lot of seeds were planted based on stakeholders’ support and collaboration, but these seeds now needs to be taken care of and watered to bear fruit. This can only be done jointly – government, civil society, volunteers, private sector, UN, international organizations.


From the UN’s side, we have started to prepare a new UN Development Assistance Framework for the next 5 years. There, we hope to reflect concrete recommendations on volunteerism and civic engagement.


I wish you a successful consultation today, through active participation and productive discussion from all sides. Thank you very much!

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