Opening remarks by Ms. Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Coordinator Mongolia, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2015Dec 4, 2015
Opening remarks by Ms. Beate Trankmann,UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Coordinator Mongolia, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2015
Dear volunteers, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to be part of today’s International Volunteer Day 2015 celebration, with such a diverse group of participants and volunteers. Today is the day when we come together make visible your contributions to development - at local, national and international level. I would like to start my opening remarks with a big thanks to all of you for your dedication to improve the lives of so many.
This year’s International Volunteer Day comes along several international milestones, which are very significant for all of us.
In September this year, countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. They are a global call to action to end poverty, fight inequality, protect the planet, and ensure that all human beings enjoy peace and prosperity without leaving anyone behind.
The new agenda is a universal one that applies to all countries – whether developed or developing- to all regions, all communities and to all people. It is an agenda that requires broad based partnerships and involves various different stakeholders in its implementation. And it recognizes the capacity of volunteers and volunteer groups to create new opportunities for interaction between governments and their people by leveraging the energy of all people to achieve the goals. Volunteers are expected to play a major role in reaching the SDGs.
2015 is also the year when the United Nations turned seventy. Despite remarkable progress over the past seven decades achieving peace and development around the globe remains an unfinished task. We at the United Nations will continue to strive to eradicate poverty; address inequalities in wealth and in opportunities and rights; and invest in building resilience of people and nations.
Right now, world leaders are meeting in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties, the annual UN climate change conference, to try and agree on a set of climate actions. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is urgent in order to stop the continuing rise in global temperatures and protect the planet from the irreversible consequences of climate change. We are already witnessing how climate change related extreme weather patterns are threatening development gains in many countries and are putting ecosystems under pressure. We know how important it is here in Mongolia, too, to prevent desertification and protect the pastureland, steppes and forests, for the well-being of people and nature.
Against this backdrop, the theme of IVD 2015 is, "The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!" This is a call to every-one of us. A call to take action and tackle the challenges the world is facing and to contribute to implementing the newly launched Global Goals, ensuring that we “leave no one behind” in this effort.
Today, I am particularly excited to hear about the outstanding life changing stories of three volunteers in Mongolia: Mr. Serdaram from My Club; youth leader Mr. Dulguun; and Mr. Batdorj from Ger Community Mapping Center. They prove that volunteerism can bring people together around common causes. That volunteers create space for equal and meaningful engagement of people in the community, with enhanced ownership and empowerment of people. And that often innovative solutions for social, economic and environmental problems are born out of collaborative ideas from volunteers.
New IT technologies are an excellent tool to foster innovation and partnerships for change and I want to congratulate you on the launch of iVolunteer. This online platform provides a great new space for organisations and volunteers in Mongolia to interact and share information for joint action and collaboration.
I believe that 2015 with its important international development conferences is a good year to renew our commitment for action to change our societies and our communities for the better and to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals.
We already witness promising actions from our volunteers in Mongolia and I encourage you all to continue your great work, to spread your positive energy and to inspire each other to lead volunteerism in Mongolia to ever bigger heights.
Once again welcome to this year’s IVD celebration, and sincere thanks to all volunteers for their dedication and hard work. Today is your day.