Adoption of the Volunteer Resolution by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly
- On November 6 (November 5, EST) in New York, a draft resolution entitled "Fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Volunteers programme and twentieth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers" was submitted to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly under the initiative of Japan and Brazil, and was adopted by consensus with the co-sponsorship of 133 countries.
- The International Year of Volunteers was decided in the UN General Assembly based on a proposal of the Japanese government in 1997, which stems from a proposal of Mr. NAKATA Takehito, father of Mr. NAKATA Atsuhito, who was killed in Cambodia in the line of duty as a UN volunteer in 1993.
- The resolution adopted this time acknowledges the important role volunteers have played and continue to play in various fields, such as for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and encourages the international community to support volunteer action for the achievement of the SDGs, noting that 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Volunteers programme and the 20th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers.
- The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the sentiments that Mr. Nakata advocated for 20 years ago, and will continue to appeal to the international community to promote the importance of volunteer activities, taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the International Volunteer Day, December 5.
- This resolution will be voted on at the UN General Assembly Plenary Session in December.
In November 1997, based on a proposal by then Honorary Ambassador Takehito Nakata of the UNV (United Nations Volunteers Programme), Japan took the lead in submitting a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly, which received 122 co-sponsors and adopted a resolution declaring 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers.
After that, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the follow-up to the International Year of Volunteers in 2002, led by Japan, and resolutions were adopted in 2008 and 2012 to stimulate the spirit of volunteerism and mainstream volunteerism. In 2015, Japan and Brazil took the lead in adopting a resolution on the promotion of volunteerism, and in 2018, a resolution on "Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" was adopted.
The resolution adopted this time praises the activities of volunteers in various fields, such as the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recent fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also calls for the international community to support volunteer activities in order to achieve the SDGs.
The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) is an international organization established on January 1, 1971 as a subordinate organization of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) based on the 25th UN General Assembly Resolution 2659. UNV dispatches volunteers to countries around the world with the aim of contributing to peace and development. Its activities cover a wide range of fields, including poverty reduction, support for democratic governance, protection of displaced persons, disaster prevention and recovery, environment, and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).