International Volunteer Day (IVD), also known as International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, is observed on December 5, every year.
It is an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985.
It offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.
International Volunteer Day 2022 Theme: Solidarity through volunteering
This campaign, as mentioned by the UN, highlights the power of our collective humanity to drive positive change through volunteerism.
The UN Volunteers (UNV) programme coordinates IVD on December 5 annually to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe.
Rising inequalities throughout the world implore that we need to work together to find common solutions. Volunteers, drawn together by solidarity, develop solutions to urgent development challenges and for the common good.
Volunteering is where compassion meets solidarity. Both share the same root values – supporting each other from a position of trust, humility, respect and equality.
International Volunteer Day History
The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/40/212 on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on 5 December.
International Volunteer Day Significance
Through the years, International Volunteer Day has been used strategically: many countries have focused on volunteers’ contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.
The organization of International Volunteer Day is generally the result of a partnership between the UN system, governments, volunteer-involving organizations and committed individuals. Representatives from the media or academia, foundations, the private sector, faith groups, and sports and recreational organizations are often involved too.
By combining UN support with a grassroots mandate, International Volunteer Day is a unique opportunity for people and volunteer-involving organizations to work with government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups, academia and the private sector.