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International Day of Volunteers and Opening of the International Year of Volunteers 2001 

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

28 November - 05 December 2000, New York, United States

Project details

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened the International Year of Volunteers 2001 (IYV 2001) on 28 November 2000 by urging governments and institutions worldwide to recognize the vital contributions of volunteers.

"Societies need to recognize and promote volunteerism as a valuable activity. They must facilitate the work of volunteers, and encourage volunteer action at home and abroad," said Mr. Annan. "By calling upon volunteers and building partnerships with civil society, governments can help increase the efficiency of public services, and ensure that they reach more people," he added.

In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2001 as the IYV 2001, offering an opportunity to highlight the achievements of millions of volunteers worldwide. The Year is also a platform for people to engage in volunteer activity. Over 100 national committees have been set up all over the world to implement the four objectives of the Year: recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteering.

As UN Executive Coordinator Sharon Capeling-Alakija, "volunteerism remains largely undervalued and overlooked as a positive force for social development. IYV 2001 can turn that around."

The global launch of IYV 2001 took place on 5 December 2000, the annual International Volunteer Day, with national events in more than 100 countries.

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