Red Cross Red Crescent and UN-led conference addresses the future of volunteering

Published: 20 September 2011

The Declaration was drafted under the framework of the Global Volunteer Conference held in Budapest from 15 to 17 September. More than 200 representatives from civil society organizations, NGOs, academia, the private sector, governments, the Red Cross Red Crescent and the United Nations participated. It was co-hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
During the closing ceremony, participants adopted the conference declaration and its call for action by all volunteer-involving organizations, media and government. “With this declaration, we want to advocate for, among other things, safe passage to those volunteers who seek to save lives in even the most isolated and dangerous of places,” stated Mukesh Kapila, Under Secretary General for the IFRC. “But this declaration is not just about protecting volunteering, it is also about working with government, private sector and civil society to create an environment that nurtures and grows volunteering throughout all levels of society.”
“This declaration paves the way for a better, more sustainable future,” noted Flavia Pansieri, UNV Executive Coordinator. “It brings together voices from across civil society and the volunteering community, and adds further legitimacy to the many other consultations held during 2011, the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers.”

She added: “The next steps are now to bring these voices to the attention of the UN General Assembly session on 5 December, International Volunteer Day.”
With the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers and the European Year of Volunteers drawing to a conclusion, the representatives gathered in Budapest called upon all stakeholders to take effective steps to advance volunteerism worldwide. They asked for global recognition, support and advocacy for volunteers as they help build peace and sustainable development from the grassroots up.

For more information on the conference declaration or issued discussed at the Global Volunteer Conference please contact:

At UNV (Bonn, Germany):
Philip Sen, Communications Officer
Tel: +41 228 815 2019 Mob: +490174 757 3209

At IFRC (Geneva, Switzerland):
Zach Abraham, Campaign Manager
Mob: +41 79 308 9804

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil¬lion people each year through its 186 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development, and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.

About the International Year of Volunteers +10: Volunteering empowers change from the grassroots up, especially when enabled by strong partnerships at every level. It is 10 years since the International Year of Volunteers, and the United Nations has called for this anniversary to be marked across the planet. The partners’ aims are to promote and recognize volunteering’s positive impact on peace and development, to reinforce volunteering networks, and to help all people make a difference through volunteering.