Cooperation between volunteers, government essential for growth, insists UN

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United Nations has emphasised the need for volunteerism, insisting that cooperation between volunteers and governments helps build equal and inclusive societies

A statement by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on the Launch of the 2022 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR), spelt out the need for a New Social Contract that creates equal opportunities and respect the rights and freedoms of all.

In line with that, the 2022 SWVR revealed that cooperation between volunteers and governments helps build equal and inclusive societies; and despite the sociology-economic impacts of the pandemic, global interest in volunteering has not waned, and volunteering in communities has endured depute limited mobility and resources, including leveraging virtual volunteering opportunities.

Speaking at the unveiling of the report in Abuja, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, noted that UN has mobilised significant number for the UN system and the government, among which is the collaboration with the Benue state in contributing to 10 community volunteers.

Schmale said volunteerism is a global thing and has been with us from time immemorial, noting that everyone at one time or the other has volunteered.

He said: “Volunteerism need not be official but rather unofficial and this is part of our way of life, which we have done at one point or the other in our lifetime.

“When you chose to help you neighbour or perhaps the society with one thing or the other, you are involved in voluntary service or volunteerism.”

The report which is entitled “Building Equal and Inclusive Societies”, highlights the importance of reinforcing the collaboration between volunteers and state authorities to enhance collaborative decision-making, create equal societies and support the inclusive implementation of national, regional and global development strategies.

The report showed that the ways in which volunteers and state authorities interact, collaborate and partner are vital for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report also adds that volunteerism plays a central role in strengthening people to state relationships, promotes better governance, helps build more equal and inclusive societies, and fosters stability.

According to Nigeria’s Vice President who was represented by the FCT Minister for State, Ramatu Tijani, with the spirit of togetherness, volunteerism will achieve its desired goal.

He noted that Nigerians are imbibing the spirit of volunteerism, as they are coming out to enroll into various voluntary activities of the government.

He added that as countries start to build forward better from the pandemic, governments and other stakeholders need to work more closely with volunteers, engaging with them as key partners and opening up the space for them to collaborate on vital development solutions

Stakeholders at the Abuja event, also called for closer partnerships with state authorities to address urgent development challenges, from climate change, to ecosystem and biodiversity loss, to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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