INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: DECEMBER 5, 2015

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

The United Nations (UN) annually observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5. The day, which is also known as International Volunteer Day (IVD), gives volunteers a chance to work together on projects and campaigns promoting their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.

International Volunteer Day recognizes the work of volunteers and the importance of volunteering.
©iStockphoto.com/Steven Robertson

What Do People Do?

This day hopes to heighten people’s and governments’ awareness of the voluntary contributions. It also focuses on stimulating people to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad. Over the years, governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals contribute the International Volunteer Day through various activities including:

  • Voluntary community projects.
  • Parades, marches, or rallies.
  • Award ceremonies for volunteers who made significant contributions to their communities.
  • “Time donation” campaigns that involve people pledging hours of voluntary service to specific projects.
  • Companies launching voluntary programs as part of their corporate responsibility.
  • Volunteer competitions.

Activities and events for the day help promote the impact of volunteering and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, via volunteering to:

  • Help eradicate poverty.
  • Achieve universal primary education.
  • Promote gender equality and empower women.
  • Reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health.
  • Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases.
  • Help ensure environmental sustainability.

Many people participate in many of these events through the World Volunteer Web, which the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) operates in partnership with various organizations.

Public Life

International Volunteer Day is a global observance and not a public holiday. Some organizations, businesses and communities may take the time to contribute to the day through activities mentioned earlier in this article.

Background

Each year UN General Assembly invites governments to observe the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5 (A/RES/40/212 of 17 December 1985). As a result of the resolution from December 17, 1985, governments, the UN, and civil society organizations work together with volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on December 5 each year.

In 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, the Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on ways that governments and the UN could support volunteering and asked that they be widely disseminated. The International Year of Volunteers aimed to stimulate national and international policy debate around, and to advocate for, recognizing, facilitating, networking and promoting voluntary action. The year led to a much better appreciation of the power of volunteerism in its many forms and the ways to support it.

Symbols

The IVD logo is used to promote the day. The logo features two olive branches that encapsulate three Vs in a cup-like manner. Each V has bullet points at the top of each tip of the letter, so the Vs are drawn in a way to resemble simple figures of people in unity. The words “International Volunteer Day” are under the olive branches. The image, including the words, is in orange on a white background.

External links

World Volunteer Web

2015 Theme: “The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!”

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sun Dec 5 2010 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Mon Dec 5 2011 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Wed Dec 5 2012 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Thu Dec 5 2013 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Fri Dec 5 2014 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Sat Dec 5 2015 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Mon Dec 5 2016 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Tue Dec 5 2017 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Wed Dec 5 2018 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Thu Dec 5 2019 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance
Sat Dec 5 2020 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development United Nations observance

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