INTERVENTION ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND CHAIR OF THE GROUP OF 77, AT THE GLOBAL TECHNICAL MEETING 2020 ON "REIMAGINING VOLUNTEERING FOR THE 2030 AGENDA" DURING THE 2020 UN HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM (New York, 13 July 2020)
1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I am pleased to join this distinguished panel for the Global Technical Meeting on volunteering, to discuss the theme of "Reimagining volunteerism for the 2030 Agenda." Special thanks to UN Volunteers for extending the invitation.
2. This meeting provides an important platform to advance the debate on volunteering and discuss ways in which volunteering can support and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It provides a unique opportunity to hear examples of the contribution of volunteers to the SDGs, take inspiration from successful volunteering models, look at best practices and lessons learned, and consider how the UN system can more effectively support volunteer efforts.
3. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the need for a revitalized global partnership in a spirit of strengthened global solidarity and focussed on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It envisages the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people. Volunteer groups are recognized as full stakeholders in this effort, and as an effective force for development.
4. Underpinning the SDGs is a call for attitudinal and behaviour change. Volunteers can often provide support by raising awareness and inspiring others to embrace this change. Volunteerism is a powerful means to engage people to ensure that sustainable development objectives are owned and implemented by everyone while leaving no one behind.
5. UN General Assembly resolution 73/140 recognizes that volunteerism can be an effective method to encourage the participation and integration of all. In the G77 Ministerial Declaration 2019, our Ministers stressed that the interlinkages among the SDGs, and addressing the well-being and the rights of youth, women and girls, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, older persons, migrants, refugees and those in vulnerable situations, are a prerequisite for achieving the 2030 Agenda.
6. In developing countries, where resources are scarce, effective volunteerism can make the achievement of the SDGs more attainable. Indeed, developing countries have witnessed many exemplary contributions from national, regional and international volunteers in humanitarian emergencies, health, disaster prevention and recovery efforts and more recently, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. The G-77 and China notes the multidimensional impacts of this pandemic, posing increased challenges for developing countries to successfully implement the Agenda 2030 and achieve the SDGs. In these circumstances, all options to get us back on track should be considered, including the potential role of volunteerism. With the poorest and the most vulnerable amongst the most affected, every avenue of support should be explored in a combined effort to save lives, leave no one behind and work assiduously towards the goal of poverty eradication.
8. The call for Governments to integrate volunteerism into national development strategies, and to include in future Voluntary National Reviews, information on the scale and impact of volunteerism, is duly noted.
9. Goal 17 encourages the promotion of effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships. It highlights the importance of enhanced global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the SDGs, particularly in developing countries. Volunteerism and volunteer groups are already making important contributions in this regard, which should be built upon.
10. A strong UNV programme can advance the aspirations of the countries of the South in a revitalized partnership among the United Nations system and regional and national actors, to enhance resources, build local capabilities, facilitate knowledge sharing and technology transfer on concessional and preferential terms, and advocate for development financing to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
11. We recognize the potential for UNV to contribute to advancing South-South cooperation, in partnership with UN entities and development partners. This could result in bringing together expertise from the South, to find solutions to common development problems.
12. As we mark the UN 75th anniversary, the Group underscores the significance of international and multilateral cooperation in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are convinced that multilateralism can contribute to inclusive and coordinated global solutions. Volunteerism can play a critical part identifying and applying on the ground solutions.