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Recognition of volunteering in the 2030 Agenda

Throughout the negotiations on the 2030 Agenda, the strong mobilisation of volunteer organisations within a global alliance,  the Volunteer Groups Alliance, has made it possible to make volunteering a powerful and cross-cutting driver for achieving the 17 SDGs. Indeed, the role of volunteering in the implementation of the SDGs is recognised in several UN policy and technical documents.

In the UN Secretary-General’s summary report on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, volunteering is recognised as a “lever for achievement”, and indeed a “powerful and cross-cutting means of implementing the SDGs through its capacity to mobilise people at national level to help implement development policies” (paragraph 131). The framework text of the 2030 Agenda explicitly recognises volunteer groups as stakeholders in achieving the 17 SDGs (paragraph 45).

The United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/73/140 entitled “Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, adopted in December 2018 and to which France is a signatory, recognises the necessary role of volunteers as a powerful cross-sectoral tool in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs.

More recently, in its quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development in December 2020, the UN General Assembly “encourages the United Nations development system, in partnership with Member States, civil society and the private sector, to support such efforts and promote the conducive environment for volunteerism and volunteers to enhance the sustainability of development results” (para. 45).

In addition, France’s Roadmap for the 2030 Agenda recognises volunteering and civic engagement in France and internationally, as well as education for citizenship and international solidarity (ECSI – éducation à la citoyenneté et à la solidarité internationale), as tools to promote citizens’ assimilation and participation in the 2030 Agenda. Support for international volunteering schemes in the context of cross-mobility and reciprocal volunteering is affirmed as a national ambition.


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