UN Secretary-General's Message on International Volunteer Day, 5 December 2020

  • Mr. Antonio Guterres says, "Volunteering is the backbone of our societies"

[Watch the Secretary-General's video message here]

Every year on 5 December, the world observes International Volunteer Day.

This year, we are highlighting the important contributions of volunteers to the response to COVID-19.

Around the world, volunteers have been assisting vulnerable groups, correcting misinformation, educating children, providing essential services to the elderly, and supporting front-line health workers. 

As we gradually recover from the pandemic, volunteers will have a key role to play in accelerating the transition to green, inclusive and just economies.

Indeed, volunteering is the backbone of our societies.

Often working with the United Nations, volunteers build a sense of togetherness.

They strengthen social cohesion.

And they help to protect communities, especially by reaching those most at need.

That is why, on International Volunteer Day, I appeal to all governments to promote volunteering, support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Volunteers deserve our heartfelt thanks.

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