Voluntary sector meets in Turkey

20 Apr 2011


The United Nations and organizations from across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States arrived in Ankara to explore ways of beating poverty through citizen action.

Ankara - The meeting in Ankara on 18-19 April brought together representatives from across the non-profit sector, from national civil society organizations to government ministries.

Civil society and voluntary organizations are key players pushing for progress, and tapping this vast resource could be a major step towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

Volunteering organizations and government delegates therefore gatheried in Ankara as part of a series of get-togethers aimed at paving the way for a World Volunteer Coalition.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, and a number of national and global organizations are working together on common objectives.

The Ankara meeting aimed to start shifting the development debate in the region, and will be followed in May by consultations for Asia and Africa in the Philippines and Senegal.

The first such meeting took place in Quito, Ecuador, during March.

Participant countries

Delegates at each regional conference were invited to formulate recommendations on volunteering for peace and development.

Several Turkish volunteering organizations, such as Türkiye Eğitim Gönüllüleri Vakfı and Gençlik Servisleri Merkezi also attended.

During the meeting, as well as Turkey, Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen were all represented along with a presence from the European Year of Volunteering office.

A United Nations General Assembly session during December 2011 will also be dedicated to volunteering.

Tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers

It is 10 years since the International Year of Volunteers in 2001, and the United Nations called for this anniversary to be marked across the planet.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was designated as the focal point for IYV+10 in order to catalyse action at the national, regional and global levels.

UN Volunteers is administered by the United Nations Development Programme.

See www.worldvolunteerweb.org for more.