Twenty-four UN Volunteers fully funded by China recently began their assignments with 13 UN partner entities. Serving in 15 countries, they bring their skills to the United Nations to contribute towards sustainable development in the areas of climate change, youth engagement, economic inclusion, digital agriculture and humanitarian assistance.
Partners in China have commended the opportunities provided through the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to Chinese youth to share skills, broaden knowledge and gain exposure to global affairs as UN Volunteers. These sentiments were expressed upon the deployment of the second cohort of UN Volunteers fully funded by China, through a partnership of UNV, the Chinese Young Volunteers Association (CYVA) and China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE).
In August, 24 UN Volunteers from 15 top universities in the country completed their two-day assignment preparation training. With the guidance of UNV facilitators and Chinese scholars, participants explored the value of volunteerism as a powerful means to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ms Kyoko Yokosuka, UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator, delivered a video message at the event, expressing appreciation of CYVA and CICETE for their strong support for the promotion of volunteerism in China and globally. She congratulated the 24 UN Volunteers on their assignments and wished them well in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“You bring the knowledge and experience, as well as the enthusiasm and fresh ideas, that the United Nations is looking for to address the global challenges that we are facing today. I sincerely hope that your volunteer journey will be as rewarding for you as it is for the UN system to benefit from your contribution. --Ms Kyoko Yokosuka, Deputy Executive Coordinator of UNV”
Mr Xiong Jian, Deputy Secretary-General of CYVA, acknowledged the significance and outstanding progress of the UNV-CYVA Chinese Youth Volunteer Overseas Volunteering Programme. He highlighted that the Fully Funded programme provides opportunities to Chinese youth volunteers to participate in international volunteer service, broaden their horizons and increase their exposure to global affairs.
“Our training of youth volunteers is to enable them to learn skills and knowledge through extensive volunteer service experience and down-to-earth self-improvement. We encourage Chinese youth to join in global governance, while participating in international volunteer service, and enhance their sense of social responsibility, global vision and international competitiveness. --Mr Xiong Jian, Deputy Secretary-General of CYVA”
The Deputy Director of CICETE's UN Programme Division, Ms Guo Li, congratulated the 24 UN Volunteers, asserting the intention of the organization to continue to strengthen the partnership and cooperation with UNV and CYVA. She expressed her strong support for the deployment of young volunteers overseas to work in UN agencies, promote volunteerism and develop good practices.
“I will never forget the harmonious scene I witnessed when I volunteered at the World Cup 2018: hugs, handshakes and high fives all around in the stadium, even fans of rival teams showed great respect and support. Standing on the football field on my last shift, I had a beautiful illusion that we were living in an ideal global community full of love, diversity and harmony. From that day on, I committed to working for a harmonious and sustainable world. Therefore, I look forward to this volunteering experience, so I can contribute to global peace and development as an empathetic and engaged citizen of the world.”
--Ma Zhenhua, UN Volunteer Senior Programme Assistant with the International Organization for Migration, Uzbekistan
Ms Zhang Nan, UNV Country Coordinator in China, joined the UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator in welcoming the second cohort of UN Volunteers and expressed her belief that this will be an excellent opportunity for them to serve for peace, development and prosperity.
Three UN Volunteer spoke at the event, expressing their commitment to promote sustainable development through volunteering.
“The COVID-19 outbreak added more uncertainties to the international landscape. When it comes to ordinary people, the pandemic can bring real hardship and challenge. Volunteering opens a window and brings people closer to those in need.”
--Xu Yalan, Tsinghua University, UN Volunteer with the UN Office for Project Services
In March 2019, UNV, CYVA and CICETE signed an agreement on the Chinese Youth Volunteer Overseas Volunteering Programme. Despite the pandemic, eight international and two national UN Volunteers were deployed successfully in 2019. Serving in Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey and the United States, their assignments focused on capacity building and youth engagement in the SDGs, among other things.
Through the second cohort, 23 international and one national UNV will be deployed to UN entities in 15 countries, namely China, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Oman, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Uzbekistan. They will be serving sustainable development in the areas of climate change, youth engagement, economic inclusion, digital agriculture and humanitarian assistance.