The United Nations Volunteer programme was created in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in international development. Administered by UNDP, UNV is the focal point for volunteerism in the UN system. It pursues distinctive contributions to effective development by advocating the role and benefits of volunteerism, integrating civic engagement into development programmes and helping to mobilise volunteers worldwide.
UNV volunteers support sustainable human development globally in key areas such as poverty reduction, democratic governance, energy, the environment, crisis prevention and recovery and health. UNV helps develop national volunteer schemes, initiate creative and pioneering volunteer activities and develop research capacity on volunteerism in developing countries.
Since 1971, UNV has mobilised some 40,000 mid-career professionals to serve the causes of peace and development. In 2006, 7600 UNV volunteers, representing 163 nationalities, served in 144 countries worldwide. Reaffirming the programme’s commitment to promoting South-South cooperation, the vast majority (76 percent) of UNV volunteers are nationals of developing countries.
Since 2000, UNV has run an Online Volunteering service that has attracted 30,000 people, more than half of whom have engaged in an online assignment with some of the 960 registered development organisations. To obtain additional information on how to become a United Nations Volunteer, please contact UNV headquarters at: