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International Year of Volunteers was designated for 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly. The initiative aimed at increased recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteering, to highlight the achievements of the millions of volunteers worldwide who devote some time of their lives to serving others, and to encourage more people globally to engage in volunteering.
The concept for a United Nations year to recognize volunteerism first emerged within the UN system at a 1996 policy forum in Japan by UNV and United Nations University (UNU). A February 1997 proposal of the Government of Japan was transmitted through the UN Secretary General be placed on the agenda of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 1997. ECOSOC, in its resolution 1977/44 of 22 July 1997, recommended to the UN General Assembly that it adopt the resolution proclaiming 2001 the International Year of Volunteers. The UN General Assembly, in its 52nd session on 20 November 1997 in Resolution 52/17, co-sponsored by 123 countries, passed the ECOSOC resolution, thereby proclaiming 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers. The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV), part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was designated in the resolution as the international focal point.
Objectives of IYV were:
Sharon Capeling-Alakija was the Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers during IYV 2001. As the international focal point, UNV, based in Bonn, Germany, took the lead in all organizing and promotion regarding the year internationally.
The www.iyv2001.org website, launched in December 1998 by UNV, provided resources for United Nations organizations, non-governmental organizations and governments to recognize the year in some way. The resources provided by the site included:
The IYV logo was a creation and volunteer contribution from Argentine designer Sandra Rojas, and was provided in the six official UN languages as well as a composite logo that combines all six in one.
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