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UNV and GIZ to host Landmark Conference on International Volunteering in Bonn

Focus on Strengthening the Resilience of Communities against Emerging Global Risks

(Germany, Bonn  - 19 September 2016)  The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)―both members of the Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum)―are jointly hosting the 2016 International Volunteering Cooperation Organizations conference (IVCO 2016) on the UN Campus in Bonn. About 200 participants are expected to join the event which will take place from October 9-12th and focus on the theme Increasing Resilience of Communities Through Volunteering. IVCO is an annual conference led by Forum―the most significant global network of International Volunteer Co-operation Organizations―and represents a unique opportunity for information exchange, networking and advocacy work in this sector. UNV and GIZ were among the organizations that participated in IVCO 2015 in Japan that concluded with a Call to Action to support efforts that will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

As academic research shows, the vision set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – for people, the planet, prosperity and peace – will inevitably fail if shocks and stresses are not Addressed.  Unsurprisingly, the topic of ‘resilience’ cuts across the SDGs and highlights the urgent need for vulnerable communities to be made more sustainable: up to 325 million extremely poor people are likely to be living in the 49 most hazard prone countries by 2030 and over half of those living on less than $1.25 per day will be living in fragile states by 2030.
Against this background resilience building has become increasingly important to the international community. A number of risks have emerged that are changing the global peace and development agendas: new and persisting conflicts that cause migration, climate change, natural disasters, and pandemics. These risks and the related challenges affect all countries and can therefore only be adequately addressed through the collaboration of national governments, civil society, people affected by crises, the private sector, national and international organization. This was recently underlined out at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit.
The international volunteering sector is key in ensuring that people have the capacity to better absorb, anticipate, and adapt to shocks and stresses which in turn helps protect development gains and ensures sustainability of their surroundings.

“IVCO 2016 provides a unique opportunity to highlight the contributions of global volunteering to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, says Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of the City of Bonn, Germany. “The role that volunteers can play in strengthening resilience of communities all over the world cannot be underestimated. An increased public debate on volunteering is therefore highly relevant, for international as well as for local volunteering. The City of Bonn is thus proud to host this conference.”

The agenda of IVCO 2016 is therefore full of panel discussions and in-depth working sessions that will shed a light on solutions for leading global and local volunteer sending organizations on how to build more resilient communities. At the end of the three-day event, a Bonn Call for Action will be formulated that will guide the global volunteering agenda for the year to come and pave the way for IVCO 2017 in South Korea.

More Information

Where can I find more information on IVCO 2016?

Visit the IVCO 2016 website:
The site outlines the conference goals and the detailed program. Also, it guides you through the online registration process and contains valuable information on Bonn, this years’ IVCO host city.

Where can I register?

The conference registration is open for all interested participants and can be accessed under the following link:;

What are the arrangements for the media?

Accreditation information for media:
Press talk is planned for 10 October 2016 during the morning. Further details will be communicated by a UN Bonn media alert.


About the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum)

FORUM is the most significant global network of International Volunteer Co-operation Organisations (IVCOs). Forum exists to share information, develop good practice and enhance co-operation across the international volunteering and development sectors. It promotes the value of volunteering for development through policy engagement, mutual learning and by sharing innovative and good practices. Forum is a ‘virtual’ network, with a global membership that includes a range of organisations involved in international development, including non-government and state organisations.

About the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

The United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. We work with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well supported UN Volunteers into development programming and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In 2015, UNV deployed 6,976 UN Volunteers in support of the development and peace interventions of the United Nations and other partners. These UN Volunteers came from 153 countries, while 82 per cent of them were from developing countries. Of these, 57 per cent were men and 43 per cent were women. Some 1,598 were below 29 years of age, and 435 were deployed under the youth volunteer modality. UN Volunteers made key contributions in 122 countries around the world. Additionally, over 11,000 UN Online Volunteers conducted 15,000 assignments over the Internet to bolster peace and development activities of United Nations entities, governments and civil society organizations.

About the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a global service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. As a public-benefit federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government – in particular the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – and public and private sector clients in around 130 countries in achieving their objectives in international cooperation. With this aim, GIZ works together with its partners to develop effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions. One way of achieving this aim is the deployment of development workers. Being volunteers with a professional background, development workers advise government institutions and organisations from the private sector and the civil society at local and municipal level. Their advisory service focuses amongst others on the improvement of management skills, organisational excellence and skills-based training in the fields of democracy and education, promotion of economic development, employment, rural development, efficient health care systems, renewable energy, climate change and civil conflict transformation. Fostering widespread resilience within communities is another key aspect of many development workers’ assignments.


United Nations Volunteers programme: Jennifer Stapper, Tel. +49 (0)228 815 2163,

German Agency for International Cooperation: Detlev Tenzer, Tel.  + 49 (0) 228 4460-1848,