IVD is an international observance that was mandated for UNV to coordinate by the UN General Assembly in 1985. The Day is an opportunity to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.

UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally.

This year’s theme for the campaign was focused on SDG 10 and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.

  • Volunteering empowers people to participate in their communities and fosters inclusion.
  • Volunteering promotes inclusion, diversity, and non- discrimination.
  • Volunteerism is a mechanism to reduce inequalities in society.

International Volunteers Day 2019 examined how Volunteering provides opportunities for people, and particularly the most vulnerable, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities. Volunteer action widens inclusive spaces for engagement, including for remote and marginalized populations, as well as for youth and women.

This event celebrated young people’s energy, passion, creativity, and potential by providing them with a forum to express themselves. In light of this year’s theme, the event will also share good practices and lessons learned in the efforts undertaken by UNVolunteers in their communities.