3 December 2004
If the world is to make
progress in implementing the Millennium Declaration and move decisively towards
achieving the Millennium
Volunteering on the ground in
communities, or online at home, enables ordinary people to perform extraordinary
tasks. Such contributions are
vital, whether one is working to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and
illiteracy, or struggling to protect the global environment and safeguard women
against discrimination and violence.
The strength of volunteerism
is its universality -- the countless acts of solidarity and assistance that take
place every day, in developed and developing countries alike.
There is no right or wrong way to volunteer.
All that is needed is a willingness to share time, a skill or a good
On this International
Volunteer Day, I call on governments and civil society to create more
opportunities for people to volunteer. And
let us all recognize the integral role of volunteers in the development process,
and the tremendous contributions that the power of volunteerism makes to
building a safer, more sustainable future.