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The present report provides an overview of the key features and achievements of the work of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme during the 1998-1999 biennium. It also highlights the Programmes’ vision and strategic directions at a time when the importance of volunteer contributions to the development of peaceful and prosperous societies is increasingly recognized. The UNDP strategic results framework (SRF), including the ways in which it relates to support to the United Nations system, is applied as the instrument to present and review the areas, outcomes and results to which the UNV programme and the UNV volunteers contribute. The report reaffirms the importance and value-added of the Programme and its aspirations. It reflects the growth in the number of assignments and the broader participation in the Programme by new partners; the expanded support to United Nations system-wide operations for development and peace; its capacity to work effectively in collaboration with disadvantaged groups and communities; and the universality of the UNV programme and the opportunities it presents for South-South collaboration. The proclamation by the General Assembly of the year 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers constitutes a unique opportunity for UNV, as the designated focal point, to develop further its position as the volunteer arm of the United Nations in support of volunteering for development.
1. The present report gives an overview of the key features and achievements of the work of the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) over the last two years. It also highlights the Programme’s vision and strategic directions as it charts its course in a changing world in which the importance of volunteer contributions to the development of peaceful and prosperous societies is increasingly recognized. In this connection, General Assembly resolution 52/17 of 20 November 1997, proclaiming the year 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers and designating UNV as the focal point, presents important opportunities.
2. With the introduction of the first United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) multi-year funding framework (MYFF), which includes the corporate Strategic Results Framework (SRF), a key building block in the application of results-based management has been put in place. For UNV, such a framework provides an instrument through which it can present a clear picture of the areas, outcomes and results to which the UNV programme and the UNV volunteers contribute. In this connection, the Administrator believes that the UNDP SRF, including the way in which it relates to support to the United Nations system as a whole, is relevant for UNV. Moreover, this framework encompasses all the elements of the UNV Strategy 2000. The application of this approach reaffirms the importance and value-added of the UNV programme and its aspirations at the global, regional and, in particular, the national level.
II. UNV: an overview, 1998 to 1999
C. Other modalities
36. In addition to supporting developing countries and countries in transition through the international and national volunteer modalities, UNV supports and promotes three other volunteer modalities, namely, the United Nations International Short-Term Advisory Resources (UNISTAR), the Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) and the White Helmets Initiative (WHI). The following paragraphs present an overview of activities undertaken in these three areas during the biennium. It also introduces the on-line volunteering modality as an exciting, new avenue for volunteering.
37. The provision of the services of highly qualified short-term volunteer advisers through the UNISTAR modality continued to be an effective means of enhancing the capacity of public and private enterprises in developing countries and economies in transition. During the biennium, 128 advisory missions were undertaken in 27 countries. Requests for assistance included: rural engineering in Angola; energy distribution in China; micro-financing in Ethiopia; food processing in Jamaica; water desalination in Jordan; water conservation in Lesotho; olive production in the occupied Palestinian territories; shoe production in Tunisia; and aquaculture development in Uruguay. The wider application of corporate employees volunteering in the context of UNISTAR activities shows potential and is currently being explored. In recognition of the complementary role of the UNISTAR programme to UNV longer-term development cooperation activities, the UNISTAR programme was transferred from New York to Bonn in 1999 and mainstreamed within UNV.