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Beijing International Volunteers Association

Updated:2008-06-04 18:35 | Source:


The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) is the volunteer arm of the United Nations. Created by the UN General Assembly in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in development cooperation at the request of UN member states, it supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism and mobilization of volunteers. UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and works through UNDP's country offices around the world. China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE) is its counterpart in China. Beijing International Volunteers Association (BIVA) has been designated to implement and expand UNV program in China.

WHO are the UN Volunteers?

Some 5,000 qualified and experienced women and men of nearly 160 nationalities serving each year in developing countries as UN Volunteers. Since 1971, some 30,000 UN Volunteers have worked in about 140 countries. Currently, nearly 70 per cent are citizens of developing countries while the remaining 30 per cent come from the industrialized world. According to the UNV Annual Report 2001, some 5,090 qualified and experienced women and men of nearly 160 nationalities serving in 140 developing countries as UN Volunteers.

WHAT do they do?

They work in technical cooperation with governments, with community-based initiatives, in humanitarian relief and rehabilitation and in support of human rights, electoral and peace-building processes. They are professionals who work on a peer basis. They listen and discuss; teach and train; encourage and facilitate. Volunteers also share and exchange ideas, skills and experience.

HOW does UNV programme OPERATE?

UNV works in partnership with governments, UN Agencies, development banks and non-governmental and community-based organizations. The programmes within which UNV specialists serve are usually managed by governments; often there is technical input and supervision from one of the UN system's specialized agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) or from the World Bank. At the request of some governments UNV itself acts as executing agent.


UNV assignments usually start from 12 to 24 months, but at times 6 month. At the requests of the recipient organizations, contracts may be renewed with the agreement of all parties. However, volunteer is not a career, no UNV may serve more than six years in one assignment and a total of eight years in life.

Priority areas of UNV programme

·Poverty alleviation (including agro-technology popularization, PRA, micro finance, etc.
·Environmental protection
·Pastureland technology
·Renewable energy
·Health and medical care (HIV/AIDs prevention)
·Legal assistance (particularly to vulnerable communities)
·Gender empowerment
·Information Communication Technology (ICT)

China has also sent more than 160 Chinese UN volunteers though UNV Programme to developing countries in the field of agriculture, water conservation, medical care, computer and economic management and social insurance and etc. The Chinese UNVs have been widely recognized and acknowledged by the host countries as well as UNV Headquarter for being diligent and conscious in serving for the local people in need. They also have played a positive role in promoting and strengthening the cooperation between China and other developing countries.

Dispatching Chinese UNVs to other developing countries  

We are working to increase the number of Chinese UNVs dispatching to other developing countries. China is the largest developing country in the world, with abundant human resources. With more than 20 years of practical experiences since the opening up policy and economic reform, some technologies and experiences are very useful and acceptable to other developing countries. The foreign language proficiency and quality of Chinese professionals both in terms of technology and management have been greatly improved, which have laid a good foundation for China to provide qualified professionals as UNVs to serve in developing countries.

RESPONSIBILITY of Chinese recipient unit

·Provide working place and related equipments for the serving UNV(s).
·Provide free housing in case of receiving National UNV(s).
·Supervise and guide the assignment and daily work of UNV(s).
·Report regularly to BIVA/CICETE and UNDP, which monitor the progress of the UNV services.

Editor : LiuAnqi

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics