A senior United Nations official has praised China’s emphasis on volunteerism and the significant role Chinese volunteers play in promoting sustainable development globally.
Toily Kurbanov, the executive coordinator of United Nations Volunteers, highlighted that volunteers are at the forefront of climate action and the creation of a world free from poverty and hunger. He emphasized that volunteering allows young people to refine their skills and gain exposure to international development.
In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Kurbanov stated, “Through its important steps, China is encouraging young people to volunteer and to become global advocates for sustainable development.”
This year, 134 Chinese nationals have served as UN Volunteers, with 85 of them working with 11 UN agencies within China, including the UN Development Programme. These volunteers are involved in crucial projects across China in areas such as poverty alleviation, food security, environmental protection, children’s rights, and women’s empowerment.
Additionally, 49 UN Volunteers from China are working with the UN in 21 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa, Peru, and Panama. In these countries, Chinese volunteers are engaged in critical areas such as climate change, poverty alleviation, gender equality, youth engagement, economic inclusion, data management, partnership building, and humanitarian assistance.
Since 1981, United Nations Volunteers has collaborated with the Chinese government on social and economic development through volunteering. A new cooperative effort initiated in 2019 with the Chinese Young Volunteer Association has provided Chinese youth with the opportunity to work in the UN system through university and youth volunteer assignments worldwide.
Kurbanov expressed, “It’s often said that youth hold the key to creating a better future. We at United Nations Volunteers see that in a tangible way.”
Looking ahead, Kurbanov shared United Nations Volunteers’ plan to work with China. The UN aims to “promote two-way South-South knowledge exchange, learning and partnerships and use its global networks and platforms to facilitate knowledge transfers and technical exchanges under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”