In most societies, millions of people make significant contributions to economic and social development through voluntary action. This report supports a better understanding of volunteerism by exhibiting its universality, scope and reach, and by highlighting new trends in the 21st century. It examines the important contributions in diverse fields such as enhanced livelihoods, social inclusion, social cohesion, disaster risk reduction, governance and political participation. This publication also provides an alternative vision towards a better society. It is expected to lead to enhanced recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteerism worldwide and to an increased recognition of United Nations Volunteers' critical role in peace and development as well as in norm-setting in the United Nations System.
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