The German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) spoke at the “Global Technical Meeting 2020 on 'Reimagining Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda’” which took place virtually from 13th until 16th of July. It was marked as a celebration of the spirit of all forms of volunteering and the diverse kinds of collaborations. The event provided a platform to discuss how volunteering can accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The dialogue forum was organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program jointly with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and in collaboration with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Diverse actors from government representatives to UN entities, civil society, the private sector, and general SDG stakeholders participated in the discussions.
The meeting’s main outcome is a Call-to-Action for “Volunteering in the Decade of Action”, calling for the alignment of volunteering efforts with Agenda 2030 objectives.
Maria Zandt from GIZ presented her organization’s experience on the importance of eye-level partnerships and stressed how youth exchange and volunteering can be important contributions to achieve the SDGs. She pointed out that while SDG17 provides the frame for global partnerships to realize Agenda 2030, volunteering in and with Africa often still takes place in a frame of structural inequalities, when it comes to information, partnerships, capacities and finance.
Capacity building and networking amongst partners from the Global South and the Global North can enhance partnerships and foster inclusion and equality in volunteering and exchange. As such, partners from Germany and African countries have been matched and empowered to jointly lead youth group exchange projects aligned to one of the SDGs. The Youth Initiative `Countdown 2030´ shows how young people from African countries and Germany can work together in a virtual setting to fill Agenda 2030 with life.