The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism.  UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development. With partners, UNV advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning and mobilizes volunteers. The enormous potential of volunteerism is an inspiration to UNV and to volunteers around the world.

UNV pursues global recognition of volunteers for peace and development, encourages the integration of volunteerism into development programmes, and promotes the mobilization of increasing numbers and greater diversity of volunteers contributing to peace and development.

UNV helps countries to foster and develop volunteerism as a force for sustainable development. We provide strategic advice on the role and contribution of volunteerism and options for civic engagement in development programmes. We help countries to improve public inclusion and participation in social, economic and political development, and we support the growth of volunteerism within communities as a form of mutual self-help.

We partner with governments and with UN, non-profit and private sector organizations in order to support development programmes. UNV delivers a prompt, efficient and value-adding service to identify and engage professionals who can deliver services and fulfill a wide range of specialised tasks.

UNV directly mobilizes more than 7,500 UNV volunteers every year nationally and internationally. More than 75 percent of UNV volunteers come from developing countries, and more than 30 percent volunteer within their own countries.

UNV volunteers help to organize and run local and national elections and support a large number of peacekeeping and humanitarian projects. UNV volunteers comprise one third of all international civilians working in UN peacekeeping operations.

UNV also operates the Online Volunteering service, which connects development organizations directly with thousands of online volunteers who can provide services and advice over the internet.