In accordance with the order signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, 2020 has been declared the Year of Volunteers to promote the individual development of the youth, increase the social responsibility in them, properly use the potential of the youth for the welfare of the people and sustainable development of the country.
The order cites that volunteering is the most successful format of the joint activity of the citizens, society and state uniting people around the common intention.
In order to promote this activity, the Azerbaijan state has taken the necessary steps, improved the regulatory framework, and formed state support mechanisms. Penetrating into many areas of activity, volunteering has become a nationwide movement, having spread across all regions of our country, to various spheres of public life, has embraced all sectors of our society, has become a way of life for the youth in Azerbaijan.
At the same time, the United Nations have a Volunteer programme created in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in international development. UNDP’s country office in Azerbaijan administers the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, which integrates volunteerism into the implementation and delivery of UNDP’s development work across the country.
UNV volunteers support sustainable human development globally in key areas such as poverty reduction, democratic governance, energy, the environment, crisis prevention and recovery and health. UNV helps develop national volunteer schemes, initiate creative and pioneering volunteer activities and develop research capacity on volunteerism in developing countries.
Since 1991, the IOM has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to protect the rights of migrants. Between 2009 and 2019, 190 UN Volunteers served with the entity, supporting IOM’s mission to enhance the humane and orderly management of migration and the effective respect for the human rights of migrants in accordance with international law. One of those UN Volunteers is Daisuke Endo from Japan. He currently works at UN IOM Mission to Azerbaijan and we used an opportunity to ask some question about UN Volunteers programme and his work in Azerbaijan.
How did you become a UN Volunteer?
I joined the UN University Volunteer programme, which is targeted undergraduate students, jointly organized by UNV and my university. My university (=Kwansei Gakuin University) is one of the Japan’s universities to focus on developing human-resources who can serve world’s peace and security. I have been learning the policy studies mainly for international affairs like Sustainable Development Goals (=SDGs). Thus I applied to the programme and passed the two stages of documents’ and interview screening selections by project’s organizers in order to experience the field-learning of the United Nations.
Was it your choice to come to Azerbaijan and work at IOM local Mission?
I chose the assignment of UN IOM-Azerbaijan in order to learn the case of migration-protection and cooperated activities. This willingness comes from a sense of crisis in my homeland. Recent years, the government of Japan tries to promote the accepting foreign human-resources. On the other hands, it is still inadequate for people and social systems to maintain the better environment for migrants in Japan. Based on this reason, I would like to understand the Azerbaijan approach to migrants and their migration practice within the country.
What are your responsibilities at IOM Mission?
My assignment is to support the external relations for the Mission’s project of global Diaspora forum. This forum has been prepared for the theme “Global Diaspora” by my mission, UN-Habitat (=UN Human Settlements Programme) and counterpart of the Azerbaijan’s government (=State Committee on Work with Diaspora of the Republic of Azerbaijan). One of my main task is to cooridante inofmration flow to each stakeholders of the project or making documents in the processes for the forum.
At the end, a question that many would like to ask after reading this article: how can someone become a volunteer for an assignment abroad?
It is just difficult question for me, but my own answer is just a building up the preparations to be done. There are not only university’s grades and qualifications of language, but also the experience of other volunteer activities and the motivation why you hope to join UNV. The stack of preparations might become encouraging confidence of your candidates. Based on that, your candidates just do their best during the selection process and assignment terms with sincerity and respect to the other applicants.
The first step to volunteer abroad with the UN is to determine whether you meet the minimum requirements placed on UN web page https://www.unv.org/become-volunteer/volunteer-abroad. If this is the case, register your profile in our Global Talent Pool. The registration process follows a few steps, all of which must be completed for your profile to be considered for assignments. Profiles from the Talent Pool are then matched with assignments offered by UN partner agencies.