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The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

This Guidance Note was developed for UNV through a joint effort of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

The International Center for Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL) is an international not-for-profit organization that

promotes an enabling legal environment for civil society, freedom of association, and public participation around the world. ICNL strives to create a world where civil society can freely develop in all its forms and participate in public decisions. In pursuit of that goal, ICNL's programs and research focus on promoting an enabling legal environment for civil society, volunteerism, and public participation worldwide. Our program areas include the legal framework for civil society, civil society sustainability, good governance and accountability, public-private partnerships, self-regulation, advocacy and public participation, and educational initiatives. ICNL has earned the trust and respect of civil society organizations, scholars, government officials, and the business community as a leader in effectively addressing not-for-profit law issues and challenges to civil society. For more specific details, including summaries of activities and finances, visit us online at http://www.icnl.org.

The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) is a regional public benefit organization based in Hungary which promotes the strengthening of a supportive policy and legal environment for civil society in Europe and beyond. ECNL shares alternative regulatory models, lessons learned, and experiences across borders; and provides comparative information to assist local partners in adapting or creating new solutions appropriate to their environments. ECNL provides leading expertise to initiatives regarding regulation of civil society, including association and foundation law, public financing, philanthropy, counter-terrorism, public participation and partnerships between the state and civil society. ECNL has supported the development and implementation of laws and policy documents concerning volunteering in several countries, and has researched the topic intensively in order to support local initiatives. For more information see http://www.ecnl.org.

Copyright © UNV, 2011

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