The United Nations (UN) annually observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5. The day, which is also known as International Volunteer Day (IVD), gives volunteers a chance to work together on projects and campaigns promoting their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.
Each year UN General Assembly invites governments to observe the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5 (A/RES/40/212 of 17 December 1985). As a result of the resolution from December 17, 1985, governments, the UN, and civil society organizations work together with volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on December 5 each year.
In 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, the Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on ways that governments and the UN could support volunteering and asked that they be widely disseminated. The International Year of Volunteers aimed to stimulate national and international policy debate around, and to advocate for, recognizing, facilitating, networking and promoting voluntary action. The year led to a much better appreciation of the power of volunteerism in its many forms and the ways to support it.