Every year on 5 December, the world observes International Volunteer Day.
This year, we are highlighting the important contributions of volunteers to the response to COVID-19.
Around the world, volunteers have been assisting vulnerable groups, correcting misinformation, educating children, providing essential services to the elderly, and supporting front-line health workers.
As we gradually recover from the pandemic, volunteers will have a key role to play in accelerating the transition to green, inclusive and just economies.
Indeed, volunteering is the backbone of our societies.
Often working with the United Nations, volunteers build a sense of togetherness.
They strengthen social cohesion.
And they help to protect communities, especially by reaching those most at need.
That is why, on International Volunteer Day, I appeal to all governments to promote volunteering, support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Volunteers deserve our heartfelt thanks.