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VSO calls for volunteers to be at the vanguard of development in the fight against poverty


VSO is calling for a more inclusive and sustainable post-2015 framework at Europe’s leading forum on development cooperation at a high profile panel discussion in Brussels this November.

VSO, the world’s leading international development NGO that brings people together to fight poverty through volunteering, is holding a Volunteering for Development lab discussion at the EU Development Days conference on 27 November, 2013.

Speakers on the panel include:

• Marg Mayne, Chief Executive, Voluntary Services Overseas
• Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers
• Norbert Bonyi, National Volunteer, Kisumu, Kenya
• Matthias Schmale, Under-Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• Claus Sørensen, Director General, Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, European Commission

Moderated by Gib Bulloch, Executive Director Accenture Development Partnerships, the lab roundtable discussion will explore the role of volunteers’ contribution to development outcomes and how volunteering can have a beneficial impact on empowerment, social capital and cohesion.

VSO Chief Executive, Marg Mayne, says:

"The successor framework for the Millennium Development Goals provides a critical opportunity to shape how the international community defines and ’does’ development.

"At VSO, we know that volunteering is a powerful way to put people at the heart of this change. We are calling for an approach where people are active partners in development rather than passive beneficiaries of aid.

“Volunteering has a critical role to play in development if we are serious about making development more inclusive, people-centred and sustainable”.

The theme of this year’s conference – A decent life for all by 2030 – Building a consensus for a new development agenda – focuses on the post-2015 debate and the need to build a consensus for an integrated approach to address global poverty and sustainable development.

Editor’s notes

To request further information or to arrange an interview with any of the speakers, please contact the VSO International press office on +44 (0)20 8780 7381 / +44 (0)7810 658133 or email

VSO, Voluntary Service Overseas, brings people together to fight poverty through the lasting power of volunteering. We work alongside communities worldwide to create positive change. Our programmes are in some of the world’s poorest countries reaching millions of people through improved access to services in education, health, HIV and AIDS, disability, and governance. VSO’s vision is of a world without poverty, but we can only achieve this by working together.

The two-day EU Development Days conference 2013 takes place in Brussels on 26-27 November, 2013, and is for international organisations, business, political, academic and civil society leaders to shape a new development agenda. More information can be found at


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