The National Conference on Volunteering for Peace and Development took place in Hanoi on Dec. 5 in celebration of International Volunteer Day.

Opening the event, the second of its kind in Vientam, Phan Van Mai, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, said during the past decade, Vietnamese volunteers have contributed significantly to the country’s socio-economic development and addressed global issues.

Mai’s views were shared by Setsuko Yamazaki, Director of the UN Development Programme in Vietnam , who highlighted the need to complete the legal framework to promote voluntary activities, in an effort to build a voluntary society in Vietnam .

Nguyen Phi Long, Vice President of the Vietnam Youth Federation, said voluntary campaigns in Vietnam have attracted a large number of young people, which, he said, increased from 1.6 million people in 2000 to 47 million in 2011.

The volunteers participated in a wide range of areas, including economic development, poverty reduction, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, culture, education, health care and community development, Long said.

Vietnam commits to supporting and taking an active role in UN voluntary activities to deal with global matters and enhance exchange between Vietnamese youth with their peers in the region and the world.

Vietnam always creates the best conditions and welcomes international voluntary teams and is ready to send Vietnamese volunteers to other countries and join hands with international volunteers to improve public awareness of the urgent need to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals.

On the occasion, ten units and ten individuals with outstanding contributions to voluntary activities over the past ten years were also honoured./.