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4th Seminar on International Voluntary Service

Resolution 478 (1971)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 26 January 1971 (27th Sitting) (see Doc. 2909, report of the Committee on Social and Health Questions). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 1971 (27th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Recalling its Resolution 433 (1970), on the convening of a 4th Seminar on International Voluntary Service, on the theme of "Mobilisation of human resources for social and economic development - Second Development Decade : co-operation between intergovernmental, governmental and voluntary organisations, trade unions, co-operatives and industry with developing countries" ;
2. Recalling its Recommendation 553 (1969), on the 3rd Seminar on International Voluntary Service, and in particular its paragraphs 7 and 10 ;
3. Having taken note of the proceedings and conclusions of the 4th Seminar, held at Strasbourg from 2 - 6 November 1970 ;
4. Welcoming the success of the 4th Seminar, which can be attributed to the competence and spirit of co-operation of the participants, and to the care taken in its preparation by the Regional Conference on International Voluntary Service, and expressing its satisfaction at the presence on that occasion of representatives of governmental services concerned with development cooperation from several Council of Europe member States and a number of members of the Assembly's Committee on Social and Health Questions ;
5. Considering that the intrinsic nature of voluntary service enables it to be given a place apart in development operations, not least because voluntary service can count on very wide support of youth ;
6. Considering that in development projects and programmes greater emphasis should be placed on the development of human resources ;
7. Noting with interest Resolution 2659 (XXV) adopted on 7 December 1970 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on the feasibility of creating an international corps of volunteers for development ;
8. Welcoming the organisation, in the framework of the 4th Seminar, of a Special Consultation on "Intermediate Technology" which considered the most effective ways of providing developing countries with information on simple, low-cost techniques appropriate to their needs and resources, and attaching the greatest importance to the recommendation on the creation of an international information centre for "Intermediate Technology", adopted by the Consultation,
9. Decides to transmit the conclusions of the Seminar to the Committee of Ministers as well as to the appropriate United Nations specialised agencies (Economic and Social Council, ILO, UNESCO and FAO), to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Communities, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Secretariat for Volunteer Service ;
10. Notes that renewed efforts should be undertaken to improve the co-operation between the governmental and non-governmental organisations in the field of development co-operation ;
11. Calls on the member governments of the Council of Europe, when preparing their development co-operation policies, to take into consideration the conclusions of the 4th Seminar on International Voluntary Service, and in particular the following recommendations :
11.1 With regard to their action in Europe :
a to encourage the creation of centres for the collection and dissemination of documents and studies on subjects relating to development co-operation, with a view to enabling governmental and non-governmental organisations active in this field to become more fully aware of each other's experience and findings ;
b to improve education in schools and universities on development questions, and to invite, for this purpose, competent non-governmental organisations to contribute to the necessary curriculum reform and teacher training ;
c to invite universities, foundations and training institutions to offer greater facilities for the training of male and female personnel for rural development work, with a view to meeting the shortage of staff adequately trained for such work ;
d to make arrangements, in collaboration with the governments of developing countries concerned, that preliminary training of volunteers in Europe can be followed by a course in the country where they are to work ;
11.2 With regard to their bilateral and multilateral assistance policies :
a to consider the creation of employment opportunities as a matter of primary importance when drawing up and carrying out development programmes and projects ;
b to ensure that the rural areas profit to the same extent as urban sectors from programmes and projects decided upon, and that the communities affected understand and agree to these programmes and projects, particularly those involving cultural and social measures ;
c to support European voluntary organisations which, in collaboration with developing countries, work on educational reform in these countries ;
d to take into consideration, when preparing development programmes and projects, the experience and views of voluntary personnel and experts returning after periods of service abroad :
12. Takes note of the general resolution adopted by the 4th Seminar which expressed the wish of the participants that a 5th Seminar will be convened in 1972, and hopes that sufficient funds can be found to organise this Seminar in a broader context and to invite, as Rapporteurs, representatives of developing countries also ;
13. Instructs its Committee on Social and Health Questions to make proposals to it in due course for the organisation of a 5th Seminar on International Voluntary Service to be convened under the auspices of the Consultative Assembly in the course of 1972 ;
14. Confirms its decision to be represented at the Committee of the Regional Conference on International Voluntary Service by one of its members who shall be appointed by the Committee on Social and Health Questions ;
15. Instructs its Committee on Parliamentary and Public Relations to follow up in national parliaments what action governments have taken or intend to take on the proposals contained in this resolution.