The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) is a non-governmental, non-profit making international organization (INGO) working for the development and coordination of voluntary service worldwide. CCIVS’ main focus is the quest to achieve change in the minds of men and women by bringing together people of different backgrounds. It supports and develops projects based on the idea that working together on a concrete task is the most effective way of creating international friendship and understanding. The projects serve as a catalyst for dialogue as they provide an opportunity to work together according to each person’s ability and to practice living together. In such situations national and international volunteers experience a new reality which can challenge their habits and convictions as well as those of the local community. CCIVS actions include advocacy and networking, capacity building and training, UN cooperation projects, impact measurement and quality improvement. It also coordinates the Living Earth Campaign (LIVE). CCIVS is inter-disciplinary: its members are self-regulating and involved in a wide variety of types of activity. CCIVS was created under the aegis of UNESCO in 1948 and its Secretariat is still in UNESCO House today. It has always worked closely with the UN organisation and complements UNESCO intellectual activity and goals in the fields of Education, Culture, Sciences and Communication through a hands-on, non-formal education approach transforming societies at the grassroots level. CCIVS has actively contributed to programs and campaigns from diverse UN bodies, and was involved in discussions concerning the creation of the United Nations Volunteers. It received in 1987 the title “Messenger of Peace” by UN Secretary General, Perez de Cuellar. CCIVS is in official partnership with UNESCO – associate status, liaison status with the FAO and special consultative status with the ECOSOC.

The objectives of CCIVS are as follows:

To promote, advocate for and develop the voluntary service movement at national, regional and international levels with emphasis on the following priorities:
  • A culture of peace fostering international understanding, intercultural dialogue, friendship and cooperation among the people of the world, particularly youth
  • The social, cultural, economic and ecological transition needed to build a regenerative and reconciliatory world that promotes a circular inclusive economic model based on global, social and climate justice opposing to all kinds of exploitation;
  • Recognition of cultural sovereignty and the importance of cultural heritage preservation;
  • The human rights framework as a basis for a just world, rejecting all forms of repression, violence, abuse, exclusion, discrimination and inequality.
To support cooperation and networking between CCIVS members. To facilitate discussion and reflection in a spirit of mutual respect and personal responsibility concerning the aims of International Voluntary Service and its impact on the volunteers, communities and the worldwide community. To encourage good relations and cooperation with other voluntary service organisations, other non- governmental organisations (NGOs) and with youth and student organisations which share similar objectives. To cooperate and contribute to the implementation of the programmes and the initiatives of the United Nations, and in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on matters of common interest.