• Kyodo

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The U.N. General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution encouraging volunteerism, to advance the global body’s sustainable development agenda — an initiative Tokyo hopes can be used to energize activities coinciding with the 2020 Games.

“This year we wanted to infuse enthusiasm for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” one diplomat said, adding that Tokyo had penned the resolution with Brazil, the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

While there is no specific reference to sports, the text of the resolution characterizes volunteering as “a powerful and cross-cutting means” of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

That agenda is laid out in a global plan adopted by the General Assembly in 2015 to tackle 17 issues such as hunger, climate change and inequality.

The document also encourages governments, in collaboration with U.N. entities, the private sector and civil society, “to integrate volunteerism into national development strategies, plans and policies.”

As attention turns to Japan’s mobilization efforts ahead of the next Summer Olympics, which kick off in July 2020, it is hoped that citizens will embrace opportunities to volunteer.

In addition to Japan and Brazil, the resolution, entitled “Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” was also co-sponsored by Chile and Russia.

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