Friday, July 23, 2010

Experts offer advice on preparations for Asian Games

More than 300 voluntary service experts, scholars and representatives of volunteers from home and abroad gathered in Beijing on July 22 to share their experience in voluntary work as well as make suggestions on preparations for the Guangzhou Asian Games.

The International Forum on Voluntary Service Development Through the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games is one of the activities that marks the 100-day countdown to the Asian Games in Guangzhou this year.

Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee Wang Shaofeng

The forum aims to exchange experiences of volunteer activities to better support the preparations for the Guangzhou Asian Games and also to promote new development in the cause of voluntary service.

Volunteers are essential to holding successful large-scale activities. During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the total Olympic volunteers reached 500,000, making it the largest number of Olympic Games volunteers in history. It is reported that, as of now, the total number of Shanghai World Expo volunteers is more than 2 million.

Head of Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee Volunteer Department Wang Huanqing

At the forum, Beijing Volunteer Federation consultant Zhang Xiaohong said voluntary service in the post-Olympic era should establish a long-term voluntary service system and pattern.

Volunteer services are "cultivated by the government and rooted in the people," said Tan Jianguang, Director of Guangzhou Asian Games Volunteer Services Research Center.

Leaders from the China Central Youth League, the Beijing and Guangzhou youth leagues as well as the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee Volunteer Department made speeches at the opening ceremony of the forum. Guests from the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the Beijing Volunteer Federation and the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges attended the forum. 

UNPD Deputy Country Director Silvia Morimoto

The opening ceremony was chaired by former Olympic table tennis champion and Deputy Secretary of China Communist Youth League Beijing Committee Deng Yaping.

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