International cooperation and dialogue

are a prerequisite in all efforts aimed

at establishing sustainable peace and

development. Since Austria became a

member of the United Nations in 1955,

effective multilateralism has thus been

one of the key priorities of Austrian foreign


Located in the heart of Europe as a

geographic interface between different

cultures, religions and political systems,

Austria has been, and continues to be,

a bridge builder that supports constructive


As home to many international institutions

and organisations, Vienna has

evolved into a vibrant international hub

where a great diversity of topics is being

addressed. This brochure strives to highlight

and illustrate the importance and

the diverse nature of the issues covered,

ranging from human rights to safety

and security through to sustainability

and development.

The Vienna hub and, in particular, the

Vienna International Centre (known as

the VIC or UNO City), which was opened

in 1979, act as a driver for the Austrian

economy: the benefits of having some

40 international organisations located

in Austria translates, for instance, in an

annual positive net effect of more than

500 million euros, directly or indirectly

securing some 10,000 jobs. This is another

reason why active promotion and

strengthening of the Vienna hub have

been a consistent priority of Austrian

foreign policy for 40 years. Furthermore,

the presence of international organisations

and agencies also contributes to

increasing Vienna’s attractiveness as a

business location and destination for

conference tourism.

By providing an optimal framework combined

with a unique atmosphere, Vienna

has for many years now welcomed and

successfully hosted the international

community. Austria as a host country,

in turn, appreciates the extraordinary

contribution the Vienna -based international

organisations and institutions

make towards strengthening the city’s

reputation as a venue for dialogue and

multilateral diplomacy.

May I assure you that I personally will

continue to undertake every effort

towards promoting the Vienna hub as a

vibrant venue for dialogue and sustainable

bridge building.

Sebastian Kurz

Federal Minister for Europe,

Integration and Foreign Affairs




Vienna as a place of diversity

… of encounters

… of ideas

Austria has a long-standing tradition

in promoting dialogue between and

among different cultures and religions,

which is not least attributable to the cultural

diversity that characterises Austrian

society. Vienna plays an important role

as a pluralistic and multi-religious hub

for dialogue within societies and across

borders that focuses on building confidence

and peace while dismantling prejudice

and stereotypes.

With one of its headquarters in Vienna,

the United Nations is an indispensable

partner in international intercultural and

interreligious dialogue. In the context

of its efforts towards promoting understanding

between cultures, Vienna

cooperates closely with multilateral

dialogue initiatives, including the UN

Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), the

King Abdullah International Centre for

Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

(KAICIID) and numerous civil society initiatives.

Vienna, as an active and committed

member, also hosted the 5th UNAOC

Global Forum in 2013. In the field of

international relations both UNAOC and

KAICIID pursue an approach aimed at

promoting a culture of peace through

the “soft power” tool of dialogue.

Since 2014, outstanding and innovative

projects that successfully promote

intercultural dialogue worldwide have

been officially recognised by the Intercultural

Achievement Award established

by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz. The

award was conceived as an incentive

for non-profit organisations to use and

further develop methods for dialogue.

At the same time this award aims to

further consolidate Vienna’s position

as a hub for strengthening intercultural

dialogue in international and multilateral





Fight against crime

Cocoa instead of cocaine

A world free of corruption

Words instead of arms

Organised crime does not stop at national

borders. Criminals make billions

from trafficking in drugs, arms and

human beings or in the seemingly limitless

worlds of cyberspace. Every country

is affected and called upon to protect

the safety and security of its citizens.

The Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs

and Crime (UNODC) coordinates international

efforts aimed at preventing and

fighting crime and assists countries by

concrete projects. In this context, a special

focus is being placed on respecting

the rule of law and human rights . The

globalisation of crime requires a globalised

response in order to ensure greater

safety and security for each and every

citizen also in Austria.

Cultivating drugs is often driven by

poverty and the struggle for survival

rather than by greed. UNODC supports,

also by means of Austrian project funding,

farmers in typical drug cultivation

regions by facilitating a change to legal

and sustainable production, thus enabling

them to earn a living wage. Quality

and environmental protection standards

as well as fair trade also play an important

role. Products from such “alternative”

development projects are inter alia

used to produce high-quality Austrian


Corruption benefits a few at the

expense of the general public: billions

of euros disappear into the pockets of

corrupt individuals. Corruption undermines

democracy and the rule of law

and jeopardizes the development of

whole countries. In fighting this global

phenomenon, UNODC cooperates with

governments, experts and non-governmental

organisations. The International

Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg

(IACA) is a centre for training anti-corruption

experts, collecting and sharing

of expert knowledge, know-how and

best practice examples of anti-corruption


Whenever political tensions are at risk of

escalating into military conflict in Europe

or Central Asia, the Vienna-based Organisation

for Security and Co-operation in

Europe (OSCE) is challenged. The OSCE

negotiates confidence-building measures

between its 57 participating states,

ranging from the USA to the Russian

Federation and Tajikistan. It operates

field missions in the Balkans, in Ukraine

and Moldova, in the Caucasus and in all

Central Asian successor republics of the

former Soviet Union. From its Vienna

headquarters, the Organisation strives

to foster progress in the fields of security

and disarmament, strengthen human

rights and promote environmental and

economic issues. People are thus the key

focus of the OSCE security concept.




Although the Cold War and the nuclear

arms race no longer dominate the

headlines, nuclear arms and their possible

deployment still pose a real and

immediate threat to our existence. Due

to their increasing proliferation they are

indeed considered as representing an

even more serious threat than 20 years

ago. In striving to counteract the associated

risks, Austria has for many years

now played a highly active role at international


Control of nuclear


The Non-Proliferation Treaty

(NPT), whose objectives include

a ban on the spread of nuclear

weapons, the commitment to

nuclear disarmament and the

right to the peaceful uses of

nuclear energy, plays a pivotal

role. Observance of the treaty is

checked and monitored based

on an effective safeguards and

verification system by the International

Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA). Headquartered in Vienna

since 1952, it also strives to

ensure the peaceful use of nuclear

technology and the observance

of the highest standards in

nuclear power plants. In 2005,

the IAEA was awarded the Nobel

Peace Prize in recognition of its

efforts towards reaching these


Monitoring instead of testing

With its network of monitoring stations that

have been set up in 90 states worldwide, the

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation

(CTBTO) makes sure that no illegal

nuclear tests are conducted. As such tests are

key to the development of nuclear arms, clandestine

development is severely restricted, if not

rendered impossible, by the existence of these

monitoring stations. A number of Vienna-based

organisations, including the Wassenaar Arrangement

(WA) or the Secretariat of The Hague

Code of Conduct (HCoC), contribute towards

enhancing transparency in international cooperation

on promoting disarmament.




Protecting human rights


The promotion and protection of human

rights is a clear priority for Austria. Human

rights are the hallmark that distinguishes

all great civilisations, cultures and religions.

As the host country of the World

Conference on Human Rights 1993,

which was attended by almost 10,000

participants, Vienna successfully proved

itself as the ideal location for international

encounter and dialogue, providing a

forum at which the international community

underlined its commitment to the

universality and indivisibility of human

rights. The achievements of this historic

conference were also discussed in the

light of current challenges at follow-up

events. Celebrating the 20th anniversary

of the World Conference on Human

Rights, the international High Level Expert

Conference “Vienna+20: Advancing

the Protection of Human Rights“ was,

for instance, organised in June 2013 in

cooperation with the Office of the UN

High Commissioner for Human Rights.

3 years of active membership of

the UN Human Rights Council

During its membership of the UN

Human Rights Council (2012-2014)

Austria focused on clear priorities related

to pressing human rights issues

including the promotion of freedom of

the media and the protection of journalists,

the protection of freedom of religion

and freedom of conscience as well

as the protection of religious minorities.

Following its term on the Human Rights

Council, Austria continues to pursue

these priorities. As a place of dialogue

and cooperation, Austria works committedly

towards fostering the resolution

of human rights issues in an open

and transparent manner. In 2018, Austria

will seek re-election to the Human

Rights Council for the period 2019-


Promoting seamless

protection of fundamental

rights in the EU

Since its establishment in 2007,

the Vienna-based European

Union Agency for Fundamental

Rights (FRA) has developed into

a key competence centre on EU

fundamental rights issues. By collecting

comparative data in all EU

Member States on current human

rights issues including violence

against women, the situation of

Roma and Sinti, data protection

or discrimination against homosexuals

and by providing counselling

services to institutions, the

FRA makes a key contribution

towards achieving the goal of

seamless fundamental rights protection

in the European Union.




Vienna as an energy hub

Vienna is currently home to the

headquarters and offices of ten international

organisations and NGOs that

focus on a wide range of energy issues

and have joined to form the Vienna

Energy Club. Every two years, three

of these organisations – the United

Nations Industrial Development Organization

(UNIDO), the International

Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

(IIASA) and Sustainable Energy for All

(SE4ALL) – organise the Vienna Energy

Forum. Vienna thus fulfils an important

function as an international energy hub

that provides highly relevant impetus to

facilitate global energy policy-making.

More security in both supply

and production

towards minimising price fluctuations

attributable to external and internal

factors. The International Peace Institute

(IPI) and the OSCE are engaged

also in the energy field in encouraging

active dialogue and sharing their expert

knowledge on peace building. For ten

years now the Energy Community has

developed binding European legislation

for EU neighbouring states such as

Ukraine and the countries of the Western

Balkans – “European Energy Law

made in Vienna“, so to speak.

More sustainability

Numerous Vienna-based organisations

are actively engaged in extending the

use of renewable energy and increasing

energy efficiency in order to reduce CO2

emissions and counter climate change.

For more than 50 years, the Organization

of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

(OPEC) has contributed towards

stabilising the oil market for the benefit

of producers and end users as well as




Sustainable development

The Vienna-based United Nations Industrial

Development Organisation (UNIDO)

plays a major role in implementing the

Millennium Development Goals and –

from 2015 onwards – the Sustainable

Development Goals, defined by the

International Community and aimed

at fighting poverty and promoting sustainable

development. In the priority

countries of development cooperation,

Austria is not only active in the context

of bilateral programmes but also uses

tools provided by UNIDO in implementing

joint projects and supporting common

objectives. UNIDO and Austria

have joined forces in Moldova, Armenia,

Uganda and Bhutan as well as on Pacific

Islands. Projects aimed at increasing

the efficiency of small and medium-sized

companies, developing sustainable

tourism, supporting youth employment

and contributing towards private sector

development and promoting renewable

energies are thus implemented together.

Environmental protection

Austria‘s unique cultural landscape with its

mountains and the city of Vienna located

on the banks of the River Danube provide

the ideal setting for hosting those international

organisations that are dedicated

to nature conservation – and more specifically,

to the protection, preservation

and sustainable use of such mountain

landscapes and the Danube itself. The

United Nations Environment Programme

(UNEP) is not only a global advocate of

the special relevance of mountain regions

but also acts as the Secretariat of the Carpathian

Convention. The activities of the

International Commission for the Protection

of the Danube River (ICPDR) are directed

towards protecting one of the largest

water catchment areas in Europe – from

Montenegro to Ukraine, from Germany to

Bulgaria – combining nature conservation

with sustainable water management and

flood protection.




Outer Space

From Vienna the world is literally “reaching

for the stars”: the Vienna-based

offices of the United Nations Office for

Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), located

in the Vienna International Centre

(VIC) since 1993, promote international

cooperation on the peaceful uses

of outer space. The Vienna office also

manages a register of all objects launched

into outer space (OSO, Online

Index of Object Launched into Outer

Space) and is home to UNSPIDER (United

Nations Platform for Space-based

Information for Disaster Management

and Emergency Response), a programme

that facilitates access to space-based

information for use in disaster



Vienna is number one

According to surveys published by the

consulting firm MERCER Survey and

numerous international rankings, Vienna

regularly tops the charts as the city with

the best quality of life in the world.

Excellent quality of life

• A rich cultural life and a diverse arts

scene leave nothing to be desired –

from magnificent historical buildings

and museums to a vibrant nightlife.

• Optimal leisure, sports and shopping

opportunities in Vienna and in the

greater Vienna area boasting beautiful

landscapes, and recreational

opportunities invite visitors to explore

the city and its immediate surroundings.

• The Vienna coffee houses, gourmet

restaurants and wine taverns offer

a wide and diverse range of culinary


• A stable political and economic

environment guarantees a high level

of personal safety and security.

Optimal infrastructure

• Very good connections to the international

airport, excellent transport routes

and an extensive public transport


• Excellent internet and telecommunication

networks as well as a large

number of top conference centres,

hotels and restaurants.

• Numerous international and bilingual

schools, modern universities, universities

of applied sciences and research


• Very good medical care.

International environment

The numerous Vienna-based international

organisations are not only important

hubs but also contribute to Austria’s


Impressive indirect profitability

The presence of some 40 international

organisations translates in an annual

positive net effect of more than 500 million

euros, directly or indirectly securing

around 10,000 jobs. Conference tourism

also makes a considerable contribution

to Austria’s gross national product.

Vienna as host to international


Involving the Vienna-based organisations,

Austria organises a large number

of international conferences and has

over the last few years been able to

position itself as a hub for important

international topics.

In 2014, Vienna proved particularly

successful as a venue for international

dialogue: alongside numerous rounds

of E3/EU+3 talks with Iran held at both

political and technical level, the ministerial

conferences organised in the

context of Austria’s Presidency of the

Central European Initiative as well as

the Council of Europe’s Committee of

Ministers meetings, Vienna hosted two

further major international conferences

on the humanitarian impact of nuclear

weapons as well as on supporting landlocked

developing countries.


Synergy effects associated with

the Vienna-based international


Since 23 August 1979, the Vienna International

Centre (VIC) has been one of

the four headquarters of the United

Nations. Featuring a modern architectural

design, the VIC houses 4,500 offices

and nine conference halls. It is also

headquarters to numerous international

organisations, which only pay a token

rent but are required to cover ongoing

maintenance and operating costs.

The unique feature that distinguishes

Vienna as a conference venue is the

VIC‘s connection to the Austria Center

Vienna (ACV). Opened in 1987, the

ACV is the largest congress centre in

Austria, boasting an exhibition area of


Since 1998, the VIC has also housed a

Visitor Centre where the interested public

can learn more about the work of the

United Nations.

Involvement of civil society

In cooperation with the international

organisations located in Vienna and

Austrian government authorities, a large

number of Vienna-based non-governmental

and non-profit organisations

address topics such as human rights,

intercultural dialogue, sustainable

development, environmental protection

and disarmament.

More than 100 Austrian civil society

organisations are accredited with the

United Nations alone.

List of International Organisations and Institutions in Austria€

Acronym Organisation Website

COE Council of Europe - Liaison Office

CTBTO Preparatory Commission for the

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


ECS Energy Community Secretariat Vienna

EIB European Investment Bank - Liaison Office

EPO European Patent Office

GRA European Union Agency for Fundamental


HCoC The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic

Missile Proliferation

IACA International Anti-Corruption Academy

IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency

IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and

Development, Liaison Office

ICMPD International Centre for Migration Policy


ICPDR International Commission for the Protection of

the Danube River, ICPDR Secretariat

IFC International Finance Corporation

IIASA International Institute for Applied Systems


INCB International Narcotics Control Board

IOM International Organisation for Migration,

Regional Office Vienna

IPI International Peace Institute

JVI Joint Vienna Institute

KAICIID King Abdullah International Centre for

Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

MIGA Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

OFID OPEC Fund for International Development

OPEC Organization of the Petroleum Exporting


OSZE Organization for Security and Co-operation in

Europe, Secretariat

PSAC Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine


SE4All Office of the Special Representative of the

UNSG for Sustainable Energy for All

UNCITRAL United Nations Commission on International

Trade Law

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme,

Vienna Office of the Interim Secretariat of the

Carpathian Convention

UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees, Vienna Office

UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development


UNIS United Nations Information Service Vienna

UNODA United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

UNOIOS United Nations Office of International

Oversight Services

UNOOSA United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

UNOV United Nations Office at Vienna

UNPA United Nations Postal Administration

UNRoD United Nations Register of Damage caused by

the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied

Palestinian Territory

UNSCEAR United Nations Scientific Committee on the

Effects of Atomic Radiation

VCDNP Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-


WA Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls

for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods

and Technologies (Secretariat)

Photocredits: Cover: UN Photo/Mark Garten; Page „Dialogue“: © Interkulturelles Zentrum; Page „Human rights“ left: BMEIA/

Tatic; right: pcruciatti/; Page „Safety & security“: © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Popp G.; Page „A world

free of nuclear weapons“ left: James Thew/; right: IAEA; Page „Energy for all“: © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf:

Homberger; Page „Sustainability“ left: UN Photo/Kibae Park; right: tepic/iStock; Page „Future“: BlackJack3D/ iStock; Page „Why

Vienna“: © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Popp Hackner; Page „Vienna connects“: © Österreich Werbung, Fotograf: Popp





Words instead of arms

seamless protection of fundamental rights

Vienna as an energy hub

International environment

Vienna is #1

Impressive indirect profitability

More sustainability





Place of ideas

A world free of corruption

Cocoa instead of cocaine


Outer SpaceFUTURE

More security in both supply and production

Place of encounters

Fight against crime

Optimal infrastructure

Environmental protection

Protecting human rights worldwide

Place of diversity

Control of nuclear technologies

Sustainable development

Excellent quality of life

host to international events

Monitoring instead of testing

A-1010 Vienna, Minoritenplatz 8

T +43(0)50 11 50 - 0

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