Vienna is one of the most important headquarters of International Organizations (IO) emerging as a hub for the promotion of peace, security, sustainable development, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Further emphasis is given to fight against crime, drug abuse and terrorism.
Already during the Cold War Austria served as platform for international dialogue due to its geopolitical position and its neutral status. This position could be strengthened by the opening of the Vienna International Centre (VIC), also called UNO City, in 1979. Since then, Vienna is seat of the United Nations (UN) beside New York, Geneva and Nairobi.
International institutions in Austria – some 40 IOs, diplomatic representations, NGOs and Quasi-NGOs – are an important economic factor, too. They employ more than 6000 collaborators out of which about a quarter are Austrians.
According to a recent study of Ernst & Young the sector spends about 725 million € per year which result in a macroeconomic demand effect of about 1,4 billion € and thus contributes to GDP growth and Austria’s prosperity. In a long term perspective all indicators proof the economic thrive of the sector, in particular, conference activities increased by one third in the period 2010 – 2014.
The nuclear negotiations with Iran completed successfully in Vienna in July 2015 and likewise the Syria talks held since autumn 2015 generated a publicity value equivalent to 100 million euros.