Vienna, 2 December 2005 Press release

Ministry for Foreign Affairs celebrates 100th anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize award to Bertha von Suttner


Gala concert and symposium

Vienna, 2 December 2005 - On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award to Bertha von Suttner, a gala concert will take place under the auspices of Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik at 7.30 pm on 4 December in the Mozart-Saal of the Vienna Konzerthaus. The Vienna Chamber Orchestra will be celebrating this anniversary with a world premiere of a composition by Thomas Daniel Schlee, which is inspired by an original musical version of "Lay Down Your Arms", and works by Haydn and Beethoven. The concert will be conducted by Heinrich Schiff. The pianist and UNESCO Artist for Peace Sergey Markarov will also perform at the concert. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and Federal Minister for Health and Women’s Affairs Maria Rauch-Kallat will be in attendance.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry for Health and Women’s Affairs invite guests to an international symposium at the Diplomatic Academy from 9.30 am to noon on 5 December that will focus on the main aspects of Bertha von Suttner’s work and examine their relevance for our future action in the international community. The symposium will look in particular at the indispensable contribution made by women to peace and to the stabilisation of societies after armed conflicts, human rights and the equality of men and women. The list of speakers comprises Colin Archer, Secretary General of the International Peace Bureau in Geneva, Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, chairperson of the 1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 project, Fadila Memisevic, director of the Society for Endangered Peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dana Nemcová, head of the Advisory Committee for Refugees in Prague, and Heinrich Neisser, vice-president of the Austrian League for Human Rights. The main speaker will be Brigitte Hamann, author of a biography on Bertha von Suttner.

Bertha von Suttner is one of the focuses of the international cultural activities in 2005/2006. Her work has been the subject of tributes in a series of events taking place in over 30 countries (from the Indira Ghandi Museum in New Delhi, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Palace of Nations in Geneva to the United Nations Headquarters in New York) and illustrated by a documentary exhibition designed by Georg Hamann.

At Austria’s initiative the building used by the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels will be renamed and henceforth known as the Bertha von Suttner Building. The official ceremony will take place on 8 March 2006.

Tickets for the Peace Concert will be available on 4 December on tel. (01) 242 002 / ticket(at) /

Registration for participation in the symposium on: info(at) or fax (01) 504 22 65.

Contact for further enquiries:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
From Austria: 050 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
From abroad: ++43 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: 050 1159 213 and/or ++43 50 1159 213