The UN in Vienna

Vienna is one of the four headquarters of the United Nations, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi. The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), also called the “Vienna International Centre” was established on 1 January 1980 as the third United Nations Headquarters and hosts important offices of the United Nations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Office for Drug Control (UNODC).

The UN Office at Vienna (UNOV) Secretariat unit gives administrative support to various UN bodies and institutions, and is responsible for conference planning and interpretation services for more than 2,000 conferences and meetings a year at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). UNOV also includes the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), the Division of Administrative and Common Services (DACS) and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS).

In 1997 due to major reforms within the United Nations, Vienna became a major centre of all UN efforts aimed at combating crime, drug abuse and terrorism. As a result in 2002, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was set up in Vienna. The Executive Director Mr. Yury Fedotov serves as Under-Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) at the same time. The UNODC consists of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP).

Another important Vienna-based organization is the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), headed by Director General Mr. LI Yong. UNIDO is the only organisation within the UN system to provide support for industrialisation in developing countries and in the Central and Eastern European transition countries through technical assistance, consultation and mediation, as well as research and study programmes aimed at the most eco-friendly industrialisation on the one hand, and through the promotion of industrial co-operation between developing and industrialised countries on the other.

Headed by Executive Secretary Mr. Lassina ZERBO, the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) with its Provisional Technical Secretariat, to which a sophisticated data centre is attached, has been operative in Vienna since 1997. In the same year, the global successor to COCOM, the Secretariat of the Wassenaar Arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, started operating in Vienna.

Another major organisation within the VIC is the International Atom Energy Agency (IAEA), headed by Mr. Yukiya Amano as Director General, working on the issues of peaceful use of nuclear science and technology, inspection of safeguards and emergency preparations and working to improve international conventions, standards and expert guidance to contribute to international goals of sustainable development in the field of energy and environment.

Apart from the above-mentioned organisations of the UN family, Vienna also houses the office of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the regional bureau of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Secretariat of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River.