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The United Nations headquarters in Vienna is celebrating its 40th anniversary today, marking four decades of promoting peace and dialogue in the heart of Europe.
The Vienna International Centre (VIC) is based on a design by Austrian architect Johann Staber, who won the contract in an international competition. It was officially handed over to the UN on 23 August 1979 and today, it employs some 5,000 people from more than 125 countries. In the course of the years, the building complex, climate neutral since 2015, has become home to a number of international organisations. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the first to move to Vienna, followed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), for example.
“I always heard from colleagues working in Vienna that conditions that were given to them by the Austrian government were particularly favourable, to the extent that many decided to retire and go on living in Austria. I think this is the best tribute we can pay to the fantastic hospitality of our host city and host country,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at an anniversary ceremony in May. “I want to thank once again the people of Austria and the people of Vienna for their wonderful hospitality and support.”
The “UNO City”, as the Viennese call it, also boosts Vienna’s position as an attractive conference centre and location for business. With over 2,400 international congresses and events per year, Vienna is among the world’s most popular conference destinations.
Source: UNIS Vienna; Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs; City of Vienna
Photo: © UNIS Vienna / Nikoleta Haffar