"Dialogue and mutual understanding" celebrated at the Vienna International Centre

12 August 2010
Youth take a free guided tour and learn about the work of the United Nations in Vienna

Youth take a free guided tour and learn about the work of the United Nations in Vienna.

To celebrate the International Youth Day on 12 August and to mark the start of the Intern-ational Year of Youth, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna invited young people aged 26 and under to visit the Vienna International Centre (VIC), take a free guided tour and learn about the work of the United Nations in Vienna.
Around 500 youth took the guided tours, which included visiting information tables and stands set up by VIC-based organizations and the city of Vienna’s Youth Department.

As 2010 was also declared International Year for the Rapproc-hement of Cultures, the Open Day at the VIC included the opening of the art project “One Family”, an initiative of the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna, the UNESCO Club Vienna and artist Yusheng Zhao. The exhibit will be on display at the VIC from 12 to 20 August 2010.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemoration Ceremony in Vienna

09 August 2010
65th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

65th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hundreds of balloons carrying messages of peace were released by participants in the Commemoration Ceremony Genbaku No Hi which was held on 9 August at the Vienna International Centre to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The release of the balloons was accompanied by the ringing of the Peace Bell, which was presented to the United Nations in Vienna in 1995 as a symbol of the hopes of the Japanese people for world peace.

Co-organized by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) and the Vienna NGO Committee on Peace, the 65-year-commemoration in Vienna was devoted to the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and of all acts of war. Speakers at the event also high-lighted recent developments in the fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons and all instruments of mass destruction and death.

Participants from Vienna’s diplomatic community, civil society, media and staff of the Vienna Based Organizations joined a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony performed by Japanese artist Yuko Gulda and later proceeded to the Memorial Plaza to release the balloons and ring the peace bell.

Hands on diplomacy at the Vienna International Model United Nations

02 August 2010

The United Nations Information Service in Vienna (UNIS) hosted the 16th Vienna International Model United Nations (VIMUN) in co-operation with the Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (AFA) at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) from 2 to 5 August. During the four-day-conference, over 200 students and young graduates from over 30 countries simulated negotiating different UN related topics such as the growing food insecurity or the rights of internally displaced persons in four UN bodies and two external discussion forums.

UNIS Director Maher Nasser reminded delegates that they are not only the decision makers of tomorrow but also a powerful voice of today: "Your generation more than any other before you, has a global voice. New media is shaping the way individuals and organisations interact and act. You are able to generate ideas at a global level in real-time. The United Nations can only function with the support of the member states and particularly young people. Looking ahead at the summit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be held in New York in September, Nasser urged participants to support initiatives on the MDGs in their respective countries and be proactive themselves.

There are excellent opportunities to get involved: the UN Citizen Ambassadors competition for example asks people to record a two-minute video telling world leaders what more they need to do to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Winners will be invited to UN headquarters in New York. The UN recognizes young people as effective agents of change and urges youth to become advocates of UN topics. Maher Nasser invited those who have a chance to come to the UN in Vienna on 12 August to celebrate the start of the International Year of Youth and UNIS will provide free guided tours.

UNIS Vienna observes Nelson Mandela International Day

16 July 2010
Guest speakers at Nelson Mandela International Day

Guest speakers at Nelson Mandela International Day

To mark Nelson Mandela International Day, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of South Africa, screened the movie "Invictus" directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

The event took place at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna on 16 July and was well attended by students and UN employees. H.E. the Ambassador of South Africa, Xolisa Mabhongo, and Sonja Wintersberger, Officer-in-Charge of UNIS Vienna, made intro-ductory remarks welcoming participants and outlining Nelson Mandela International Day before the screening.