18 October 2004
Vienna International Centre Kicks Off Celebrations for 25th Anniversary
VIENNA, 18 October (UN Information Service) -- On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Vienna International Centre (VIC), the Executive Heads of the four Organizations based there, the Austrian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Governor and Mayor of the City of Vienna, held a Ceremonial Act today.
The ceremony opened with a welcome delivered by Thomas Stelzer, Ambassador of Austria to the four VIC-based Organizations, namely the United Nations (Vienna), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
This was followed by an elegant musical interlude performed by the Bläserensemble of Klangforum Wien, and a message from the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which was delivered by Antonio Maria Costa, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna. Speeches by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian Foreign Minister, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA, Carlos Magariños, Director-General of UNIDO, Pierce Cordon, Officer-in-Charge of CTBTO and Rudolf Schicker, City Councillor (representative of the Mayor of Vienna) followed.
After another musical interlude, the Vienna Service Office - a City of Vienna institution to assist the VIC-based international community -- which has recently moved to a central location in the VIC was inaugurated by Mr. Schicker and Director-General Costa.
Representatives of all the Permanent Missions to the United Nations and the staff of the four VIC-based Organizations attended the ceremony. They and the visiting dignitaries were then escorted to the plaza, for a series of events.
The flags of all Member States, which now adorn the VICs memorial plaza were inaugurated, which was followed by a solemn ceremony where the Plaza was renamed Memorial Plaza and dedicated to the many United Nations Staff Members who have given their lives in the service of the United Nations. In their honour, a minute of silence was observed. Director-General Costa unveiled a special plaque at the occasion.
The refurbished Rose Garden which was donated twenty-five years ago by the Mayor of Tulln to the VIC was re-dedicated.
The dignitaries then viewed a special photo exhibition that traces the history of the VIC which is on display at the VIC. The exhibition, that has been mounted by the City of Vienna, the VICs host city, offers interesting facts and figures about the VIC and provides an insight into its work over the past quarter century.
Also on display were architectural models of the new Conference Centre which will be constructed by the Austrian Government at the VIC.
Celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the VIC will continue with an Open House Day on Tuesday, 26 October, where the general public will have a chance to explore the world of the United Nations first-hand.
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