Marking 45 years of the Vienna International Centre

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This year, 2024, marks 45 years since the opening of the Vienna International Centre (VIC). The work of the Vienna-based UN organizations in addressing global challenges is as relevant today as it was back in 1979.

The United Nations offices, agencies and organizations based in Vienna are contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and helping to realize a world where everyone thrives in peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet. 

The Past – achievements since 1979

It was back in 1966, that the Government of Austria offered to construct an international centre in Vienna and the following year a site on the left bank of the River Danube was designated for it. The building itself was designed by Austrian architect Johann Staber, following an international competition for the design of the buildings.   

On 23 August 1979 the Vienna International Centre (VIC) was inaugurated and it has been home to numerous UN organizations since then. It immediately became the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) both of which had already been based in Vienna since 1957 and 1967 respectively. 

Other United Nations units were transferred to Vienna from New York and Geneva, consolidated into the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was provisionally headquartered in Vienna before it was relocated to Gaza City in 1997. In March 1997, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was established at the VIC. 

The Present – working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Today the Vienna International Centre is home to more than a dozen UN organizations, offices and agencies. 

Inside the VIC diplomats from 193 Member States and staff from more than 150 countries engage in multilateral work on a range of topics including nuclear safety and security, drug control, transnational organized crime and terrorism, sustainable development, international trade law and the peaceful uses of outer space. 

The Vienna International Centre has been committed to the UN-wide ‘greening the blue’ initiative and became climate-neutral in 2015. This happened through a series of measures including energy efficiency upgrades and switching to 100 per cent renewable electricity supply. The remaining small amount of CO2 emissions is offset on a yearly basis. 

The Future – connecting to the Summit of the Future in 2024

 

In September 2024 the Summit of the Future in New York aims to bring new life into the multilateral system so that the world can deliver on the promise of the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Summit aims to adopt a Pact for the Future along with a Global Digital Compact and a Declaration for Future Generations. The work carried out by the UN organizations in Vienna is playing an essential role in this, by working to deliver a better, more peaceful, prosperous and fairer future for all. 

Visit the Vienna International Centre

Vienna International Centre exterior view
© UNIS Vienna

Never been inside the Vienna International Centre? Why not join one of our guided tours held daily from Monday to Friday, where you can find out about the work of the United Nations and see the Vienna International Centre's striking architecture for yourself including the conference rooms.  

On the Memorial Plaza you can count the flags of the Member States and Non-Member Observer States displayed around the fountain.  

Marking the 45th anniversary

Various events and activities throughout the year will be used to highlight the 45th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre. 

Many of the UN organizations in Vienna are taking part in the Long Night of Research on 24th May when the public can come and see how they are using science and research to support peace and development around the world. Our Ciné-ONU screenings throughout the year along with activities for UN Day in October as well as Model UN conferences and careers fairs during the year will also mark the anniversary. 

More anniversaries

  • 40 Years of the Vienna International Centre
    23/08/2019

    40 Years of the Vienna International Centre

    The United Nations headquarters in Vienna is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, marking four decades of diplomacy in the heart of Europe.

     

  • 35 Years of the Vienna International Centre
    23/08/2014

    35 Years of the Vienna International Centre

    The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the City of Vienna celebrate 35 Years of 'UNO City'.

     

  • 30 Years Vienna International Centre
    23/08/2009

    30 Years Vienna International Centre

    The Vienna International Centre (VIC), home to the United Nations family in Vienna and, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi, one of four United Nations headquarters worldwide, marks its 30th anniversary in 2009.

     

  • 25 Years Vienna International Centre
    23/08/2004

    25 Years Vienna International Centre

    On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the inauguration of the Vienna International Centre on 23 August 1979, the United Nations Information Service issued an information kit on the VIC and the Vienna-based Organizations.