9 December 2005

50th Anniversary of Austria in the UN: Vienna International Centre Celebrates with Free Guided Tours

VIENNA, 9 December (UN Information Service) -- This year, the United Nations celebrates its 60th anniversary, and Austria became a member of the global Organization 50 years ago - on 14 December 1955.

Vienna, along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi, is one of the four Headquarters of the United Nations. The Vienna International Centre (VIC), or "UNO-City", as it is commonly known in Vienna, houses the Vienna-based UN organizations and entities. Opened on 23 August 1979, it is still one of the top tourist attractions in the Austrian capital. More than 4,000 employees from over 100 countries work at the VIC, and numerous international conferences and meetings are held here annually.

On 14 December, the public is invited to take this anniversary as an additional opportunity to visit the VIC and participate in a guided tour free of charge.

Guided tours start at the Visitor Centre where visitors are welcomed by friendly multilingual guides from different countries. Passing through the gates of the United Nations, you enter international territory, belonging to all 191 countries that are members of the Organization. The United Nations has its own security and postal service, and also its own fire fighters.

The tour is a chance to explore the fascinating world of the United Nations and to find out about the activities of the Organization and the Vienna-based programmes, working for drug control and crime prevention, the peaceful uses of outer space and of nuclear energy, international trade law, industrial development, and banning the testing of nuclear weapons. You will see the flags of all Member States in the Rotunda, a conference room, different exhibits and a film about how the United Nations works for us all.

The United Nations brings together people of different nationalities, religions, races and ages under one roof. Visitors might get a chance to greet UN staff members from all over the world in one of the six official languages, which are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish.

Guests at the VIC also have the possibility of browsing and purchasing UN souvenirs at the Visitor Centre close to the main entrance, and to have a drink at the coffee shop.

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Free guided tours on 14 December will be starting every hour from 9.00 to 17.00 hours.
To join one of the free guided tours, please register in advance:

UNIS Visitors Service
Telephone +43 1 26060 3328.
E-mail: Tours@unvienna.org

How to get there:

Underground line U1 in the direction Kagran, station "Kaisermühlen/Vienna International Centre" just inside the main entrance/Gate 1. Buses are allowed to park in the side street of Wagramer Straße. The VIC is accessible to persons with disabilities.