Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    24 April 2020

    The heads of the four main organizations at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) issued the following statement to all VIC personnel today:

    Joint statement by the Executive Heads of the main Vienna-based organizations

    VIENNA, 24 April (UN Information Service) - Almost all of you - 5,000 personnel based at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) - have been working remotely for nearly six weeks now and those at the VIC have kept the building safe and operational. We are grateful for and proud of your patient efforts, which have contributed to our Host Country's successful efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Your work from home or elsewhere has also allowed VBO operations to continue in Vienna and around the world in these unprecedented conditions, and indeed to expand as we support countries and people in the fight to end this pandemic.

    From previous updates you will know Austria has begun to ease some measures while emphasizing the fight against the virus continues.

    As you will have seen, the Austrian authorities plan further announcements on Tuesday 28 April. The plan announced today for a phased return to school is outlined in this update.

    The VIC Crisis Management Team (CMT) is closely monitoring developments, along with the VIC Medical Service. Additionally, the Host Country briefed us today.

    In consultation with the Austrian authorities, we have decided to begin a gradual, flexible and cautious return to VIC premises from Friday 15 May 2020.

    The CMT and other VIC colleagues are working on the details of this gradual return. The CMT will update you on the details soon. Our overriding priority for any return is the safety and welfare of all those at the VIC. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be paramount.

    Personnel with children or elderly parents or those with chronic health conditions will be able to continue telecommuting.  We will continue to follow Austrian guidelines.

    Please continue to comply fully with all Austrian measures to tackle COVID-19.

    Sincerely and with gratitude,
    Ghada Waly, Designated Official for Austria, Director-General/Executive Director, United Nations Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency
    LI Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
    Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

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    The four main Vienna-based organizations are the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

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    For further information, please contact:
    Martin Nesirky
    Director, UNIS Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5676
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5676
    Email: martin.nesirky[at]   

    Follow @UN_Vienna on Twitter for updates