Press Releases

UNIS/INF/331
24 August 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Visit Austria to Mark 30th Anniversary of Vienna International Centre

Media invited to attend ceremony and joint media encounter

VIENNA, 24 August (UN Information Service) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Austria on 28-30 August 2009, at the invitation of the Government of Austria.

The UN Secretary-General will attend a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre, organized by the Austrian Government. During his official visit to Austria, Secretary-General Ban will also meet the Federal President Heinz Fischer and Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Michael Spindelegger as well as the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa and other heads of Vienna-based organizations and staff.

At a special ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre, the Secretary-General will be joined by President Fischer, the Austrian Foreign Minister, the Mayor of Vienna, Michael Häupl, Mr. Costa, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh Yumkella, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Tibor Tóth and the Acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tomihiro Taniguchi.

Around 1,000 people including Austrian Government Ministers, Permanent Representatives accredited to the Vienna-based organizations, Ambassadors to Austria, representatives of the City of Vienna, civil society, the private sector and staff members of the Vienna International Centre organizations have been invited to attend the ceremony. There will be speeches by the Mayor of Vienna, the Austrian Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General and the Austrian Federal President.

One of the musical highlights of the event will be a performance by the Austrian band, My Excellence, of a special song to promote the 'Seal the Deal' campaign. The UN Secretary-General is pressing for Member States to negotiate a fair, balance and effective agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December and 'Seal the Deal'. There will also be performances from Voices for Peace - Timna Brauer and Elias Meiri Ensemble featuring Marwan Abado.

The Vienna International Centre (VIC) is home to the United Nations family in Vienna and is one of the four United Nations headquarters worldwide. The VIC, designed by Austrian architect Johann Staber, was handed over to the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency 30 years go this month on 23 August 1979. For more information visit http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2009/30-years-vic.html

Also on 28 August the "Facing Nations - culture of humanity exhibit" will opened at the VIC. The exhibit is a unique artistic initiative which communicates the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The over-sized oil portraits of 124 people from around the world, living in Graz, Austria by the artist Oskar Stocker shows a "panorama of humanity" over 150 metres long. It will be on display in the VIC until the end of the year.

Following a private visit to the Austrian President's summer residence in Mürzsteg, the UN Secretary-General will then go to Tyrol where he will address the Alpbach Retreat 2009 - The UN Security Council and the Protection of Civilians: Improving Effectiveness and Accountability. Mr. Ban will also deliver the Opening Statement at the European Forum Alpbach Political Symposium 2009 - Trust between Individuals and States.

Media are invited to attend the following events:

1.        Ceremony to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Vienna International Centre (VIC)
Venue: Conference Hall, M-Building, VIC, entrance through Gate 1
Time: 10:45 hours, Friday 28 August 2009
Please take your place by 10:15 hours

2.        Joint Media encounter with UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and Austrian Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger
Venue: Foyer, M-Building, Vienna International Centre, entrance through Gate 1
Time: 11:50 hours, Friday 28 August 2009
Please take your place by 11:20 hours

Accreditation: Pre-registration is a requirement for all events for all journalists including those already accredited to the VIC.
Media representatives who wish to attend should contact:

Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer, UN Information Service
Email: press@unvienna.org
Tel: (+43-1) 26060-3342

Please register by 16:00 hours on Wednesday 26 August 2009.

Please allow plenty of time to go through security procedures before gaining access to the VIC.

Open wireless internet access is available in the M-Building. However if you need to upload video/audio/image files please make a special request when you register for the event.

For further information please contact:

Anne Thomas
Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5588
Email: anne.thomas@unvienna.org

or

Sonja Wintersberger
Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3430
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-3430
Email: sonja.wintersberger@unvienna.org
Website: www.unis.unvienna.org

For more information about the VIC 30 th anniversary see the factsheets:

http://www.unis.unvienna.org/pdf/factsheets/vic30_factsheets_en.pdf

and

the brochure 30 Ways the United Nations in Vienna makes a difference:

http://www.unis.unvienna.org/pdf/factsheets/vic30_brochure.pdf

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