Vienna, 20 February 2018 (UN Information Service) - The UN family in Vienna has benefitted tremendously from its strong partnership with Austria, UNOV Director-General Yury Fedotov said today at the start of an official visit by Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.
"From the Vienna International Centre, the UN is working to stop organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism, and to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and outer space," he said. "Important global challenges, from the Iran nuclear agreement to the situation in Syria, are being discussed here, in keeping with the Vienna Spirit of consensus and cooperation."
"We look forward to further strengthening our cooperation with Austria in the years to come, to work for peace, security and human rights around the world, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
During her visit, Kneissl held talks with Mr. Fedotov and the heads of other Vienna-based organizations, and attended a lunch in her honour.
Mr. Fedotov, speaking as the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), discussed the tremendous challenges posed by human trafficking, as well as terrorism and organized crime.
He highlighted the work of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which assists 2,500 human trafficking victims annually.
Mr. Fedotov noted that Austria was a firm supporter of the Trust Fund and said that Ms. Benita Ferrero Waldner had recently been re-elected as chair of its board of trustees.
The Austrian Government and the City of Vienna have been key supporters of the UN in Vienna since it was opened in 1979.
Today, more than 4,000 employees, drawn from over 110 countries, work at the Vienna International Centre.
Mr. Fedotov said: "Our existence in Vienna is due to the Austrian people's generosity. I encourage everyone to visit us and to learn more about the invaluable work undertaken by our staff as they confront many of the world's greatest challenges.''
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