Vienna as a Centre of International Diplomacy - Mayor Ludwig Welcomes Ghada Waly

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: February 6, 2020; 08:23 ♦ (Vindobona)

Mayor Michael Ludwig received the new Director General of the United Nations in Vienna, Ghada Waly, at the Vienna City Hall.

Ms. Ghada Waly with Mayor Michael Ludwig at the Vienna City Hall. / Picture: © Magistrat der Stadt Wien / C.Jobst/PID

"Welcome to Vienna." Vienna's Mayor Michael Ludwig welcomed the new Director General of the UN headquarters, Ghada Fathi Waly, at a meeting in the city hall.

He wished Waly all the best for her work as Director-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office at Vienna and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Speaking with Waly, Ludwig emphasized the great importance of Vienna as a UN location and the excellent cooperation with the United Nations:

"We are proud to be home to one of the four headquarters of the United Nations here in Vienna. The head of the city of Vienna underlined "the immense importance of the UN representation in our city". This was not a matter of course.

"The establishment of the UN City has been a political decision", he quoted Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, for whom Vienna has always been "a city of peace and understanding".

"Today, the UNO in Vienna employs more than 4,000 people from 110 countries. About a third of them come from Austria. The Vienna International Center (VIC) and the congress center located in the neighborhood are today places of peace and international meetings as well as landmarks of the city," emphasized the Mayor during the working meeting.

Today Vienna plays a very central key role. The presence of important organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom) underlines the importance of Vienna as a location. The topics of the Vienna-based UN organizations range from peace promotion, disarmament, security and human rights to sustainability and development.

The United Nations, probably the best-known international organization with 193 member states, has been in existence for 75 years. Worldwide peacekeeping after the horrors of the Second World War was probably the most important reason for its foundation in October 1945. Today, in 2020, the UN has far more priorities, such as, in addition to the protection of human and international rights, the securing of a sustainable future. The UN sustainability goals, called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), are also a matter of great concern to the City of Vienna. Here, projects are implemented at the local level to ensure a happy, solidary, sustainable future for the city and, above all, for the population. 2020 also marks Austria's 65th anniversary of membership of the United Nations.