On 27th April 2022, the Austrian Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, welcomed the more than 80 Permanent Representatives of international organisations in Vienna to the Foreign Ministry for an exchange about Austria’s role as an official seat. As a former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, he can look back on a leading career in the field of international organizations. The meeting marked the resumption of a regular dialogue format that will help to further strengthen Vienna as an official seat for international institutions.
As an official seat, it is particularly important for us to stay in close contact with the permanent missions of the international organisations. In particular, the Foreign Ministry aims to make diplomats’ stays here as pleasant and productive as possible for their essential multilateral work,
said Secretary-General Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal in his welcome speech for the Permanent Representatives at the Foreign Ministry.
Following the Secretary-General’s introductory words, Arad Benkö, the ambassador responsible for the official seat of Austria, gave an overview of the upcoming high-level conferences scheduled for this year. For instance, the Chief Executive Board of the United Nations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, will meet in Vienna in May. In June, Vienna will also host the first meeting of the State Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Current plans to establish new offices were also discussed during the meeting. By implementing active hosting policies, Austria is working to attract more international organisations and institutions in addition to the 52 international organizations and institutions already headquartered here. Only in April, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague opened a new branch office in Vienna. In May, this will be followed by the new office of the Commission of Inquiry for Ukraine and Belarus of the UN Human Rights Council. Furthermore, new offices for the areas of security and sustainability are being promoted to reinforce the already existing hub.
We will continue striving to promote Austria one of most important official seats in the world for official international headquarters,
said Secretary-General Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.
As the only UN location in the EU, Vienna is one of the best-known official seats in the world. With more than 134 representations, observer missions and liaison offices for international organisations in Vienna, along with 54 delegations to the Vienna-based OSCE, Austria hosts hundreds of diplomats. This also results in economic advantages for Austria as an official seat. According to an IHS study, the presence of international organisations in Austria secures around 19,000 jobs with a gross value added effect of approximately 1.35 billion euros.