How does disarmament contribute to human rights? UNODA showcases its work at the Human Rights Fair in Vienna

June 30th, 2023

On 5 and 6 June, the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs, in partnership with the United Nations in Vienna and other national and international organizations, hosted an Open Air Human Rights Fair in the Museums Quartier in Vienna. The aim of the event was to promote human rights and present the work of the Vienna-based international organizations to the public, to create a space for people to learn, reflect and engage, and to foster a greater understanding and awareness about human rights. 

UNODA shared an exhibition space with the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs, right next to the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) participated in the fair with an interactive booth, designed to demonstrate the interlinkages between disarmament and human rights in a comprehensive and easy to understand manner. The Vienna Office, in cooperation with other UNODA branches, assembled visual and written material that highlight how disarmament protects, fosters, and strengthens the enjoyment of human rights.  

Visitors were welcomed to the booth with educational materials and memorabilia, such as disarmament pins, flyers about the work of the Office and its links with human rights, as well as postcards containing striking facts and figures underlining the role of disarmament and non-proliferation efforts in the effective implementation and strengthening of human rights. Visitors were invited to test their knowledge through a quiz, and the selfie corner gave them the chance to showcase their support for disarmament and human rights. They also heard from UN Messenger of Peace, Michael Douglas, through a video message in the information booth.

Ms. Qi Lai from the UNODA Vienna Office discussing disarmament and human rights with a visitor

The team participated in interactive discussions with audiences of all ages regarding UNODA’s work, current challenges, and how the UN works together with various actors to foster human, national, and collective security. Many young people, including human rights defenders from around the world, showed great interest in the booth and the goals of the organization. The UNODA display was visited by a number of Austrian UN Youth Delegates; the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Volker Türk; former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Mr. Manfred Nowak; and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.

The Austrian UN Youth Delegates (from left to right: Mr. Marvin Huber, Ms. Jana Berchtold, Ms. Miriam Egger) photographed with Ms. Rebecca Jovin, Chief of the UNODA Vienna Office

Keen to test your knowledge about these issues? Check out the online quiz here!

Would you like to spot yourself in the event photos? Find the collection on our Flickr page.