The UNODA Vienna Office was inaugurated in February 2012 by then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as “a response to the growing need for cooperation in all areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control… [to] improve collaboration among the Vienna-based organizations and specialized agencies.”
The UNODA Vienna Office is housed at the Vienna International Centre (Photo by @UNIS Vienna)
The activities undertaken by the Vienna Office contribute to the realization of the mission and vision of UNODA and are based on its dual role of liaison office and hub for disarmament education.
In its liaison capacity, the Office represents UNODA vis-à-vis Vienna-based institutions and processes and promotes the work of UNODA across its various mandated functions. As such, it builds and strengthens partnerships and cooperation with and among relevant Vienna-based offices and organizations, promoting dialogue, as well as enhancing awareness and galvanizing interest across all areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Some of the Office’s key local partners include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). In addition, the Vienna Office works closely with Member States, regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and Vienna-based mechanisms such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA). The Office cooperates with locally based civil society organizations and think tanks such as the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP).
As UNODA’s hub for disarmament education, the Vienna Office supports the strategic direction and effective implementation of UNODA’s educational efforts. Grounded in the 2002 United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education and solidified in UNODA’s Disarmament Education Strategy launched in late 2022, the Office works to engage and empower diverse audiences to be informed and active citizens in advancing disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control goals. With its global mandate and unique authority, UNODA has a widely recognized role as the leading source of comprehensive, timely and impartial disarmament information and knowledge-building tools. Leveraging this position, the Office develops and hosts self-paced and instructor-led learning on disarmament, non-proliferation and control on its globally available, free e-learning platform, the Disarmament Education Dashboard. With approximately 30 open online training courses and over 21,000 registered users, the Dashboard caters to the differentiated needs and interests of diverse target audiences, with the ultimate goal of more impactful and sustainable disarmament education for all.
The e-learning platform, developed and maintained by the Vienna Office, is also utilized to implement trainings by UNODA Branches and Regional Centers and Office-wide initiatives, including the annual Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament for national officials from Member States with particular focus on nationals from developing countries, as well as the 2023-2030 Youth Leader Fund for a World without Nuclear Weapons, supported by the Government of Japan, aimed at equipping the leaders of the future ages 18-29 years with the knowledge, skills, and network to join global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
In furthering its dual roles as liaison office and disarmament education hub, the Office promotes awareness-raising and dialogue on timely issues affecting multilateral disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. The Office’s Vienna Conversation Series is a recurring forum for the disarmament and non-proliferation community and eminent stakeholders, as well as other interested audiences such as academia, civil society organizations, media, private sector and youth with the aim of exchanging ideas and fostering discussion on pertinent issues. The Office also conducts regular briefings to visiting groups, particularly students and young professionals, and participates in public fairs, outreach events, and other programmes of the UN Office in Vienna (e.g., Shadowing Programme by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna). These events provide an opportunity for the Office to demystify disarmament among the general public and reinforce an understanding of disarmament’s relevance for the achievement of peace and security, sustainable development, human rights, and gender equality.
As such, the activities undertaken by the Vienna Office contribute to advancing broader global frameworks including the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (especially Goals 4, 5, 16 and 17); the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; and the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. In addition, the objectives and vision presented in two of the United Nations Secretary-General’s agendas, namely the 2018 “Securing our Common Future” – An Agenda for Disarmamentand 2021 Our Common Agenda and associated relevant Policy Briefs serve as guidelines in establishing priority areas and long-term goals for the Office.
- Disarmament Education Dashboard
- Vienna Office flyer (English) (pdf)
- Dashboard flyer (English) (pdf)
- Vienna Office flyer (German) (pdf)
- Dashboard flyer (German) (pdf)
- 10th Anniversary of the UNODA Vienna Office (video)