“to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small…”

View of the Vienna International Centre
Memorial Plaza at the UN in Vienna
Flags of some of the 193 member states plus the non-members: Palestine and the Holy See at the end
Flags of the member countries, in alphabetical order by name
More flags
Conference room where meetings are held – this room seats 300; there are many more rooms like this in the facility

Vienna is host to one of four United Nations offices in the world, besides New York, Geneva and Nairobi. The office here was established in 1980, though the International Atomic Energy Agency had established their headquarters in Vienna as early as 1957, followed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in 1967. Vienna is a logical place for some of the UN work due to its neutral status and central location in Europe.

This piece from Japan depicts two phoenixes risings from the ashes to represent Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Another colorful piece – I did not get which country it’s from
Another colorful piece – I did not get which country it’s from
This sculpture is from Turkey
This painting is from the Philippines

The UN office in Vienna is housed in the Vienna International Centre, a massive khaki and orange complex not far from the Danube River. The complex is owned by the Austrian government, but the UN pays a symbolic rent of €1 per year. Austrian law provides squatter’s rights to anyone living in a place without paying rent for 30 years, so this symbolic rent maintains Austrian ownership of the facilities.

Captioned This Bell from Japan
This piece is intriguing, but unfortunately I didn’t get which country it’s from
Another view of This Bell

The United Nations currently has 193 member states and two non-member states (Holy See and Palestine). Art in the complex reflects this multiculturalism, with pieces donated from all over the world.

A gift from Russia to commemorate Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space
A moon rock, a gift from the USA
Various rockets from space explorations
A model of the International Space Station
A model of the International Space Station

Visits to the UN are open to anyone – I went with my cohort mates one afternoon and was fascinated to see the inside of such an important organization.

Title quote: Just one part of the Preamble to the UN Charter, 1945. Read the whole charter here.

An exhibit to raise awareness about sex trafficking

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