“Located in the heart of Europe as a geographic interface between different cultures, religions and political systems,

Austria has been, and continues to be, a bridge-builder that supports constructive dialogue.” (Austria.org)

Since its ascension to the United Nations, Austria has become a flourishing site for exchanging ideas and where constructive conversations about some of the most pertinent issues facing communities at the local, regional and international level can take place. As a result of the emphasis on dialogue and cooperation, Vienna has successfully been able to host the international community.

As one of the four headquarters of the United Nations along with New York, Geneva and

Nairobi, the UN Office at Vienna Secretariat unit gives administrative support to various UN bodies and institutions and is also responsible for conference planning and interpretation services for more than 2,000 conferences and meetings around the year. Out of the 19 agencies of the UN Vienna, foreign policy, suitability and development fair amongst the most crucial activities, which can be observed in the achievements of agencies such as Peace and Security, Refugees, Disarmament Affairs and Peacebuilding. Additionally, specialised agencies such as UNIDO, The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation host a number of interdisciplinary practitioners, in the aim of promoting industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

As a result of the institutional tradition of international dialogue that the Vienna Hub has been able to foster, ICO has chosen Vienna to further contribute to the development of this inclusive forum and lean on the expertise carefully crafted by organisations in the vicinity.

 

By remaining committed to international law, conflict resolution, mediation and democratic channels as avenues to resolve conflict, International Communities Organisation in Vienna will host communities whose grievances often fall on deaf ears. Why is this type of neutral engagement necessary?

“Today two billion people are affected by fragility, conflict or violence and by 2030, half of these people will live in extreme poverty.” (International Committee of the Red Cross)

Unrest around the world today perpetuates intricate humanitarian issues. Beyond the domestic ills which countries must endure international repercussions are also heightened especially in regards to the displacement of peoples. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and standards of living rise, exclusion, injustices, radicalism, types of weaponry and modern warfare techniques creates significant obstacles to progress and devastates the lives of so many. How to address conflict and its externalities is a question as old as time. By combining Research, Education, Dialogue, Access to Capital, and Policy-driven initiatives, ICO Vienna, seeks to help to provide a holistic approach to this question.

Through research, ICO seeks to harness the pluralism of ideas of our fellows and advisers to continue to critically engage with key concepts of international law such as internal and external self- determination, territorial integrity, sovereignty, human rights and empowerment. Through dialogue, ICO aims to lead by example by fostering impartial and inclusive debate on the grievances that different factions may experience. By using policy-driven initiatives, ICO Vienna will hope to support the outcomes of dialogue, with the help of policy experts so that communities’ proposal may have a better chance of success through peaceful means. Lastly, our focus on access to capital in emerging markets, often denied to SMEs who activities directly improve the lives of their local communities, seeks to create opportunities and harness untapped innovation.

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