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Past events

Title: Non-proliferation, disarmament & global governance: The role of the Vienna community in the preparations for the Summit of the Future and beyond

Date: Tuesday, 30 January 2024, 3:00-4:30pm CET
Location: Vienna International Centre, BR-A (M-building, 2nd floor) and Zoom

Vienna Conversation Series event, organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Vienna Office

Background:

The United Nations Secretary-General, in 2021, published his report entitled “Our Common Agenda”. The report represents the Secretary-General's vision for a renewed multilateralism for the next 25 years and aims at, inter alia, accelerating the full and timely implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

In the “Our Common Agenda” report, the Secretary-General proposes the holding of a Summit of the Future to forge a new global consensus on what our future should look like, and what we can do to secure it. The summit will be held from 22 to 23 September 2024 in New York, bringing together United Nations Member States, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, and youth. An action-oriented “Pact for the Future”, to be co- facilitated by Germany and Namibia, is expected to be agreed by Member States through intergovernmental negotiations leading to the Summit.

At the invitation of Member States, the Secretary-General issued 11 policy briefs to provide more detail on certain proposals included in the “Our Common Agenda” report and to support Member States in their deliberations as they prepare for the Summit of the Future. Vienna-based organizations of the UN family served as penholders of and/or contributors to various policy briefs, including the “A New Agenda for Peace” and the “For All Humanity – the Future of Outer Space Governance” policy briefs. Insights were furthermore collected through inclusive consultations with different external and internal stakeholders, including Member States, regional organizations, civil society, UN agencies and partner organizations.

Whereas the goal of the present event was to provide an overarching view on the Summit of the Future, the discussion primarily spotlighted the recommendations outlined in the “A New Agenda for Peace” policy brief, recognizing this policy brief’s particular importance to the mandate of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and its relevance and linkages to Vienna-based processes, particularly those that relate to the prevention of armed conflict, as well as the preservation of peace and security and strengthened global governance. Recognizing the importance of outer space issues for the Vienna community, the event also touched upon the “For All Humanity – the Future of Outer Space Governance” policy brief.

Agenda and speakers

Master of ceremony:

  • Ms. Rebecca Jovin, Chief, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Vienna Office

Moderator:

  • Mr. Martin Nesirky, Director, United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna

Opening remarks:

  • H.E. Mr. Götz Volker Carl Schmidt-Bremme, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations and to other International Organizations (Vienna)
  • H.E. Mr. Vasco Mushe Samupofu, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Namibia to the United Nations and to other International Organizations (Vienna)

Keynote:

  • Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

Panelists:

  • Dr. Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
  • Ms. Aarti Holla-Maini, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
  • Mr. Jacek Bylica, Chief of Cabinet, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Title: Bridging the divide: The role of networks in advancing inclusive disarmament processes

Date: Wednesday 6 September 2023, 15:30-17:00 CET
Location: Vienna International Centre (CR-7, C-building, 7th floor) and on Zoom

In December 2022, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) launched its first Office-wide disarmament education strategy. The strategy outlined four key outcome areas that the Office will strive to advance in the coming years in its disarmament education work. This event focuses on key outcome area III “Inclusive and diverse disarmament processes advanced” as well as the overarching theme of the centrality of partnerships and networks in achieving impactful and sustainable disarmament education.

This interactive roundtable event aimed at showcasing the value of integrating diverse perspectives in disarmament discourse and decision-making processes, providing concrete examples and success stories, as well as exploring opportunities for strengthening of interdisciplinary, inter-generational, and cross-regional networks. Panelists explored strategies and best practices for fostering the adoption of an inclusive approach, including intergenerational dialogue, networks and alumni groups, and multistakeholder consultations.

This event also provided an opportunity to launch the UN Disarmament Fellowship alumni network, Vienna Chapter. Established in 1978 at the General Assembly first special session devoted to disarmament, the Fellowship has produced over 1,000 graduates from 170 countries. The event included members of the 2023 cohort of UN Disarmament Fellowship on the occasion of their study visit to Vienna, as well as alumni and inter-generational members of the broader disarmament community.

Speakers

Moderator:

  • Ms. Rebecca Jovin, Chief, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Vienna Office   

Panelists:

  • H.E. Mr. Dario Ernesto Chiru Ochoa, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Panama to the United Nations Vienna and alumnus of the UN Disarmament Fellowship;
  • Ms. Candy Sizakele Moyo, First Secretary - Political, Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations Geneva and 2023 UN Disarmament Fellow.
  • Ms. Kashaf Sohail, Erasmus Mundus Scholar and CTBTO Youth Group member;
  • Ms. Laura Rockwood, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP);

Title: Advancements in Science & Technology: Leveraging disarmament education towards greater diversity and inclusion

Date: Thursday 2 March 2023, 14:00-15:30 CET
Location: Vienna International Centre (CR-1, C-building, 2nd floor) and on Zoom

On December 7, 2022, the UN General Assembly, at the initiative of Kyrgyzstan, adopted resolution 77/51 proclaiming 5 March as the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness. The date also coincides with the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1970.

To commemorate the new international day, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, organized a Vienna Conversation Series event on March 2, 2023.

The distinguished panellists explored various dimensions of the issues related to the impact of advances in science and technologies on international security through the lens of diversity and inclusion, leveraging the power of disarmament education to engage diverse stakeholders, especially new generations, in an inclusive and sustained manner.

Agenda and Speakers

Moderator and MC:

  • Ms. Maria Chepurina, External Relations Officer, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)

Welcoming Remarks:

  • Ms. Rebecca Jovin, Chief, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Vienna Office   
  • H.E. Mr. Sang-wook Ham, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations (Vienna)
  • H.E. Mr. Tolendy Makeyev, Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations (Vienna)

Keynote:

  • Ms. Francesca Giovannini, Executive Director of the Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer  Center for Science  and International Affairs 

Panelists:

  • Ms. Keon-hee Lee, Senior Researcher, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI)
  • Mr. Waleed Helmy, United Nations Youth Champion for Disarmament
  • Ms. Alexandra Ebert, Chief Trust Officer, MOSTLY AI
  • Ms. Kim Obergfaell, Policy Fellow, British American Security Information Council (BASIC) 
Spotlight article
Pictures of the event

Title: Updating our vision for disarmament: inspiring action from the humanitarian approach

Date: Tuesday 8 November 2022, 14:30-16:00 CET
Location: Vienna International Centre (Multi-Media Room, G-building, 5th floor) and on Zoom

This Vienna Conversation Series event, organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Vienna Office in partnership with the Republic of Ireland and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, brought together diverse audiences, including experts in the field of humanitarian disarmament and audience members from the 2022 cohort of recipients of the OSCE-UNODA Scholarship for Peace and Security.

The event, moderated by Ms. Melissa Fleming (United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications), provided an opportunity to exchange views on the humanitarian impact of weapons and the role of humanitarian disarmament in advancing international peace and security and a new vision for disarmament. It identified best practices in promoting the practical application of humanitarian principles and gender-responsive approaches in disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation efforts across regions.

Agenda and Speakers

Moderator and MC:

  • Ms. Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

Panelists:

  • H.E. Mr. Eoin O’Leary, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Vienna
  • Dr. Eirini Giorgou, Legal Adviser, Arms and Conduct of Hostilities Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Iraq Chief Mine Action Programme, United Nations Mine Action Service
  • Ms. Vanda Prošková, Vice-Chair PragueVision Institute and Co-Convener of Youth Fusion

Title: New directions for Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Education

Date: Friday 9 September 2022, 14:00-15:30
Location: Vienna International Center, Conference Room 3 (C-building 7th floor)

Twenty years after the publication of the 2002 United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education, much progress has been made in advancing its 34 recommendations and objective of leveraging disarmament and non-proliferation education to “impart knowledge and skills to individuals to empower them to make their contribution, as national and world citizens, to the achievement of concrete disarmament and non-proliferation measures and the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control.” This event brings together members of the Vienna-based diplomatic community and the 2022 UN Disarmament Fellows as key stakeholders in disarmament and non-proliferation education to engage in a forward-looking dialogue on priorities, parameters and prospects. It seeks to inform the strategic efforts of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to better address the needs of targeted learners and meet the goals set out in the 2002 study in a comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable manner.

Preliminary Agenda:

Welcoming remarks
  • Ms. Rebecca Jovin, Chief UNODA Vienna Office and event moderator
Introduction: The status of DNP education 20 years after the United Nations study

Remarks by:
  • H.E. Ambassador Luis Javier Campuzano Piña, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • H.E. Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara, Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna
Moderated discussion
  • Representatives of the UN Disarmament Fellows 2022 cohort
  • Roundtable participants
More information

Title: Where next for youth in disarmament?

This roundtable-style Vienna Conversation Series event aims to engage youth in a dynamic exchange of views with the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs to raise awareness of disarmament’s centrality in addressing global challenges and to amplify fresh thinking on the future trajectory and vision for disarmament in an era of uncertainty.

Both youth representatives are participants in the ongoing #Leaders4Tomorrow workshop series held as part of ODA´s #Youth4Disarmament initiative.

Recording date: 17 June 2022
Location: Online (Podcast and video format)

Moderator:
  • Rebecca Jovin, Chief of UNODA Vienna Office
Panellists:
  • Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Kasha Sequoia Slavner, Documentary Filmmaker
  • Louis Reitmann, Research Associate at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Title: Global challenges and opportunities for multilateral disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control: A conversation with the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Date: 11 May 2022
Location: Online & Vienna International Centre

Keynote Speaker:
  • Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Moderator:
  • Elena Sokova, Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Title: Disarmament and Non-proliferation education: The Way Forward. Current Status and Future Prospects of Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education

Date: 14 November 2019
Location: Vienna International Centre

Welcome:
  • Valere Mantels, Chief of the Vienna Office
Moderation:
  • Elena Sokova, Executive Director VCDNP
Panel:
  • H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, Director, Department of Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
  • Laura Mueller, Associate FSC Support Officer, FSC Support Section, OSCE
  • Aaron Yoo, Political Affairs Officer, UNODA
  • Lena Strauss, Alumni, joint UNODA-OSCE Scholarship for Peace and Security

Title: Emerging technologies: A blessing or a curse?

Date: 9 May 2019
Location: Vienna International Centre

Keynote Speakers:
  • Ulrich Kühn, Deputy Head of the Arms Control and Emerging Technologies Program, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
  • Malin Oestevik, Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering Section, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Moderator:
  • Laura Rockwood, Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Supported by: Government of Austria

Title: Conversation with Youth – Ending Nuclear Tests: why should I care?

Date: 6 December 2016
Location: Vienna International Centre

Keynote Speakers:
  • Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
  • Kim Won-soo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Moderator:
  • Laura Rockwood, Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

About the Disarmament Conversation Series

A fundamental value in the debate on disarmament and non-proliferation is dialogue, be it direct or indirect, face-to-face or through different media platforms. To this end, UNODA Vienna Office has initiated the “Vienna Conversation Series” aiming at providing a platform for fruitful discussions and knowledge exchange among the different stakeholders and interested audiences. Organized in a “talk-show” format and broadcasted on social media, UNODA and its partners host guest speakers to address selected issues. Participants are invited to pose questions live and online through UNODA’s social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.

These events contribute to the key goals enshrined in UNODA’s mandate and the UN Secretary-General’s vision for disarmament.

Objectives

The Vienna Conversation Series aims at:

Promoting and facilitating dialogue between the disarmament and non-proliferation community, other relevant stakeholders and interested audiences including the media, youth, academia, civil society, the private sector and the diplomatic community.

Raising awareness of issues of disarmament, non-proliferation and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Providing a platform for fruitful discussions and knowledge exchange about the UN Secretary-General’s vision and priorities for multilateral disarmament.

Exploiting the potential of Vienna having become a centre of excellence in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation.