Graz, 20/11/2013. After giving a conference about career opportunities with the United Nations, Mr. Janos Tisovszky, the Director of the United Nations Information Service in Vienna, met with AFA Graz (UNYSA Austria) members and interested students at the University of Graz.
Mr. Tisovszky expressed the importance of youth associations contributing to the UN’s work. There is a considerable amount of young people as well as former UN staff and diplomats who bring in their energy and invaluable knowledge. He also outlined the stable experience in collaborating with AFA as well as with UNYANET, emphasising the jointly organised Model UN workshop in July. Anna-Katharina Deininger (AFA Graz) thanked Mr. Tisovszky for his kindness to offer the opportunity to meet and discuss and expressed her gratitude on behalf of AFA Graz and UNYANET for the friendly and fruitful cooperation with UNIS Vienna.
One of the points that was discussed is the “Shadow Programme“ which takes place just the days before and after UN day (October 24th). Students from Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Ljubljana had the opportunity to accompany UN officials for an entire day, joining them in their offices, conferences and meetings and hence gaining deep insights into the working methods and daily realities of the UN. There might be some future cooperation with AFA Graz for the Shadow Programme in 2014 and beyond. Mr. Tisovszky said that UNIS Vienna’s would indeed be willing to decentralise to some extent and foster contact with local entities.ance of youth associations contributing to
the UN’s work. There is a considerable amount of young people as well as former UN staff and diplomats who bring in their energy and invaluable knowledge. He also outlined the stable experience in collaborating with AFA as well as with UNYANET, emphasising the jointly organised Model UN Workshop in July 2013. Anna-Katharina Deininger (AFA Graz) thanked Mr. Tisovszky for his kindness to offer the opportunity to meet and discuss as well as expressed her gratitude on behalf of AFA Graz and Tisovszky for the friendly and fruitful cooperation with UNIS Vienna.
Some best practices and strategies on outreach and communication for PR
work have been presented. It is – especially considering the budgetary situation of the UN on one hand, and of youth associations on the other – crucial to form partnerships in all possible areas. Mr. Tisovszky in particular highlighted synergies with the creative industry. Within the business sector there are still many opportunities for mutually benefiting cooperation waiting to be discovered. When working across borders, cultural nuances and peculiarities, in particular, must be taken into account. For example, Mr. Tisovszky mentioned that the campaigns for international days, including the UN day or the Holocaust Memorial Day may require different approaches due to coinciding dates with national holidays. The United Nations Associations of the respective countries are indeed very reliable partners in this matter.
Another topic that was discussed is a very successful outreach project of UNIS Vienna called “Ciné-ONU”, which is composed by a series of monthly public screenings of critical films and documentaries related to UN activities and attracts a numerous and heterogeneous audience.
Additionally, the discussion included the topic of Model UN conferences as they are seen as a good way to familiarise young people with the work of the UN and thus UNIS Vienna welcomes and supports these initiatives.
Regarding the role of Austria within the United Nations, the director of UNIS Vienna stated that it is a valuable member to the Organization due to various reasons. Considering the country’s relatively small size, Austrian citizens hold many influential positions within the UN, e.g. the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal. Mr. Tisovszky then explained the UN’s and member states’ reactions on the withdrawal of Austrian troops from the Peace-Keeping Mission on the Golan Heights.
He recapitulated the Career Workshop where he presented the Young Professional
Programme, the Associate Expert Programme and their application and selection
processes, as well as possibilities to work with the UN at member states level. He
confirmed his awareness of the challenges for potential UN interns such as the
requirement of having to be enrolled in a postgraduate programme and problems
associated with the lack of remuneration.
Areas for potential cooperation between UNIS Vienna and AFA Graz have been
set out. In addition to the Shadow Programme in 2014, contact will be established with
IAEA officials for an event in Graz on nucelar safety and security issues, which could be done by video conference, thank you to UNYANET’s partner Adobe Connect Pro. Moreover, Graz Model United Nations Club and especially the Graz delegation to the WorldMUN 2014 in Brussels can count on substantial support from UNIS Vienna if needed.
Author: Anna-Katharina DEININGER