Joined UNESCO: 13/08/1948

Austria hosts a number of Specialised Agencies, UN subsidiary organs and bodies and other international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as: IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) UNODCCP (United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention) UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) CTBTO (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization); Provisional Technical Secretariat UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) OFID (OPEC Fund for Industrial Development) IPI (International Press Institute) EU Observation Centre for Racism and Xenophobia

Head of State and/or Government

Federal President: H.E. Mr Alexander der Bellen
Federal Chancellor: Mr Sebastian Kurz

Permanent Delegation to UNESCO

H. E. Mr Michael Linhart
Ambassdor, Permanent Delegate (17/01/2019)

Permanent Delegation of Austria to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO Bureau M7.12 / M7.25 1, rue Miollis 75732 PARIS Cedex 15

H. E. Mrs Claudia Reinprecht
Ambassador Alternate Permanent Delegate

Permanent Delegation of Austria to UNESCO
Maison de l'UNESCO Bureau M7.12 / M7.25 1, rue Miollis 75732 PARIS Cedex 15

National Commission for UNESCO

President: Dr. Sabine Haag
Secretary-General: Ms Gabriele Eschig

Austrian Commission for UNESCO
Universitätsstraße 5/4. Floor/12 A-1010 Vienna Austria
(43-1) 526 13 01
(43-1) 526 13 01 - 20
oeuk(a); eschig(a) (SG)
Web site

Read more National Commission for UNESCO

Representation in the Executive Board

The 1991 amendment modified Article V of the Constitution, regarding the status of members of the Board. From the 27th session of the General Conference (1993), the Executive Board consists of Member States rather than of persons (26 C/Resolution 19.3).
Title Name Years Sessions
MembreMr Kurt Blaukopf1972-197690-100

Participation in subsidiary organs

Organs elected by the General Conference

International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council for the International Hydrological Programme
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Country of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)
Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee
Member (Term expires : 40th General Conference)

Other intergovernmental organs

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Member (Term expires : 2020)

Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference

37 session of the General Conference

Her Excellency Ms Claudia Schmied, Austrian Minister of Education, Arts and Culture

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings

36 session of the General Conference

H.E. Mr Wolfgang WALDNER, State Secretary for European and International Affairs

Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received

35 session of the General Conference

H.E. Dr Claudia Schmied, Federal Minister of Education, Arts and Culture

“Please allow me to express my warmest gratitude to Mr Matsuura for his efforts to promote UNESCO.”
“The United Nations’ key comparative advantage lies in its universality, in its multilateralism, and in its promotion of core values and principles for worldwide peace and human security. Through the specialized agencies, the United Nations are able to integrate normative work and operational analysis and approaches. UNESCO provides a platform to address a full range of global issues relevant today, and in the current situation of the global economic crisis, UNESCO is more relevant than ever.”
“(…) we are deeply convinced that equal access to education is a fundamental right. UNESCO's work in this field is, from our point of view, unique. Austria highly appreciates that education is still high on the agenda for both the Organization and Member States, and in order to reach the EFA education for all goals, we have to increase our efforts.”
“Austria (…) fully supports UNESCO's implementation scheme for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Austria welcomes the proposal made by Hungary’s Minister Hiller to proclaim a U.N. international decade of languages.”
“In the cultural sector, the promotion of cultural diversity, the safeguarding of our common heritage in all dimensions, and the dialogue of cultures are among Austria's top priorities. The effective implementation of the relevant UNESCO conventions is of major importance to us. We also attach great importance to the Memory of the World program.”
“As for the field of social and human sciences, Austria's interests correspond closely with those of UNESCO, endeavouring to encourage and disseminate human rights research, while at the same time promoting education in this field.”
“A free press (…) is one of most essential components of a democratic society. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. UNESCO’s medium-term goal to establish integrated communication and information policies in conformity with the principles of press freedom will help to create pluralistic media and free flow of information.”
“We must ensure that UNESCO offers a forum of dialogue and consensus-building, and that UNESCO is able to envisage a strategy focused on policy advice, standard-setting and capacity-building.”
“I would like to congratulate Ms. Irina Bokova to her nomination as future Director-General, and I assure her of the full and entire support of my country.”

34 session of the General Conference

H.E. Dr Hans Winkler, Minister of State for European and International Affairs

Austria fully supports all initiatives of UNESCO and has also supported and encouraged the reform process. UNESCO has to hold the place it deserves within the United Nations family.
“UNESCO must become the prime mediator for convincing the world community that we need to intensify all possible efforts to secure the access of everybody and everywhere to the chances of an emerging knowledge society.”
Austria urges UNESCO to work towards reducing cultural divide and promote the dialogue of civilisations. Austria actively contributes to this dialogue and participated recently in the high-level conference on inter-religious and intercultural understanding and cooperation for peace in the General Assembly in New York.
“Education and training of young people for women and by women is increasingly important, and it seems therefore appropriate to call upon UNESCO to support this process of involvement of women in the formation of future generations.”
Austria accords high priority to the UNESCO’s inter-religious dialogue programme. A conference of European imams was held in Vienna in April of 2006 in order to promote understanding between cultures. Furthermore, a new Chair in intercultural and inter-religious dialogue for southeast Europe was created in Graz.
“Austria, together with Hungary, have put forward initiatives in the United Nations in New York aiming at preserving the diversity of languages in the world, and we left very satisfied that the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 the International Year of Languages. Austria has high expectations in UNESCO in this respect.”
Austria would like to see UNESCO continue its efforts with regard to education in human rights. The 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could be the right moment to renew efforts in this field.
“One of UNESCO’s most successful and visible activities is the World Heritage Programme. Austria is convinced that the growing number of World Cultural Heritage Sites can help to better understand the cultural vitality and diversity of countries and regions.”
“With the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in October 2005, UNESCO has set a milestone in this field.”

Celebration of anniversaries

200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) (2009)

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Austrian composer and conductor, was one of the most prominent composers of the Classical period. He is considered as the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". He also wrote many piano sonatas, piano trios, divertimentos, and masses, which became the foundation for the Classical style in these compositional types. Although other composers were prominent in the earlier Classical period, Haydn had undoubtedly the strongest overall influence on musical style in this era. A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterhazy family. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original".

250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer (1756-1791) (2006)

Mozart was one of the most significant and influential composers of Western classical music. He started to play piano at the age of three, began composing music before he was five years old and created at least 600 musical compositions. He is the author of religious masterpieces (Requiem, Great Mass, etc.), operas (Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, etc.) and 41 symphonies, several concertos, sonatas and chamber music. He travelled extensively through Europe before becoming Concertmaster in Salzburg from 1772-1777, and then moved to Vienna as a free artist where he married Constanza Weber and resided until his death in 1791.

150th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud, psychologist and psychoanalyst (1856-1939) (2006)

The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud is undoubtedly one of the most influential scientists of the century. If Freud’s work and the movement he founded remain controversial, his direct importance for the history of psychology and philosophy cannot be minimized, nor can the multiple effects psychoanalysis has had in every field of the social and human sciences. This anniversary is a valuable opportunity to re-examine the contribution and challenges of “the psyche”.

100th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize to Bertha von Suttner (2006)

Bertha von Suttner, writer, pacifist and human rights activist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for the role she played in the European peace movement. Through her friendship with Alfred Nobel she inspired him to found the Peace Prize. The specific event emphasized in this case (the Nobel Peace Prize was for the first time awarded to a woman) is relevant both to the life of the person and to the values of UNESCO. A variety of events, which will take place in Austria and abroad, will commemorate Suttner’s commitment to peace and human rights.

  • 300th anniversary of the foundation of Wroclaw University (2002) (Poland, with the support of Austria, Czech Republic and Germany)

  • The Science Sector supports the joint proposal of the Austrian, Czech, German and Polish National Commissions for UNESCO to celebrate the tercentenary of the founding of Wroclaw University. Founded on 15 November 1702, Wroclaw is one of the oldest universities in Central and Eastern Europe which has made, and continues to make, an important contribution to the culture and science of Europe and the world. Today Wroclaw University has eight faculties and offers a wide variety of research fields in mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, social sciences, etc. The authorities of the university wish to celebrate the anniversary under the motto: Intellectual Unit of Europe.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Sir Karl Popper (2002)

  • Sir Karl Popper (1902-1994) is a major character in twentieth century philosophy. He greatly contributed to the philosophy of science, political thinking and logic. He is indeed considered to be one of the greatest philosophers of science of the last century. He was also a committed advocate of the “Open Society”, criticizing totalitarianism in all of its forms.

  • Hundredth anniversary of the discovery of blood groups by Karl Landsteiner (2000)

  • The discovery of blood groups by the Austrian Nobel Prize laureate Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) was a revolution in biology and medicine, with great theoretical and practical implications for blood transfusion and health care in general.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss (Austria and Germany) (1964)

  • Reference document: 61 EX/16

    100th annivdrsary of the birth of Herman Bahr (Austria) (1963)

    Austrian literary critic, novelist and playwright.

    100th anniversary of the birth of Prince Eugene of Savoy (Austria) (1963)

    Patron of the arts and friend of the most eminent thinkers of his time.

  • 100th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Klimt (Austria) (1962)

  • Reference document: 60 EX/13