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About the Conference

The Vienna UN Conference joined Vienna-based organizations, the diplomatic community, civil society, NGOs, academics, business leaders and media representatives to discuss actions, potentials, and challenges linked to SDG 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.’

Participants shared best practices and explored potential future collaborations in this multi-stakeholder forum, while spotlighting the International Gender Champions – Vienna initiative.

In the spirit of SDG 17 (specifically, Target 17.17: ‘Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships’) an intriguing mix of international stakeholders participated.

Heather Wokusch led the design, organization and implementation of this event on behalf of the Vienna Liaison Office of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS).






The Conference was held January 10-12, 2018. As a kick off, there was an Austrian Broadcasting Corporation
DialogForum Event held at Webster Vienna Private University on January 9th: ‘How to Change the World’


Group photo of the International Gender Champions in attendance

H.E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (message)
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, CTBTO

Christine Stix-Hackl, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, Vienna
Brendon Hammer, Ambassador, Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations Vienna, Austria
Helen Eduards, Ambassador of Sweden to Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna
Doaa Al Zamel, Syrian student and subject of A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival

Nicole Shampaine, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. and Acting Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, DPA Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC
Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA
Fatou Haidara, Managing Director, Policy and Programme Support, UNIDO

* Opening Session moderated by Heather Wokusch of the ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office

Systems and strategies for ensuring equal opportunities for women regarding leadership at all levels of decision-making.

Corinna Milborn, Head of Information, ProSieben Sat.1 PULS 4 Media

Peri Lynne Johnson, Director of the Office Legal Affairs, IAEA
Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA)
Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Founder/Executive Director, Women@TheTable
Martina Gredler, Chair, NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna

Challenges of attaining leadership positions in various fields and the ensuing responsibility to create opportunities for the next generation.

Welcoming remarks:
Maximilian Edelbacher, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Officer

Klaus Unterberger, Head of Public Value, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF)

Angela Me, Chief Research and Trend Analysis Branch, UNODC
Christine Muttonen, Politician and Educator
Angelika Kiessling, Head of Corporate Communications, Robert Bosch AG
Heba Essam El-Din El-Sayed, UNODA Women Scholarship for Peace: Global South

Welcome remarks:
Sonja Wintersberger
, Deputy Director, UNIS Vienna

Angela Me, Chief, Research and Trend Analysis Branch, UNODC

Panelists from the Regional Academy on the United Nations share their research findings on these topics:

  • Demographic impact of violence / violence against women
  • Southeast Asia: The role of women in the prevention of violent extremism and radicalizations
  • Low-threshold drug help services in Vienna: A gender-sensitive analysis
  • Women and disarmament & disarmament education for young female professionals

Click here to learn more about this RAUN Session and its Researchers.
Download information about the RAUN Sessions.

Sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, Vienna to spotlight Gender Champions and others working for the benefit of women, youth representatives.

Hosted by the City of Vienna

Introduction on Vienna’s Gender Programme provided by Ursula Bauer, Executive Group for Organisation, Safety and Security - Gender Mainstreaming Section

Women at Risk

Welcoming remarks:
Math Noortmann, Incoming Executive Director, ACUNS

Narrative Documentary

Discussion about a 25-minute narrative documentary which was created for this conference.

Dangers of violence that women and children, especially girls, face in the private sphere: physical, sexual or psychological abuse that can also lead to death.

Hermann Aschentrupp, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Rep. of Mexico to the UN in Vienna

Andrada Filip, Project Coordinator, (Women Against Violence Europe) WAVE
Melanie Goisauf, Lecturer, University of Vienna
Rosy Weiss, Past-President of the International Alliance of Women

A discussion of reproductive health & rights, informed decision, sex education, contraceptive use, child marriage, forced marriage and FGM.

Rachel Loper, Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) Scholar

Etenesh Hadis, Founder and President, African Women's Organization in Austria
Mamadou Kone, Consultant International Relations, Aktion Regen
Barbara Maier, President, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Familienplanung

Looking at various issues connected to women and war, including disarmament, and the specific challenges faced by women experiencing refugee issues.

Ismail H. Balla, Chief, UNODA Vienna Office

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, DPA Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC
Brigadier Gen. Walter Feichtinger, Austrian National Defence Academy
Ingeborg Geyer, UN-Representative Vienna, Zonta International
Karuna Parajuli, UNODA Women Scholarship for Peace: Global South

Julia Rutz, Head of Research and Migration Law Department, IOM

Panelists from the Regional Academy on the United Nations share their research findings on these topics:

  • Journey of Hazard and Hope: Risks and coping strategies of Syrian women searching for asylum in Austria
  • The impact of social media on the smuggling of migrants
  • Women and income generating activities in Afghanistan/Iran
  • Female mountain farmers & sustainable development in Austria: An analysis of their roles and environmental attitude

Click here to learn more about this RAUN Session and its Researchers.
Download information about the RAUN Sessions.

Gender Equality and Equal Access to Economic Resources

Undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources and ending all forms of economic discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

Andrej Benedejčič, Ambassador, Permanent Rep. of Slovenia to the UN in Vienna

Jenny Clift, Officer in Charge, UNCITRAL
Lucia Mokra, Faculty Member, Comenius University
Cecilia Vera Lagomarsino, Coordinator for Austria, RAUN

Challenges and opportunities in rural women's empowerment: existing gender inequalities in economic and private spheres, climate change, and access to resources.

Laurie Richardson, Secretary, NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna, and UN Liaison, FAWCO

Anne Marit Hovstad, Projects Committee Chair, Associated Country Women of the World
Theresia Oedl-Wieser, Rural Development Expert, Austrian Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry

Enhancing women's role in securing mandatory common good resources.

Peter Weish, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President, Soroptimist International
Emőke Both, Founder, Bagazs - Hungary
Darline Giraud , Co-founder, Women at UN-Accountability Buddy Network

Engaging women in technology development, research and innovation. Enabling the use of information and communications technology to promote the empowerment of women.

Pilar Saborío de Rocafort, Ambassador, Permanent Rep. of Costa Rica to the UN in Vienna

Nurcan Meral Özel, Director, International Monitoring System Division, CTBTO
Markus Woltran, Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Daria Shumilova, CTBTO Youth Group Member
Nina Wöss, Female Founders

Hedda Femundsenden, Gender Coordinator, UNIDO

Panelists from the Regional Academy on the United Nations share their research findings on these topics:

  • Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in the UN System: Policies/Strategies and Action Plans
  • Women and industrial development: The role of changing technologies/automation
  • Women and political participation
  • Private Sector and Civil Society Partnerships against Corruption in Southeast Europe (SEE)

Click here to learn more about this RAUN Session and its Researchers.
Download information about the RAUN Sessions.

This conference was honored to receive a welcoming message from
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed
Here is an excerpt:
Gender inequality affects every one of us — women and men, girls and boys. It is perhaps the most pervasive inequality globally. Tackling it is our shared responsibility, and is fundamental to reaching a more just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world for all.
Ms. Amina J. MohammedUnited Nations Deputy Secretary-General


The Vienna UN Conference is entirely grateful for the sponsorship of those listed here
and inspired by their commitment to achieve gender equality and female empowerment:


We also thank those which have worked closely with the Conference:

The Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) is an international and multi-disciplinary program which trains Master and Ph.D. students from around the world in issues related to the United Nations (UN) and international cooperation. RAUN’s aim is to provide young participants with in-depth knowledge and resources about the UN and its functions, to raise their cultural awareness and openness, and to offer them a forum for networking and academic exchange. Since its creation in 2012, RAUN has trained over 170 young scholars from more than 25 countries.

Join Online

Thanks to our partner Webster Vienna Private University, the ‘Collaborative Vision of SDG 5 Conference’ at the UN Vienna was live streamed. People joined us from across the world!

The recorded stream is archived at the webstervienna YouTube channel.


Sharing the message far and wide…

What kind of experience and resources are important for creating peace and democracy today?  Do we need new alliances, a new mindset? This Austrian Broadcasting Corporation DialogForum event was live streamed.

Multimedia Conference coverage was enhanced through cooperation with IDN-InDepthNews, which serves as flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate and its partner, the Global Cooperation Council.

We blogged, tweeted and shared the Conference in multiple formats.

  • Conference Room C3
    C-Building, Seventh Floor
    Vienna International Centre
    Wagramerstrasse 5
    A-1400 Vienna, Austria
  • vienna.liaison@acuns.org

Register for the 2018 Vienna UN Conference

Attending the Conference is absolutely free of charge, but seating is limited and mandatory advance registration is on a first-come-first-served basis.

The 2018 Vienna UN Conference has reached registration capacity. We regret that no new registrations are possible at this time.

Conference registration is closed.

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