The following is a message to all United Nations personnel in Austria from Ghada Waly, who is the Designated Official for Austria. Ms. Waly is also Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna and the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. The Designated Official is the responsible for the security and safety of all UN system personnel and their dependents in Austria.
The United Nations in Vienna joins our Host City and Country in mourning in the wake of last night’s terrorist attacks. We utterly reject hate and terror as we stand in solidarity with the people and Government of Austria.
I have ordered our flags at the VIC to be lowered as we grieve with Austria during this period of national mourning.
The safety and well-being of all UN personnel at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and elsewhere in Austria, and of their families, remains my top priority.
You should have received messages from the UN Security and Safety Service (UNSSS) with updates and advice. Stay at home unless your presence is essential in the office. I would like to thank our UNSSS colleagues for their continued vigilance and for keeping us safe.
It is truly a difficult time for all of us. Today also marks the return to remote work arrangements at the VIC until the end of November as we support our Host Country in dealing with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors are urged to provide all necessary assistance to help their staff balance work-life responsibilities.
For all those who know and love Vienna and Austria, and have enjoyed their warm hospitality and safety, Monday was a night we shall never forget. I encourage all those needing support to reach out to your Human Resources colleagues and staff counsellor, who are there to help.
Please exercise caution in what is still an active security incident and remain mindful of all necessary health and safety measures.
We will not allow terrorists to terrorize us. Together we will get through this.