IPI’s Vienna office focuses mainly on three areas: conflict prevention, transnational threats, and energy and security. Its main regional focus is Europe and Central Asia.
Among its current and recent activities are:
Peace without Crime
This project (funded by Norway and Switzerland) looks at the impact of transnational organized crime in theaters where there are peace operations, and how the United Nations (and other intergovernmental organizations) can be better prepared and equipped to deal with this threat.
Cooperation with Kazakhstan
Since autumn 2010, IPI’s Vienna office has been supporting Kazakhstan’s engagement in multilateral arrangements including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Conference for Inter-action and Confidence-building in Asia (CICA) and the Istanbul Process.
Support for OSCE Chairmanships
The office supported Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010, Lithuania’s Chairmanship in 2011, and will supporting Switzerland’s Chairmanship in 2014.
Every year since 1970, an IPI seminar has been held in Vienna. This annual seminar (co-organized with the Austrian Federal Ministries of Defence and Sports and European and International Affairs) brings together high-level officials, practitioners, analysts, representatives of civil society, students and the media for an open exchange of views on a topical issue affecting international peace and security. The theme in 2012 was “After the Uprising: The Future of North Africa and the Middle East.” The theme for 2013 is “A Dangerous Nexus: Crime, Conflict and Terrorism in Failing States.”
Energy and Security
In January 2013, IPI’s Vienna office launched a project to look at the impact of energy on security. A number of regional case studies will be carried out in consultation with experts, and a high-level task force will issue recommendations on how to reduce the threat posed by energy-related conflicts.
Interethnic, Intercultural, and Interreligious dialogue
The office supports initiatives designed to promote peace through dialogue. For example, it assists the (Vienna-based) Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, and has expertise on the protection of national minorities and implementing integration strategies in ethnically diverse environments.
IPI’s Vienna office was instrumental in developing the concept of the Humanitarian Operation Force (HOPEFOR), a Qatar-led initiative designed to make more effective use of military and civil defense assets for natural disaster relief. It continues to support the HOPEFOR initiative. It has also done work on issues related to refugees and internally-displaced persons, including lessons learned from regional solutions to displacement in the Western Balkans, and the challenge of dealing with displacement caused by natural disasters.
Regional Cooperation in Central Asia
The office works to promote regional cooperation in Central Asia. It is currently carrying out a strategic assessment of the region, and is involved in regional projects designed to promote good-neighbourly relations and implement confidence-building measures. The office assisted the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan to draft its program of action for 2012-2014.
Conflict Prevention and Mediation
The office closely monitors conflict settlement and confidence-building processes in the OSCE area, particularly in Kosovo and Moldova, and provides analysis and recommendations as well as Track II diplomacy.
The office regularly hosts seminars and other events on issues related to peace and security, particularly in Europe and Central Asia.
The office is steadily expanding its network of contacts among governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and research institutes, particularly in Europe and Central Asia.