Study Trip to Vienna International Centre, UNIDO and CTBTO

On the 22nd June 2012, the LL.M. Program, in the framework of Prof. Reinisch’ seminar, offered a visit to two international organizations, namely, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Organization) and CTBTO (Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) both located at the VIC (Vienna International Centre).

At the beginning of the day, a guided tour through the VIC familiarized us with the purpose and history of the VIC . The first main meeting took place at the UNIDO premises (specialized UN agency  promoting three main areas: poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity-building, energy and environment) where we particiapted in a workshop with Dr. Behrouz Moradi, the legal adviser and head of office of legal affairs, and Mr. Marco Lau Dan, a main legal officer in his department. The whole morning consisted of a presentation of UNIDO’s legal framework complemented by a case study and followed by a vivid debate. We were given an in-depth insight into UNIDO‘s  daily legal work, and discussed questions such as: How are staff disputes settled within the UNIDO? Does UNIDO have internal responses to potential corruption ? Is UNIDO affected by UN Security Council economic sanctions? The LLM students appreciated the adequate time management of this tour enabling sufficient place for discussions.

After lunch, the program continued with a meeting of the CTBTO representatives. We were warmly welcomed by Dr. Lisa Tabassi, Chief of the CTBTO Legal Services Section, and other staff members. Dr. Tabassi‘s presentation focussed on the organization of CTBTO, followed by a discussion on its accountability in the light of its verification regime.
Given the fact that the nuclear/atomic energy field is a highly specialized and technical area, we also had the chance to visit the CTBTO radioactivity monitoring centre in order to gain an at least very basic insight into „how the things work“.

To sum it up, in addition to the study trips we enjoyed throughout the year, this particular visit to the UNIDO and the CTBTO, proved to be a very relaxing activity after our exam period. It provided the students with the necessary insights into the daily legal work of the international organizations, and also offered an opportunity to combine our theoretic knowledge of the law of international organizations with the practical aspects of legal work. Moreover a study trip like this, also has an considerable effect on the student’s motivation as it positively stimulates his ideas concerning career plans. Last but not least, study trips per se do have the potential to foster dialogues both among students as well as with the academic experts.

Daniel Kaba (LL.M Program 2011-2012)