Country: Austria

Event: Pearl-MUN 2001

Student: Khaled Al Rubei

The Federal Republic of Austria Country Profile

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The Austrian National Anthem

I. Country Profile


Austria

 




Country Profile

Political Structure:

Austria is a federal Republic with a democratically elected parliament. The parliament, known as Bundesversammlung (The Federal Assembly), consists of 2 councils the National Council, and the Federal Council. The federal Council consists of 63 members. The National council consists of 183 members. The president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term. The president is limited two terms in office.

There are 3 major political parties in Austria. The Austrian People’s party (ÖVP) it is all saw called Austria’s Christian Democratic Party. It supports provisional rights and the Catholic Church. The SPÖ or the social democratic party supports nationalization of key industries, economic planning and wide spread social welfare benefits.


Natural Resources:

Austria has sizeable deposits of iron ore, lignite, magnesite, petroleum, and natural gas and is a prime world supplier of high-grade graphite. Some small deposits of bituminous coal have been mined, as well as lead, zinc, copper, kaolin, gypsum, mica, quartz, salt, bauxite, antimony, and talc. And also Rich terra rossa (red) soils predominate in Austrian valleys. At slightly higher elevations, the soil is of a brown forest type. Alpine meadow soils are usually found in high-altitude regions.


Cultural Factors:

Austria has a variety of ethnic groups. It has considerable numbers of Croats and Magyars in the province of Burgenland, Slovenes in Carnithia, Czechs in Vienna and there are small numbers of Italians, Serbs, Romanians, and Turks (as a result of refuges in World War II).

Roman Catholicism is the major religion in Austria, 80 percent of Austria’s people are Catholics. Protestants make up 6 percent and Muslims make up 1 percent. And there is a small minority of the population is Jewish. German is the official language of Austria. About 2 per cent of the population speaks Croatian, Slovene, Czech, and Turkish.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Vienna was considered a world center of culture, mostly music and literature. Austria is often called the "Land of Music". The composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss the Elder and Younger, Franz von Suppé, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg, Anton Webern, Franz Leh?r, and Arnold Schoenberg, as well as the conductors Felix Weingartner, Clemens Krauss, and Herbert von Karajan, are just a few who have enriched Austrian cultural life.


Defensive:


An Austrian army was authorized by the treaty of May 15, 1955. Under the terms of this treaty, which confirmed Austria’s power and neutrality, no limitation was placed on the army size, but its equipment was restricted to conventional weapons. Austria has compulsory military service of seven months plus duty in the reserves for men aged 18. In 1998 the Austrian armed forces included about 40,500 members; 40,500 were members of the army, including 4,250 who were members of its integral army air force.


Geography:


Austria is situated in the middle of Europe between eastern and western Europe. Germany, The Czech Republic and Slovakia border it from the north, Slovenia Croatia and Italy from the south, Switzerland from the east and Hungary the West. Austria is mostly a mountainous country. It has an average elevation of about 910 m. Mountain ranges of Austria run in an east or west direction and are separated from one another by rather broad valleys. The major river in Austria is the Danube, which comes from the northeastern borders of Austria (Germany). In the south, important rivers are the Mur and the Muumlrz.


View of World Problems:

Austria has been a neutral country since May 15, 1955. However, Austria chose to follow a looser model of neutrality than that followed by other states, such as Switzerland. Austria joined the United Nations (UN) in 1955, shortly after making its neutrality pledge. Austria did not take neutrality to mean that it should occupy a moral middle ground between the democratic countries of the West and the totalitarian states of the East during the Cold War period. In terms of political and common beliefs, Austria was firmly within the community of democratic nations.

A second important principle of Austria was internationalism. Austria was active in many international organizations, such as the UN and its additional agencies. The country was a long-time participant in UN peacekeeping operations. An Austrian medical team served in the Congo (present-day Zaire) between 1960 and 1963, and medical teams and soldiers have served continuously in Cyprus since 1964 and at various times in Egypt and Israel since 1968. Vienna was the home of two UN entities, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.


History:

Controversy erupted during Austria's 1986 presidential election when candidate Kurt Waldheim, former secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), was accused of participating in war crimes while serving in the German army during World War II. Despite this, Waldheim won the election.

Austria's neutrality had prevented it from joining the European Communities (EU; formerly the European Communities) or any major European military organization. With the end of the Cold War, this situation changed. Austria was a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In 1991 the EFTA signed a free-trade agreement with the EU, and in June 1994 Austrians voted overwhelmingly to join the EU in 1995.

Elections to the European Parliament held in Austria in October 1996 yielded results that raised concern throughout Europe, as the rightist Freedom party claimed 28 percent of the popular vote. The Freedom party finished third in the elections, behind the conservative People's party, which won 29.7 percent of the vote, and Chancellor Franz Vranitzky's Social Democratic party, which received 29.5 percent of the vote. Critics warned that the surprising success of the Freedom party in the largely symbolic elections placed the party on course for a strong showing in future Austrian parliamentary elections.

The Freedom party, led by Jorg Haider, won over its largely working-class constituency by campaigning against immigration, government corruption, and a United Europe. Under Haider, the Freedom party reinvented itself and supposedly cast aside its neo-Nazi undertones; however, Haider raised more than a few eyebrows when he spoke, in terms reminiscent of Third Reich rhetoric, of a need to create a "Europe of fatherlands." In a speech following the elections, Haider spoke about the dangers of immigration and blamed Turkish immigrants for the increase of criminal activity in Austria. He warned that a unified Europe combined with loose policies of immigration would lead to the loss of jobs for Austrian workers.


  Economy:

Austria’s economy depends mostly on agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and tourism. It is one of the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Of the total land area, about 16.9 per cent is considered suitable for cultivation. Meadows and pastures and farms constitute about 24 per cent of the total land area, and market gardens and vineyards are slightly more than 1 per cent. The average annual production of principal minerals in the late 1980s included iron ore, crude oil salt, magnesite, and zinc ore. Other minerals commercially mined included copper, lead, antimony, graphite, gypsum, kaolin, and talc. Manufacturing contributed almost 20 percent of Austrian GDP in 1998, and employed almost 22 percent of the working population. The principal industrial products are pig iron, crude steel, rolled steel, machinery, food products, chemical products, and motor vehicles. Austria receives the highest quantity of its GNP, 6.3 percent, from tourism than any of the 29 OECD members. Popular destinations are Vienna, Salzburg and the Austrian Alps.

Some of Austria’s exports are machinery, equipment, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs. Some of its imports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products and foodstuffs. Austria’s external dept is about $31.7 billion since 1998.They have many import and export partners like the US, Switzerland and Hungary. But the most important partner is Germany 42% of Austria’s Imports comes from Germany and 32% of Austria’s exports go to Germany.


 

Policy Statements

Crime prevention and criminal justice:

Austria's crime rate is below Europe's average. However, the number of burglaries is rising (2672 per 100,000). The arrival of the Russian mafia in Vienna has led to an increase in money laundering. Violent crimes like murders (2 per 100,000) and rapes (6 per 100,000) are very low. Crime has gone down 6% from 1992-1996. Because there is not a lot of a major crime, criminal justice has been no problem.

Vienna, Austria is the headquarters of the UNCJIN (United Nations Criminal Justice information network) and the ODCCP (Office of Drug Control and Criminal Justice) and this proves how much Austria cares about crime and is aware of the worldwide problem.

Drug control and Rehabilitation programs:

Austria is Aware of the worldwide drug problem and supports all anti-drug organizations. Austrian authorities believe drug use is leveling off at approximately 10,000 drug addicts. However, foreign-based organized crime, including drug activity, continues to grow in Austria. Drug-related deaths dropped to 241 in 1995 from 250 in 1994.

Austria has a system for identifying, tracing, freezing, seizing and forfeiting drug-related assets, but does not share-seized assets with other countries. The Government of Austria (GOA) passed a penal code amendment to accelerate exile, expand judicial assistance, enable courts to declare assets of criminal organizations as forfeited, and to enable courts to confiscate property and assets consequential from the proceeds of illegal activities, including drug trafficking. Austrian authorities tend to address drug addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal matter. Federal Ministries' programs emphasize prevention, drug treatment and counseling. But unfortunately most drug treatment, and counseling services are provided by non-government organizations.

 

Taking effective measures to eliminate Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia:

Although the world tends to look at Austria as a pro-Nazi country, Austria supports anti-Racism totally. Although officially Austria has said its point of view many times about racism and that it aids organizations like the Crosspoint anti-racism Organization and that it aids the World Conference Against Racism, it is still looked at as a pro-Nazi country.

There are more than 38 major anti-racism organizations in Austria each function in helping in different ways for example the ZEBRA organization helps immigrants dealing with racism and the AG organization helps Jew discrimination.


Improving the financial situation of the UN:

The United Nations is experiencing a major decrease in its budget the last few years. Some nations are taking advantage of United Nations. Austria is one of the most helpful members in the United Nations since the United Nations has a base in Vienna.

The European Union, which includes Austria, makes 36% of the United Nations budget. Austria has been in the United Nations honor roll list ,the countries that pay the UN in time, since 1996 the percentage it pays changed from 1996 which is 0.86 till now 0.94 Austria is proud to be a member in such an organization and hopes for peace and for the United Nations to be better financially in years to come.

 

Resolution

FORUM: ECOSOC- General Assembly

QUESTION OF: The issue of eliminating discrimination racism and xenophobia.

DELEGATION: Austria

DELEGATE: Khaled al-Rubie

Defining racism as the belief in the superiority of a particular race;

Congratulates all anti-racism organizations for the efforts of eliminating such an unintelligent believe;

Defining xenophobia as the hatred or fear of strangers;

Defining discrimination as the abuse or the unfavorable treatments regarding race, color, creed or gender;

Applauding nations that support anti-racism like Austria for having more than 38 organizations against racism;

1) Strongly Condemns ignoring racism, discrimination and xenophobia as a worldwide problem.

2) Urges all nations to consider acts of discrimination as a type of crime and the discriminator, a criminal and have a trial and punish the discriminator like any country would punish a criminal.

3) Resolves the establishment of the UNOARDX the United Nations Organization Against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia.

a) It will have headquarters in Vienna, Austria and have a conference every six months.

b) It will increase awareness by:

i) Posting posters influencing people against racism in malls, hospitals, and streets and especially in most visited places.

ii) Writing news articles and adds supporting anti-racism in famous magazines and newspapers.

iii) Letting people be aware through television with commercials supporting the UNOARDX.

iv) Educating people about racism and the harm it brings through:

1) Schools, since young minds are not yet corrupted with racism, by sending representatives from the UNOARDX to explain to them the problem racism is causing.

2) Having a "Stop Racism Week" in schools to educate students about racism.

 

b) It will provide physiological help for people who have gone through a lot of discrimination. And people who suffer from xenophobia.

c) Decrease racism and discrimination by holding anyone who has made a discrimination act as a criminal and giving him a fair punishment.

d) Discrimination acts that would make a person criminal to the UNOARDX include:

i) Harmful words said to a person because of race, color, creed or gender.

ii) Being disfavored in a job application or school application etc, because of your race, color, creed or gender.

iii) To be harmed by any person because of your race, color, creed or gender.

4) Encourages all people to inform the UNOARDX of any act of racism they have seen or even been in.

5) Expresses Its Hopes that all people would be influenced by the UNOARDX to stop racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

6) Further Requests for people to not tolerate any kind of racism or discrimination or xenophobia.




Opening Speech

Honorable chair, Fellow Delegates and distinguished guests,

Guten apen

Greetings from the country where the land of the "Sound of Music" from the land of Mozart and the many others whom there music still lives on! From the birthplace of the "Night Dance" from where a queen ruled an Austrian-Hungarian empire with the kindness of her heart. But Austria is here not to brag about its history and its culture it is here for a problem that has been on earth since the beginning of time, racism discrimination and xenophobia.

Austria sends here to recognize and discuss the issue of racism discrimination and xenophobia to alarm the world of how dangerous this problem is. And although some nations think of it as a minor problem compared to drugs it cannot be ignored because it is a global worldwide problem!