Austria - International cooperation

The Federal Constitutional Law on the Neutrality of Austria, adopted on 26 October 1955, binds the nation to perpetual neutrality and bans it from joining any military alliances or permitting the establishment of foreign military bases on its territory. However, in December 2001, Austria adopted a Security and Defense Doctrine; although Austria will not participate in military alliances requiring mutual defense commitments, the country is gradually moving toward greater integration with European security arrangements, which would allow for participation in the EU rapid reaction force and NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

Austria became a member of the UN on 14 December 1955. It is a member of ECE and all the non-regional specialized agencies, and is a party to the Law of the Sea and a member of the WTO. Since 1960, Austrian troops have been part of UN peacekeeping forces in the Congo, on Cyprus, in the Middle East, and in the former Yugoslavia. Austria belongs to the Council of Europe, the OECD, and the EU. Austria's interest in the Third World is exemplified by membership in the Asian and Inter-American development banks and by its permanent observer status with the OAS.

Vienna has served an important role as a meeting place and headquarters site for a variety of international activities. The headquarters of OPEC, IAEA, UNIDO, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis are located in Vienna, which has also been the site of past USSR-US strategic-arms limitation talks (SALT) and talks on arms reductions in Europe.

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