CSLI

Lazarus Day 2015

 

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LAZARUS-DAY 2015

 

IN THE VIENNA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE

UNITED NATIONS

 

Donation and award for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

 

 

Oliver Gruber-Lavin obst csliA Report by Oliver Gruber-Lavin, Secretary General of the Lazarus Union

Hannes Hochmuth MK-EFMPictures by Hannes Hochmuth (Press Photographer) and Oliver Gruber-Lavin

 

The LAZARUS UNION celebrated the Lazarus day 2015in the Vienna International Centre, seat of the United Nations in Vienna. Next to New York (UNHQ), Geneva (UNOG) and Nairobi (UNON), Vienna International Centre with its United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) is one of four official seats of the United Nations. UNOV was put into operations as third location of the UN  1st January 1980.

Every July 29th, the LAZARUS UNION celebrates the ”International Lazarus Day“, as this day is the holiday of St. Lazarus according to Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant rite and the Union has committed itself to his ideals.

In 2015 there are yet two more anniversaries to celebrate. Next to its 5th year in its current form there is also the first anniversary of the special consultative NGO status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This in practice means that the LAZARUS UNION has new forms of participation on the international stage. Either official meetings of sub-organisations like the UN Human Rights Council or international conferences and events – the Union can not only participate but also actively take part in international debates or decision finding processes in the form of written or oral contributions. Having consultative status also allows for the possibility of having own events in UN buildings. Because of this the LAZARUS UNION decided to celebrate its commemorative day 2015 in the VIC.

To the interested guests and visitors from the LAZARUS UNION as well as to the UN employees of the various organisations with a seat in Vienna a vivid programme mixture of information and entertainment was presented. Central issue of the event was the presentation of a donation and an award to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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The celebration was commenced by the LAZARUS UNION Music Corps with the Lazarus March. After some more music LAZARUS UNION Secretary General Oliver M. Gruber-Lavin welcomed the audience and presented the agenda. Union president Senator h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt presented to an interested audience a video from a “LAZARUS UNION Handicapped Air Day” as an example of the specific work of the union, which has in its focus to help and provide some joy to fellow human beings.

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The Secretary General and his deputy, Dipl.-Ing. Herbert Paulis, in two presentations explained the basic values, the philosophy, and the history of the Union.

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Doubtlessly the summit of the event was the handing over of a donation cheque and the Grand Cross of the UN-NGO Cross of Remembrance to the director of the Austrian office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Christoph Pinter, by the union president.

On the occasion of being awarded the ECOSOC special consultative status the union donated the award UN-NGO Cross of Remembrance. The net profit from this award (2,500 € last year) is now adequately donated to the UNHCR for its work on a yearly Basis.

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In his laudation the union president emphasised: “ … the pleasure and the honour to celebrate with you here the world-wide “Lazarus Day“. The name “Lazarus“ is a synonym for mercy, charity, and humanity. Also the names “Lazarett“ (which is German for a military hospital) and “Lazarite“ date back to St. Lazarus and were mentioned first in the context of a leper hospital outside Jerusalem in 344 AD. “ Regarding the relation between the union and the UN Senator h.c. Steinhardt explained: ” Having been awarded the “special consultative status“ has a great importance for us as LAZARUS UNION and is also considered a special honour. An honour we want to prove worthy of. So we have donated a special award for ALL people who want to assist us in supporting the spirit of the United Nations. “ He finished with the union motto as a challenge to all of us: ” Everybody can do something. Let us together provide new perspectives. “

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Subsequently the donation and the award were handed over.

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Dr. Christoph Pinter emphasised in his acceptance speech the special importance of every single donation, especially in the context of today’s dramatic refugee situation. He gave an overview on the actual situation and the work of the UNHCR with its new daily challenges world-wide. In Austria – like in other Western European countries – the focus of the UNHCR activities is on the legal protection of people seeking asylum and accepted refugees. Dr. Pinter also gave a report on his visit in the refugee admission camp Traiskirchen and the dramatic situation in the camp.

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The LAZARUS UNION Music Corps directed by Fritz Lentner provided for relaxation and entertainment during the programme, also very much appreciated by bypassing UN employees. The music also provided for an atmospheric conclusion of the celebration. After the end of the event we had a nice guided tour through the VIC for our guests .

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In the name of the LAZARUS UNION we also want to express our deepest thanks to all employees of the VIC, especially to Mr. Nyron Sequeira (Representation and Protocol Assistant) and his team as well as all the security staff for their friendly assistance as all these people made our event possible in the first place.

 

Oliver Gruber-Lavin
Secretary General

 

Further Picture impressions:

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UN-Vienna 29.07.2015 042

 

 

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