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Following the "Conference for Economic Cooperation and Partnership" held in Salzburg and Vienna in July of 1962, the VIDC was founded by Bruno Kreisky together with prominent politicians from the so-called "Third World,” such as Tom Mboya from Kenya or Ahmed Ben Salah from Tunisia, as a think tank for global development policy issues. Thus it is the oldest civil society development policy organisation in Austria.
The central political concerns of the VIDC are on the one hand the promotion of a critical public opinion with regard to social, political, cultural and economic developments and democracy movements, and on the other hand the establishment of an international dialogue based on equality and respect. The VIDC currently consists of three departments: VIDC Global Dialogue, kulturen in bewegung and fairplay. The NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments was terminated at the beginning of 2020.
Through discourses on democracy, human rights, gender and migration as well as international economic and financial policies, VIDC Global Dialogue aims to reflect international as well as Austrian and European realities, to present critical approaches to solidarity and to make civil society movements from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa heard in Austria. Through its extensive information activities on development-related topics in Austria, the organisation of panel discussions, workshops, meetings and conferences, VIDC Global Dialogue aims at promoting a critical public opinion and supporting international knowledge networks.
Another department was founded in 1996 with kulturen in bewegung. It deals with the cultural exchange between the countries of Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. kulturen in bewegung coordinates cultural festivals, concert tours, exhibitions, exchange projects, workshops and readings. It connects artists with various organisers and schools, and advises both migrants and organisers of intercultural projects.
The fairplay Initiative for Diversity and Anti-Discrimination was founded in 1997. As an interface for mediation and networking activities as well as for emancipatory and participatory initiatives, fairplay acts as a focal point and advisory body as well as a center of competence in anti-discrimination and diversity in sport, with a focus on football.
The VIDC in its legal form is a non-profit fund according to the Federal Foundation and Fund Law. Its purpose, as defined in its statutes, of international and interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation with transition and developing countries, is fulfilled by the Institute and its departments in many ways, thereby contributing to a better understanding of development policy issues in Austria. Our main sponsors are the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Ministry of Sport, and the European Commission.