Study Trip Report to the International Organisations at the United Nations Office in Vienna - 19 June 2019

The study trip of 19. June 2019 was the crowning of an engaging and very substantive Academic Year for all of us students of the LL.M. Program who had the opportunity to attend it.

The day opened in the morning with insights into the development and work of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), presented by Dr. Judith Knieper, Legal Officer at the International Trade Law Division. The Commission's approach to legal questions as a standard setting body, as well as its achievements on transparency and the current projects were extensively illustrated. Reference was also made to the aim of reforming the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS), whereby the Working Group entrusted with such mandate will meet for the next session in Vienna, in October 2019.

The second encounter of the morning projected us into the midst of the legal framework and present-day tasks of the Vienna Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Ms. Lilian Hagenlocher, Senior Protection Assistant at the Law Section thereof, explained the history and role of the Agency. She began by illustrating, with an overview of the relevant figures, the present issues regarding of refugees in the world, then went on explaining the legal framework, and concluded by indicating the scheduled steps to be taken within the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019.

Subsequently, we met Mr. Samuel de Jaegere, an Anti-Corruption Expert at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Together with his colleague he introduced us to the main areas of relevance for the Office and to the intergovernmental Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM) for the effective implementation of the Convention against Corruption. He then proceeded in presenting the latest developments such as the recent convention of the Global Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Corruption involving Vast Quantities of Assets and the upcoming publishing of the Colombo Commentary on the Jakarta Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies.

Following the refreshing lunch at the VIC Cafeteria, in the afternoon we were offered a comprehensive outline of the safeguards and verification processes enacted by the International Atomic Energy (IAEA). Ms Susan Pickett, Training Development Officer in the Department of Safeguards at the Agency engaged us at first clarifying some technical concepts such as the enrichment of uranium and the reprocessing of nuclear fuel. Afterwards, she involved us in considering the issues and challenges tackled by the Safeguards Agreements concluded by the IAEA.

The study trip ended with a guided tour through the VIC premises.

In conclusion, it was worthwhile to take the chance to meet professionals and experts who shared their experience and the knowledge gained in the respective international law fields, as well as it was significant to discuss with them and learn the practical facets through stimulating dialogues. This part of the LL.M. may well be considered a valuable complement to the theoretic study in which we engaged in the previous months and a rewarding practical implementation of the understanding attained this far.

Elisabetta Cozzi