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  1. Headquarters of the United Nations - Wikipedia › wiki › United_Nations_Headquarters
    • History
    • International Character
    • Structures
    • Art Collection
    • Relocation Proposals
    • Public Gatherings
    • in Popular Culture
    • See Also
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    Per an agreement with the city, the buildings met some but not all local fire safety and building codes. In April 1948, U.S. President Harry S. Truman requested that Congress approve an interest-free loan of $65 million in order to fund construction. The U.S. House of Representatives authorized the loan on August 6, 1948, on the condition that the UN repay the loan in twelve monthly installments between July 1951 and July 1952. Of the $65 million, $25 million was to be made available immediat...


    The first 450 UN employees started working at the Secretariat Building on August 22, 1950. The United Nations officially moved into the Secretariat Building on January 8, 1951, by which time 3,300 employees occupied the building. At the time, much of the Secretariat Building was still unfinished, and the bulk of the UN's operations still remained at Lake Success. A centralized phone-communications system was built to facilitate communications within the complex. The UN had completely moved ou...

    Early years

    The gardens at the United Nations headquarters were originally closed to the public, but were made publicly accessible in 1958. By 1962, the United Nations' operations had grown so much that the headquarters could not house all of the organization's operations. As a result, the UN announced its intention to rent office space nearby. The Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) moved to leased office space in 2 United Nations Plaza three years later. The Eas...

    The UN identifies Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish as its six official languages. Delegates speaking in any of these languages will have their words simultaneously interpreted into all of the others, and attendees are provided with headphones through which they can hear the interpretations. A delegate is allowed to make a statement in a non-official language, but must provide either an interpreter or a written copy of his/her remarks translated into an official language.English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat, as most of the daily communication within the Secretariat and most of the signs in the UN headquarters building are in those languages.

    The complex includes a number of major buildings. While the Secretariat building is most predominantly featured in depictions of the headquarters, it also includes the domed General Assembly building, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, as well as the Conference and Visitors Center, which is situated between the General Assembly and Secretariat buildings, and can be seen only from the FDR Drive or the East River. Just inside the perimeter fence of the complex stands a line of flagpoles where the flags of all 193 UN member states, 2 observer states, plus the UN flag, are flown in English alphabetical order.

    The complex contains gardens, which were originally private gardens before being opened to the public in 1958. The complex is notable for its gardens and outdoor sculptures. Iconic sculptures include the "Knotted Gun", called Non-Violence, a statue of a Colt Python revolver with its barrel tied in a knot, which was a gift from the Luxembourg government and Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, a gift from the Soviet Union. The latter sculpture is the only appearance of the "swords into plowshares" quotation, from Isaiah 2:4, within the complex. Contrary to popular belief, the quotation is not carved on any UN building. Rather, it is carved on the "Isaiah Wall" of Ralph Bunche Park across First Avenue. A piece of the Berlin Wallalso stands in the UN garden. Other prominent artworks on the grounds include Peace - a Marc Chagall stained glass window memorializing the death of Dag Hammarskjöld - the Japanese Peace Bell which is rung on the vernal equinox and the opening of each General As...

    Due to the significance of the organization, proposals to relocate its headquarters have occasionally been made. Complainants about its current location include diplomats who find it difficult to obtain visas from the United States and local residents complaining of inconveniences whenever the surrounding roads are closed due to visiting dignitaries, as well as the high costs to the city. A US telephone survey in 2001 found that 67% of respondents favored moving the United Nations headquarters out of the country. Countries critical of the US, such as Iran and Russia, are especially vocal in questioning the current location of the United Nations, arguing that the United States government could manipulate the work of the General Assembly through selective access to politicians from other countries, with the aim of having an advantage over rival countries. In the wake of the Snowden global surveillance disclosures, the subject of the relocation of the UN headquarters was again discusse...

    Large scale protests, demonstrations, and other gatherings directly on First Avenue are rare. Some gatherings have taken place in Ralph Bunche Park, but it is too small to accommodate large demonstrations. The closest location where the New York City Police Department usually allows demonstrators is Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza at 47th Street and First Avenue,one block away from the visitors' entrance, four blocks away from the entrance used by top-level diplomats, and five blocks away from the general staff entrance. Excluding gatherings solely for diplomats and academics, there are a few organizations that regularly hold events at the UN. The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), a non-governmental organization, holds an annual "member's day" event in one of the conference rooms. Model United Nations conferences sponsored by UNA-USA, the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA/NMUN), and the International Model UN Association (IMUNA/NHSMUN) hold...

    Due to its role in international politics, the United Nations headquarters is often featured in movies and other pop culture. The only two films actually shot on location in the UN headquarters are The Glass Wall (1953) by legendary Hollywood writer/director/producer Ivan Tors and The Interpreter (2005) by director Sydney Pollack.[non-primary source needed] When he was unable to obtain permission to film in the UN Headquarters, director Alfred Hitchcock covertly filmed Cary Grant arriving for the 1959 feature North by Northwest. After the action within the building, another scene shows Grant leaving across the plaza looking down from the building's roof. This was created using a painting. In the 1976 comedy film The Pink Panther Strikes Again, the building is vaporized by Dreyfus with a doomsday device.[non-primary source needed]

    Other sources

    1. Mires, Charlene (2013). Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-0794-4.

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