United Nations headquarters
Overview
 
The headquarters
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

 of the United Nations is a complex in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay, Manhattan
Turtle Bay is a neighborhood in New York City, on the east side of Midtown Manhattan. It extends between 41st and 54th Streets, and eastward from Lexington Avenue to the East River, across from Roosevelt Island...

 neighborhood of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. Its borders are First Avenue
First Avenue (Manhattan)
First Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from Houston Street northbound for over 125 blocks before terminating at the Willis Avenue Bridge into The Bronx at the Harlem River near East 127th Street. South of Houston Street, the...

 on the west, East 42nd Street
42nd Street (Manhattan)
42nd Street is a major crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known for its theaters, especially near the intersection with Broadway at Times Square. It is also the name of the region of the theater district near that intersection...

 to the south, East 48th Street on the north and the East River to the east. Turtle Bay is occasionally used as a metonym for the U.N.
Encyclopedia
The headquarters
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

 of the United Nations is a complex in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay, Manhattan
Turtle Bay is a neighborhood in New York City, on the east side of Midtown Manhattan. It extends between 41st and 54th Streets, and eastward from Lexington Avenue to the East River, across from Roosevelt Island...

 neighborhood of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

. Its borders are First Avenue
First Avenue (Manhattan)
First Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from Houston Street northbound for over 125 blocks before terminating at the Willis Avenue Bridge into The Bronx at the Harlem River near East 127th Street. South of Houston Street, the...

 on the west, East 42nd Street
42nd Street (Manhattan)
42nd Street is a major crosstown street in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known for its theaters, especially near the intersection with Broadway at Times Square. It is also the name of the region of the theater district near that intersection...

 to the south, East 48th Street on the north and the East River to the east. Turtle Bay is occasionally used as a metonym for the U.N. headquarters or for the U.N. as a whole.

The United Nations has three additional, subsidiary, regional headquarters or headquarter districts. These are located in Geneva
United Nations Office at Geneva
The United Nations Office at Geneva is the second-largest of the four major office sites of the United Nations...

 (Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

), Vienna
United Nations Office at Vienna
The United Nations Office in Vienna is one of the four major UN office sites where several different UN agencies have a joint presence. The office complex is located in Vienna, the capital of Austria, and is part of the Vienna International Centre, a cluster of several major international...

 (Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

), and Nairobi
United Nations Office at Nairobi
The United Nations Office at Nairobi is one of the four major UN office sites where several different UN agencies have a joint presence. The office complex is located in Nairobi, Kenya...

 (Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

). These adjunct offices help represent UN interests, facilitate diplomatic activities, and enjoy certain extraterritorial privileges, but only the main headquarters in New York contains the seats of the principal organs of the UN, including the General Assembly and Security Council. All 15 of the United Nation's specialized agencies are located outside New York at these other headquarters or in other cities.

Though it is in New York City, and part of the United States, the land used by the United Nations Headquarters is under the administration of the United Nations, while also being subject to most local, state, and federal laws. For award purposes, Amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 operators consider it a separate "entity", and for communications the UN has its own internationally recognized ITU prefix
ITU prefix
The International Telecommunication Union allocates call sign prefixes for radio and television stations of all types. They also form the basis for, but do not exactly match, aircraft registration identifiers. These prefixes are agreed upon internationally, and are a form of country code...

, 4U.

The United Nations Headquarters complex was constructed in New York City in 1949-1950 beside the East River, on 17 acres (68,796.6 m²) of land purchased from the foremost New York real estate developer of the time, William Zeckendorf
William Zeckendorf
William Zeckendorf, Sr. was a prominent American real estate developer. Through his development company Webb and Knapp – for which he began working in 1938 and which he purchased in 1949 – he developed a significant portion of the New York City urban landscape.-Career:Zeckendorf's...

. Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 arranged this purchase, after an initial offer to locate it on the Rockefeller family
Rockefeller family
The Rockefeller family , the Cleveland family of John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller , is an American industrial, banking, and political family of German origin that made one of the world's largest private fortunes in the oil business during the late 19th and early 20th...

 estate of Kykuit
Kykuit
Kykuit , also known as John D. Rockefeller Estate, is a 40-room National Trust house in Westchester County, New York, built by the oil businessman, philanthropist and founder of the prominent Rockefeller family, John D. Rockefeller, and his son, John D...

 was rejected as being too isolated from Manhattan. The $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

8.5 million purchase was then funded by his father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. was a major philanthropist and a pivotal member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the sole son among the five children of businessman and Standard Oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers...

, who donated it to the City. The lead architect for the building was the real estate firm of Wallace Harrison
Wallace Harrison
Wallace Kirkman Harrison , was an American architect.-Career:Harrison started his professional career with the firm of Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, participating in the construction of Rockefeller Center...

, the personal architectural adviser for the Rockefeller family.

Planning and construction

Rather than announce a competition for the design of the facilities for the headquarters, the UN decided to commission a collaborative effort among a multinational team of leading architects. The American architect Wallace K. Harrison was named as chief architect and director of planning, and a board of design consultants was nominated by member governments. The board consisted of N. D. Bassov of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

), Ernest Cormier
Ernest Cormier
thumb|Église Sainte-Marguerite-Marie-Alacoque, Montréal, thumb|Église Saint-Ambroise, Montréal, Ernest Cormier, OC was a Canadian engineer and architect who spent much of his career in the Montreal area, erecting notable examples of Art Deco architecture.-Life and career:He was born in Montreal,...

 (Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

), Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 (France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

), Liang Seu-cheng
Liang Sicheng
Liang Sicheng was the son of Liang Qichao, a well-known Chinese thinker in the late Qing Dynasty. Liang Sicheng returned to China from the United States after studying at the University of Pennsylvania...

 (China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

), Sven Markelius
Sven Markelius
Sven Gottfrid Markelius was one of the most important modernist Swedish architects. Markelius played an important role in the post-war urban planning of Stockholm, for example in the creation of the model suburb of Vällingby .Born in Stockholm in October 1889, he attended the Royal Institute of...

 (Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

), Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

 (Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

), Howard Robertson
Howard Robertson (architect)
Sir Howard Morley Robertson MC RA was an American-born British architect, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1952 to 1954 and a Royal Academician....

 (United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

), G. A. Soilleux (Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

), and Julio Villamajo (Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

).

Bound by such constraints as the East River Drive (later the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive
Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive
The Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive is a freeway-standard parkway on the east side of the New York City borough of Manhattan...

) and the East River
East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

, it became necessary to build a high-rise office building for the secretariat. The 39-story
Storey
A storey or story is any level part of a building that could be used by people...

 Secretariat Building
United Nations Secretariat Building
The United Nations Secretariat Building is a tall skyscraper and the centerpiece of the United Nations Headquarters, located in the Turtle Bay area of Manhattan, in New York City. The lot where the building stands is considered United Nations territory, although remains part of the United States.-...

 was controversial in its time but became a modernist landmark.

Per an agreement with the New York City government, the buildings met some but not all local fire safety and building codes. The Secretary-General's office is on the 38th floor.

Construction on the initial buildings began in 1947, with the cornerstone laid on October 24, 1949, and was completed in 1952. The Dag Hammarskjöld Building was added in 1961. The construction of the headquarters was financed by an interest-free loan of $65 million made by the United States government, and the cost of construction was also reported as $65 million.

Proposed alternatives

San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Philadelphia, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, often referred to as Flushing Meadow Park, Flushing Meadows Park or Flushing Meadows, is a public park in New York City. It contains the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the current venue for the U.S...

 in Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, Chopmist Hill Area of Scituate, Rhode Island
Scituate, Rhode Island
Scituate is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 10,329 at the 2010 census.-History:Scituate was first settled in 1710 by emigrants from Scituate, Massachusetts...

 and even the Black Hills
Black Hills
The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

 of South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

 and Bald Head Island in North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 were all proposed as sites for the United Nations Headquarters before Manhattan was finally decided upon. It was later revealed that France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 voted against situating the headquarters in the United States. The Manhattan site was selected after John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. was a major philanthropist and a pivotal member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the sole son among the five children of businessman and Standard Oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers...

 offered to donate $8.5 million to purchase the land.
Prior to the choice of New York City, Navy Island
Navy Island
Navy Island is a small island in the Niagara River in the province of Ontario, managed by Parks Canada as a National Historic Site of Canada. It is located about upstream from Horseshoe Falls, and has an area of roughly...

 near Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls is a Canadian city on the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. The municipality was incorporated on June 12, 1903...

 in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 was proposed as an alternative headquarters for the United Nations. An international committee touted the site as the "World Peace Capital" during 1945 and 1946. The island was considered an ideal location as it lay on the boundary of two bordering countries with a long peaceful status. The proposal further stipulated that Navy Island would be ceded to the United Nations as long as the headquarters remained, and to revert to the Canadian Government should the UN move. The proposal was ultimately rejected in favor of the current site in New York City.

In 1945–6, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 hosted the first meeting of the General Assembly in Methodist Central Hall
Westminster Central Hall
The Westminster Central Hall or Methodist Central Hall is a Methodist church in the City of Westminster. It occupies the corner of Tothill Street and Storeys Gate just off Victoria Street in London, near the junction with The Sanctuary next to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and facing...

, and the Security Council in Church House. The third and sixth General Assembly sessions, in 1948 and 1951, met in the Trocadéro
Trocadéro
The Trocadéro, , site of the Palais de Chaillot, , is an area of Paris, France, in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The hill of the Trocadéro is the hill of Chaillot, a former village.- Origin of the name :...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. Prior to the construction of the current complex, the UN was headquartered at a temporary location at the Sperry Gyroscope Corporation
Sperry Corporation
Sperry Corporation was a major American equipment and electronics company whose existence spanned more than seven decades of the twentieth century...

's offices in Lake Success, New York
Lake Success, New York
Lake Success is a village in Nassau County, New York in the United States. The population was 2,934 at the 2010 census.Lake Success is in the Town of North Hempstead on northwest Long Island. Lake Success was the temporary home of the United Nations from 1946 to 1951, occupying the headquarters of...

, an eastern suburb of the city in Nassau County
Nassau County, New York
Nassau County is a suburban county on Long Island, east of New York City in the U.S. state of New York, within the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,339,532...

 on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, from 1946–1952. The Security Council also held sessions on what was then the Bronx campus of Hunter College
Hunter College
Hunter College, established in 1870, is a public university and one of the constituent colleges of the City University of New York, located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Hunter grants undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields of study, and is recognized...

 (now the site of Lehman College
Lehman College
Lehman College is one of the constituent colleges of the City University of New York, USA. Founded in 1931 as the Bronx campus of Hunter College, the school became an independent college within the City University in 1968. The college is named after Herbert Lehman, a former New York governor,...

) from March to August 1946. The UN also met at what is now the New York City Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair
1964 New York World's Fair
The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was the third major world's fair to be held in New York City. Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe";...

 site. The General Assembly met at what is now the ice skating rink, and the Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road
The Long Island Rail Road or LIRR is a commuter rail system serving the length of Long Island, New York. It is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, serving about 81.5 million passengers each year. Established in 1834 and having operated continuously since then, it is the oldest US...

 reopened the former World's Fair station as United Nations station

Corbusier vs. Niemeyer

Right after his arrival in New York, Niemeyer met Corbusier on his demands. He requested Niemeyer not to submit a scheme, but rather to collaborate with him on a project, on the basis that he could ‘create a commotion’. It was Wallace Harrison who tried to convince Niemeyer to move on his own.

50 designs were evaluated by the team, and Niemeyer's project 32 was finally chosen. As opposed to Corbusier’s project 23, which consisted of one building containing both the Assembly Hall and the councils in the centre of the site (as it was hierarchically the most important building), Niemeyer's plan split the councils from the Assembly Hall, locating the first alongside the river, and the second on the right side of the secretariat. This would not split the site, but on the contrary, would create a large civic square.

George Dudley later stated:

It literally took our breath away to see the simple plane of the site kept open from First Avenue to the River, only three structures on it, standing free, a fourth lying low behind them along the river’s edge.
…He [Niemeyer] also said, ‘beauty will come from the buildings being in the right space!’. The comparison between Le Corbusier’s heavy block and Niemeyer’s startling, elegantly articulated composition seem to me to be in everyone’s mind…

Later that day, Corbusier came once again to Niemeyer, and asked him to reposition the Assembly Hall back to the centre of the site. Such modification would destroy Niemeyer’s plans for the square. However, he finally decided to accept the modification:

I felt he [Corbusier] would like to do his project, and he was the master. I do not regret my decision.

Together, they submitted the scheme 23–32, which was built and is what can be seen today.

International character

The site of the United Nations Headquarters has extraterritoriality
Extraterritoriality
Extraterritoriality is the state of being exempt from the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic negotiations. Extraterritoriality can also be applied to physical places, such as military bases of foreign countries, or offices of the United Nations...

 status. This affects some law enforcement where UN rules override the laws of New York City, but it does not give immunity to those who commit crimes there. In addition, the United Nations Headquarters remains under the jurisdiction and laws of the United States, although a few members of the UN staff have diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws...

 and so cannot be prosecuted by local courts unless the diplomatic immunity is waived by the Secretary-General. In 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 waived the immunity of Benon Sevan
Benon Sevan
Benon Vahe Sevan was the head of the United Nations' Oil-for-Food Programme, established in 1996 and charged with preventing Iraq's government from using the proceeds from oil exports for anything but food, medicine and other items to benefit the civilian population.Born into an Armenian-Cypriot...

, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Vladimir Kuznetsov in relation to the Oil-for-Food Programme
Oil-for-Food Programme
The Oil-for-Food Programme , established by the United Nations in 1995 was established with the stated intent to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing Iraq to boost its military...

. All have been charged in the U.S. Federal Court of New York, except for Kofi Annan's own son, who was also implicated in the scandal. Benon Sevan later fled the U.S. to Cyprus, while Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vladimir Kuznetsov decided to stand trial.

The currency in use at the United Nations headquarters' businesses is the U.S. dollar. English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat; most of the daily communication within secretariat and most of the signs in the UN headquarters building are in French and English. English, French and Spanish are the working languages of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are working and official languages of the General Assembly.

The complex has a street address of United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017, USA. For security reasons, all mail sent to this address is sterilized, so items that may be degraded should be sent by courier. The United Nations Postal Administration
United Nations Postal Administration
The United Nations Postal Administration is the postal agency of the United Nations. It issues postage stamps and postal stationery, denominated in United States dollars for the United Nations offices in New York, in Swiss francs for the offices in Geneva and in euros for the offices in Vienna...

 issues stamps, which must be used on stamped mail sent from the building. Journalists, when reporting from the complex, often use "United Nations" rather than "New York" as the identification of their location in recognition of the extraterritoriality status.

Structures

The complex includes a number of major buildings. While the Secretariat building
United Nations Secretariat Building
The United Nations Secretariat Building is a tall skyscraper and the centerpiece of the United Nations Headquarters, located in the Turtle Bay area of Manhattan, in New York City. The lot where the building stands is considered United Nations territory, although remains part of the United States.-...

 is most predominantly featured in depictions of the headquarters, it also includes the domed General Assembly building
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library
Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is part of the United Nations headquarters and is connected to the Secretariat and conference buildings through ground level and underground corridors. It is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations.The Library has specialized in...

, as well as the Conference and Visitors Center, which is situated between the General Assembly and Secretariat buildings, and can be seen only from FDR Drive or the East River. Just inside the perimeter fence
Perimeter fence
A perimeter fence is a structure that circles the perimeter of an area to prevent access. These fences are frequently made out of single vertical metal bars connected at the top and bottom with a horizontal bar. They often have spikes on the top to prevent climbing. Residential perimeter fences are...

 of the complex stands a line of flagpoles where the flags of all 193 UN member states, plus the U.N. flag
Flag of the United Nations
The flag of the United Nations was adopted on October 20, 1947, and consists of the official emblem of the United Nations in white on a blue background. The emblem's design is described as:...

, are flown in English alphabetical order.
The General Assembly building holds the General Assembly Hall which has a seating capacity of 1,800. At 165 ft (50.3 m) long by 115 ft (35.1 m) wide, it is the largest room in the complex. The Hall has two murals by the French artist Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

. At the front of the chamber, is the rostrum containing the green marble desk for the President of the General Assembly, Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services and matching lectern for speakers. Behind the rostrum is the UN emblem on a gold background. Flanking the rostrum is a paneled semi-circular wall that tapers as it nears the ceiling and surrounds the front portion of the chamber. In front of the paneled walls are seating areas for guests and within the wall are windows which allow translators to watch the proceedings as they work. The ceiling of the hall is 75 ft (22.9 m) high and surmounted by a shallow dome ringed by recessed light fixtures. The General Assembly Hall was last altered in 1980 when capacity was increased to accommodate the increased membership. Each of the 192 delegations has six seats in the hall with three at a desk and three alternate seats behind them.

The Conference Building faces the East River between the General Assembly Building and the Secretariat. The Conference Building holds the Security Council Chamber, which was a gift from Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and was designed by the Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg
Arnstein Arneberg
Arnstein Rynning Arneberg was a Norwegian architect. He was active as an architect for 50 years and is often considered the leading architect in Norway of his time. -Background:...

. The oil canvas mural depicting a phoenix rising from its ashes by Norwegian artist Per Krogh hangs at the front of the room.

The 39-story Secretariat tower houses offices for the Secretary General, the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Office of Disarmament Affairs, and the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM).

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library was dedicated on 16 November 1961. The building was a gift from the Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

 and is located next to the Secretariat at the southwest corner of the headquarters campus. The library holds 400,000 books, 9,800 newspapers and periodical titles, 80,000 maps and the Woodrow Wilson Collection containing 8,600 volumes of League of Nations documents and 6,500 related books and pamphlets. The library's Economic and Social Affairs Collection is housed in the DC-2 building.

Art at the United Nations


The complex is also notable for its gardens and outdoor sculptures. Iconic sculptures include the "Knotted Gun," a statue of a Colt Python
Colt Python
The Colt Python is a .357 Magnum caliber revolver formerly manufactured by Colt's Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. It is sometimes referred to as a "Combat Magnum". It was first introduced in 1955, the same year as Smith & Wesson's M29 .44 Magnum. The now discontinued Colt Python...

 revolver with its barrel tied in a knot, which was a gift from the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 government and "Let Us Beat Swords Into Plowshares
United Nations Art Collection
The United Nations Art Collection is a collective group of artworks and historic objects donated as gifts to the United Nations by its member states, associations, or individuals...

", a gift from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The latter sculpture is the only appearance of the "swords into plowshares" quotation, from Isaiah
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, preceding the books of Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the Book of the Twelve...

 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
Ralph Bunche Park
Ralph Bunche Park is a small municipal public park in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of New York City, at the northwest corner of First Avenue and 42nd Street. It was named in 1979 for the late Ralph Bunche....

 across First Avenue. A piece of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 also stands in the U.N. garden.

Other prominent artworks on the grounds include a Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

 stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

 window memorializing the death of Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

, the Japanese Peace Bell
Japanese Peace Bell
The Japanese Peace Bell is a United Nations peace symbol. Cast on November 24, 1952, it was an official gift of the Japanese people to the United Nations on June 8, 1954. The symbolic bell of peace was donated by Japan to the United Nations at a time when Japan had not yet been officially...

 which is rung on the vernal equinox
Equinox
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator...

 and the opening of each General Assembly session, a Chinese ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

 carving made in 1974 (before the ivory trade
Ivory trade
The ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, mammoth, and most commonly, Asian and African elephants....

 was largely banned in 1989), and a Venetian
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 mosaic depicting Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell
Norman Percevel Rockwell was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening...

's painting The Golden Rule. A tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 copy of Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

's Guernica
Guernica (painting)
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War...

on the wall of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 building at the entrance to the Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 room. In 1952, two Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

 murals were installed in the General Assembly Hall. The works are meant to merely be decorative with no symbolism. One is said to resemble cartoon character Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is a animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most...

 and US President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 dubbed the other work Scrambled Eggs.

Two huge murals by Brazilian artist Cândido Portinari
Cândido Portinari
Candido Portinari was one of the most important Brazilian painters and also a prominent and influential practitioner of the neo-realism style in painting....

, entitled Guerra e Paz (War and Peace) are located at the delegates hall. The works are a gift from the United Nations Association of the United States of America
United Nations Association of the United States of America
The United Nations Association of the United States of America or UNA-USA is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations among the American people. Its education, policy and advocacy programs emphasize the...

 and Portinari intended to execute them in the US. However, he was denied a visa due to his communist convictions and decided to paint them in Rio de Janeiro. They were later assembled in the headquarters. After their completion in 1957, Portinari, who was already ill when he started the masterpiece, succumbed to lead poisoning from the pigments his doctors advised him to abandon.

Other buildings

While outside of the complex, the headquarters also includes two large office buildings that serve as offices for the agencies and programmes of the organization. These buildings, known as DC-1 and DC-2 are located at 1 and 2 UN Plaza respectively. DC1 was built in 1976. There is also an identification office at the corner of 46th Street, inside a former bank branch, where pre-accredited diplomats, reporters, and others receive their grounds passes. UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

 House (3 UN Plaza) and the UNITAR
United Nations Institute for Training and Research
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research was established in 1965 following a "for the training of personnel, particularly from developing Member States, for administrative and operational assignments with the United Nations and the specialized agencies, both at Headquarters and in...

 Building (807 UN Plaza) are also part of headquarters. In addition, the Church Center for the United Nations (777 UN Plaza) is a private building owned by the United Methodist Church
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 as an interfaith space housing the offices of several non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s. The Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is located at 380 Madison Avenue.

Renovation plans

In recent years, however, the headquarters buildings have come to need extensive renovation, including the need to install sprinklers, fix leaks, and remove asbestos. A renovation plan was announced in 2000 involving the building of a temporary headquarters in Robert Moses Playground
Robert Moses Playground
Robert Moses Playground is a playground and park in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood on First Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, immediately south of the United Nations Headquarters...

, across First Avenue from the current facility. Once renovations were finished, the temporary building would be used to ease overcrowding at the DC-1 and DC-2 However, due to the refusal of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 state governments to fund the project, the plan was abandoned.

Alternative sites were considered as temporary holding locations. In 2005, officials investigated establishing a new temporary site be created at the old Lake Success location. Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 was also suggested as a temporary site. Another alternative for a temporary headquarters or a new permanent facility was the World Trade Center site
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

. Once again, these plans met resistance both within the UN and from the US and New York governments and were abandoned.

On July 28, 2007, UN officials announced the complex would undergo a $1 billion renovation starting in the fall. Swedish firm Skanska
Skanska
Skanska AB, is a multinational construction and development company based in Sweden, where it also is the largest construction company. The company's head office is in Solna, north of Stockholm.-History:...

 AB won a bid to overhaul the buildings which will include the Conference, General Assembly and Secretariat buildings. The renovations, which will be the first since the complex opened in 1950, are expected to take about 7 years to complete. When completed the complex is also expected to be more energy efficient and improve security. Work began May 5, 2008 and the project has been plagued by setbacks. By 2009, the cost of the work had risen from $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion with some estimates saying it will take $3 billion Officials hope the renovated buildings will achieve a LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods....

 Silver rating, although they concede that the delay in construction will result in a projected 7.5% inflation rate in the cost of materials and labor over the course of the project.

In popular culture

Due to its role in international politics, the United Nations Headquarters is often featured in movies and other pop culture. Movies in which the headquarters buildings are major settings include North by Northwest
North by Northwest
North by Northwest is a 1959 American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and featuring Leo G. Carroll and Martin Landau...

, The Interpreter
The Interpreter
The Interpreter is a 2005 political thriller film starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, and Catherine Keener. It was the final film to be directed by Sydney Pollack.-Plot:...

, Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die (film)
Live and Let Die is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman...

, The Art of War
The Art of War (film)
The Art of War is a 2000 Canadian-American action film directed by Christian Duguay, and starring Wesley Snipes, Michael Biehn, Anne Archer and Donald Sutherland...

, U.S. Marshals
U.S. Marshals (film)
U.S. Marshals is a 1998 action thriller film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes, and a sequel to The Fugitive. The storyline of U.S. Marshals does not feature the character Dr. Richard Kimble; the role of the protagonist has been passed onto Samuel Gerard and his team of U.S...

, Batman: The Movie
Batman (1966 film)
Batman, often promoted as Batman: The Movie, is a 1966 film based on the Batman television series, and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character of the same name. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The film was...

, The Glass Wall
The Glass Wall
The Glass Wall is a black-and-white 1953 film directed by Maxwell Shane. The film was produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures.-Plot:...

, The Second Renaissance, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction film, produced and directed by Irwin Allen, released by 20th Century Fox in 1961. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett. Walter Pidgeon starred as Admiral Harriman Nelson, with Robert Sterling as Captain Lee Crane...

, The Peacemaker
The Peacemaker (1997 film)
The Peacemaker is a 1997 American action/thriller film starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman and directed by Mimi Leder. It is also notable as being the first film released by DreamWorks...

, Thirteen Days
Thirteen Days (film)
Thirteen Days is a 2000 docudrama directed by Roger Donaldson about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seen from the perspective of the US political leadership. Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as John F. Kennedy....

, In the Loop
In the Loop (film)
In the Loop is a 2009 British satirical black comedy film directed by Armando Iannucci. It is based on the BBC Television series The Thick of It satirising Anglo-American politics in the 21st century and the Invasion of Iraq...

and Disney's 1977 animated film The Rescuers
The Rescuers
The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated feature produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film is about the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization headquartered in New York and shadowing...

. The eighth (final) season of 24
24 (TV series)
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each 24-episode season covers 24 hours in the life of Bauer, using the real time method of narration...

takes place partly in the building, where major peace talks are interrupted by an assassination attempt. The only film actually shot on location in the UN headquarters is The Interpreter
The Interpreter
The Interpreter is a 2005 political thriller film starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, and Catherine Keener. It was the final film to be directed by Sydney Pollack.-Plot:...

(2005), filmed with the consent of the Secretary-General, although some scenes in the political documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 U. N. Me
U. N. Me
U.N. Me is a documentary film about the United Nations by first-time filmmakers Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November 2009...

were surreptitiously filmed inside the building without permission.

When he was unable to obtain permission to film in the UN Headquarters, director Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

 covertly filmed Cary Grant
Cary Grant
Archibald Alexander Leach , better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English actor who later took U.S. citizenship...

 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.

The headquarters was shown in exterior shots of the fictional Darling family office in the US television series Dirty Sexy Money
Dirty Sexy Money
Dirty Sexy Money is an American prime time drama series created by Craig Wright, which ran on the ABC from September 26, 2007 to August 8, 2009. The series was produced by ABC Studios, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Berlanti Television and Gross Entertainment...

.

The headquarters is also a location in a number of video games, including: Tycoon City: New York
Tycoon City: New York
Tycoon City: New York is a 2006 city-building game where players are tasked with developing New York City, specifically the island of Manhattan...

, Sim City 3000, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Operation Body Count
Operation Body Count
Operation Body Count is a 1994 first-person shooter that used the Wolfenstein 3D ray casting engine. It was developed and published by Capstone Software.- Plot :...

, Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 (video game)
Spider-Man 2 is the name of several computer and video games based on the Spider-Man universe and particularly the Spider-Man 2 film. It is a follow up to the game Spider-Man: The Movie and was followed by Spider-Man 3 to promote the release of the third film in 2007...

, Civilization
Civilization (computer game)
Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based strategy "4X"-type strategy video game created by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley for MicroProse in 1991. The game's objective is to "Build an empire to stand the test of time": it begins in 4000 BC and the players attempt to expand and develop their empires...

, True Crime: New York City
True Crime: New York City
True Crime: New York City is an urban sandbox-style action-adventure videogame published by Activision and developed by Luxoflux for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube consoles and Windows based computers. It is the second game of the True Crime series, released after True Crime: Streets of LA...

and Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV is a 2008 open world action video game published by Rockstar Games, and developed by British games developer Rockstar North. It has been released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and for the Windows operating system...

.

The cover of the Megadeth
Megadeth
Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two...

 album "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
-25th Anniversary 2-CD reissue:-25th Anniversary box set:Disc 5 contains both the original album, and the above listed 1987 show in hi-resolution audio....

" depicts the U.N. headquarters lying in ruins with the sign "for sale", while "United Abominations
United Abominations
United Abominations is the eleventh studio album by the American heavy metal band Megadeth. Released on May 8, 2007, United Abominations is the first Megadeth release distributed through Roadrunner Records, and was recorded with an all new lineup excluding the band's singer, guitarist, songwriter,...

" features it in flames and being destroyed by meteors. In the book World War Z
World War Z
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a 2006 post-apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks. It is a follow-up to his 2003 book The Zombie Survival Guide. Rather than a grand overview or narrative, World War Z is a collection of individual accounts in the form of first-person anecdote...

, the United Nations Headquarters is moved to the USS Saratoga
USS Saratoga (CV-60)
USS Saratoga , was one of four Forrestal- class supercarriers built for the US Navy in the 1950s. Saratoga was the sixth US Navy ship, and the second aircraft carrier, to be named for the Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolutionary War.Commissioned in 1956, she spent most of her career in...

. The Marc Chagall stained glass wall was the subject of a souvenir sheet of U.N. postage stamps
United Nations Postal Administration
The United Nations Postal Administration is the postal agency of the United Nations. It issues postage stamps and postal stationery, denominated in United States dollars for the United Nations offices in New York, in Swiss francs for the offices in Geneva and in euros for the offices in Vienna...

 in 1967.

Public gatherings

Protest
Protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

s, demonstrations, and other gatherings directly on First Avenue
First Avenue (Manhattan)
First Avenue is a north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from Houston Street northbound for over 125 blocks before terminating at the Willis Avenue Bridge into The Bronx at the Harlem River near East 127th Street. South of Houston Street, the...

 are rare. Some gatherings have taken place in Ralph Bunche Park
Ralph Bunche Park
Ralph Bunche Park is a small municipal public park in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of New York City, at the northwest corner of First Avenue and 42nd Street. It was named in 1979 for the late Ralph Bunche....

, but it is too small to accommodate large demonstrations. The closest location where the New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 usually allows demonstrators is Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza at 47th Street
47th Street (Manhattan)
47th Street is an east-west running street between First Avenue and the West Side Highway in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs one way along the street, from east to west, starting at the United Nations Headquarters....

 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 which regularly hold events at the UN. The United Nations Association of the United States of America
United Nations Association of the United States of America
The United Nations Association of the United States of America or UNA-USA is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations among the American people. Its education, policy and advocacy programs emphasize the...

 (UNA-USA), a non-governmental organization, holds an annual "member's day" event in one of the conference rooms. Model United Nations
Model United Nations
Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda....

 conferences sponsored by UNA-USA, the National Collegiate Conference Association
National Model United Nations
National Model United Nations, or NMUN, is an international, college-level Model United Nations conference run by the National Collegiate Conference Association, a small non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA...

 (NCCA/NMUN), and the International Model UN Association (IMUNA/NHSMUN) hold part of their sessions in the General Assembly chamber. Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey, United States. Founded in 1856 by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the United States. Seton Hall is also the oldest and largest Catholic university in the...

's Whitehead School of Diplomacy hosts its UN summer study program at the headquarters as well.

Relocation proposals

Due to the significance of the organisation, proposals and offers to relocate the Headquarters buildings would surface now and then. Common complaints about its current location include diplomats who struggle to obtain U.S. visas and local residents complaining about inconveniences each time the roads are sealed due to visiting dignitaries. A telephone poll in 2001 found that 67% of callers were in favour of the UN moving out of the country. Countries critical of the United States, such as Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, are especially vocal in questioning the current location of the buildings in U.S. territory.

In 2001, Dmitriy Rogozin proposed moving the headquarters to St. Petersburg due to America's failure to pay its dues to the UN, saying "If the position of the Americans does not change and if as a result the international civil servants working in New York feel ever more uncomfortable, I think we will raise the question of moving the central UN headquarters to the 'Venice of the North,' St. Petersburg," During the period where the UN was facing delays in its efforts to refurbish its existing buildings, alternative sites considered as temporary sites also included the World Trade Center site
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

 being proposed as a new permanent facility.

Some governments have offered potential sites should the UN decide to move. In 2007, La Presse reported that the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 government, along with provincial and municipal authorities, proposed Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 as a site to move the headquarters; a former docklands site has been earmarked and preliminary drawings made, but the UN turned down the request in 2007 and opted to renovate its existing facilities instead. News that the UN would move to Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 appeared in 2008, suggesting the UN’s relocation committees have recommended the city-state as a new site to be completed by August 2015. In 2010, The Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 government offered Dubai as an ideal venue due to its proximity to international "trouble spots".

See also

  • International Court of Justice
    International Court of Justice
    The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

    , The Hague
  • Lake Success, New York
    Lake Success, New York
    Lake Success is a village in Nassau County, New York in the United States. The population was 2,934 at the 2010 census.Lake Success is in the Town of North Hempstead on northwest Long Island. Lake Success was the temporary home of the United Nations from 1946 to 1951, occupying the headquarters of...

  • Oscar Niemeyer
    Oscar Niemeyer
    Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture...

  • Palace of Nations
  • Queens Museum of Art
    Queens Museum of Art
    The Queens Museum of Art is an art museum and educational center located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens in New York City, United States.-Overview:...

  • Sperry Corporation
    Sperry Corporation
    Sperry Corporation was a major American equipment and electronics company whose existence spanned more than seven decades of the twentieth century...

  • U Thant Island
    U Thant Island
    U Thant Island is the smallest island located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The tiny artificial island is in size and located in the East River, just south of Roosevelt Island...

  • United Nations Office at Geneva
    United Nations Office at Geneva
    The United Nations Office at Geneva is the second-largest of the four major office sites of the United Nations...

  • United Nations Office at Nairobi
    United Nations Office at Nairobi
    The United Nations Office at Nairobi is one of the four major UN office sites where several different UN agencies have a joint presence. The office complex is located in Nairobi, Kenya...

  • United Nations Office at Vienna
    United Nations Office at Vienna
    The United Nations Office in Vienna is one of the four major UN office sites where several different UN agencies have a joint presence. The office complex is located in Vienna, the capital of Austria, and is part of the Vienna International Centre, a cluster of several major international...


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