|Headquarters of the United Nations|
|Alternative names||Headquarters of the United Nations|
Arabic: مقر الأمم المتحدة
French: Siège des Nations unies
Russian: Штаб-квартира Организации Объединенных Наций
Spanish: Sede de las Naciones Unidas
|Architectural style||International Style|
|Location||New York City|
|Address||760 United Nations Plaza,|
Manhattan, New York City, New York, (10017-6818)
|Construction started||September 14, 1948|
|Completed||October 9, 1952|
|Cost||$65 million |
($630,000,000 adjusted for inflation)
|Height||155.3 meters (510 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Board of designers mediated by Harrison & Abramovitz|
|Main contractor||Fuller, Turner, Slattery, and Walsh|
The United Nations is headquartered in New York City in a complex designed by a board of architects led by Wallace Harrison and built by the architectural firm Harrison & Abramovitz. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1951. It is in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on 17 to 18 acres (6.9 to 7.3 ha) of grounds overlooking the East River. Its borders are First Avenue on the west, East 42nd Street to the south, East 48th Street on the north, and the East River to the east. The term "Turtle Bay" is occasionally used as a metonym for the UN headquarters or for the United Nations as a whole.
The headquarters holds the seats of the principal organs of the UN, including the General Assembly and the Security Council, but excluding the International Court of Justice, which is seated in the Hague. The United Nations has three additional subsidiary regional headquarters, or headquarters districts. These were opened in Geneva (Switzerland) in 1946, Vienna (Austria) in 1980, and Nairobi (Kenya) in 1996. These adjunct offices help represent UN interests, facilitate diplomatic activities, and enjoy certain extraterritorial privileges, but do not contain the seats of major organs.
Although it is in New York City, the land occupied by the United Nations Headquarters and the spaces of buildings that it rents are under the sole administration of the United Nations and not the U.S. government. They are technically extraterritorial through a treaty agreement with the U.S. government. However, in exchange for local police, fire protection, and other services, the United Nations agrees to acknowledge most local, state, and federal laws.
None of the United Nations' 15 specialized agencies (such as UNESCO) are located at the headquarters. However, some "autonomous subsidiary organs", such as UNICEF, have their headquarters at the UNHQ.
The headquarters of the United Nations occupies a site beside the East River, on between 17 and 18 acres (6.9 and 7.3 ha)[a] of land purchased from the real estate developer William Zeckendorf Sr. At the time, the site was part of Turtle Bay, which contained slaughterhouses and tenement buildings, as well as the original Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory. By the 1910s, there was also a pencil factory and a gas company building in Turtle Bay, on the site of the current UN headquarters. The development of Sutton Place and Beekman Place, north of the current UN site, came in the 1920s. A yacht club on the site was proposed in 1925, but it proved to be too expensive.
In 1946, Zeckendorf purchased the land with the intention to create an "X City" on the site. This complex was to contain an office building and a hotel, each 57 stories tall, and an entertainment complex between them. The X City would have also had smaller apartment and office towers. However, the $8.5 million ($74 million in 2019) for X City never materialized, and Nelson Rockefeller purchased an option for Zeckendorf's waterfront land in Turtle Bay. The purchase was funded by Nelson's father, John D. Rockefeller Jr. The Rockefeller family owned the Tudor City Apartments across First Avenue from the Zeckendorf site. The city, in turn, spent $5 million ($43 million in 2019) on clearing the land.
While the United Nations had dreamed of constructing an independent city for its new world capital, multiple obstacles soon forced the organization to downsize their plans. They ultimately decided to build on Rockefeller's East River plot, since the land was free and the land's owners were well known. The diminutive site on the East River necessitated a Rockefeller Center-type vertical complex, thus, it was a given that the Secretariat would be housed in a tall office tower. During daily meetings from February to June 1947, the collaborative team produced at least 45 designs and variations. Rather than hold a competition for the design of the facilities for the headquarters, the UN decided to commission a multinational team of leading architects to collaborate on the design. Harrison was named as Director of Planning, and a Board of Design Consultants was composed of architects, planners and engineers nominated by member governments. The board consisted of N. D. Bassov of the Soviet Union, Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), G. A. Soilleux (Australia), and Julio Vilamajó (Uruguay).
Niemeyer met with Corbusier at the latter's request shortly after the former arrived in New York City. Corbusier had already been lobbying hard to promote his own scheme 23, and thus, requested that Niemeyer not submit a design, lest he further confuse the contentious meetings of the Board of Design. Instead, Corbusier asked the younger architect Niemeyer to assist him with his project. Niemeyer began to absent himself from the meetings. Only after Wallace Harrison and Max Abramovitz repeatedly pressed him to participate did Niemeyer agree to submit his own project. Niemeyer's project 32 was finally chosen, but as opposed to Corbusier's project 23, which consisted of one building containing both the Assembly Hall and the councils in the center 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.
After much discussion, Harrison, who coordinated the meetings, determined that a design based on Niemeyer's project 32 and Le Corbusier's project 23 would be developed for the final project. Le Corbusier's project 23 consisted of a large block containing both the Assembly Hall and the Council Chambers near the center of the site with the Secretariat tower emerging as a slab from the south. Niemeyer's plan was closer to that actually constructed, with a distinctive General Assembly building, a long low horizontal block housing the other meeting rooms, and a tall tower for the Secretariat. The complex as built, however, repositioned Niemeyer's General Assembly building to the north of this tripartite composition. This plan included a public plaza as well. The UN headquarters was originally proposed alongside a grand boulevard leading eastward from Third Avenue or Lexington Avenue, between 46th Street to the south and 49th Street to the north. These plans were eventually downsized into Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, a small plaza on the south side of 47th Street east of Second Avenue.
Wallace Harrison's assistant, architect 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...[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 seemed to me to be in everyone's mind..."[page needed] Later on, Corbusier came once again to Niemeyer and asked him to reposition the Assembly Hall back to the center of the site. Such modification would destroy Niemeyer’s plans for a large civic square. However, he finally decided to accept the modification: "I felt [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.[page needed] Along with suggestions from the other members of the Board of Design Consultants, this was developed into project 42G. This late project was built with some reductions and other modifications.[non-primary source needed]
Many cities vied for the honor of hosting the UN Headquarters site, prior to the selection of New York City. The selection of the East River site came after over a year of protracted study and consideration of many sites in the United States. A powerful faction among the delegates advocated returning to the former League of Nations complex in Geneva, Switzerland. Suggestions came from far and wide including such fanciful suggestions as a ship on the high seas to housing the entire complex in a single tall building. Amateur architects submitted designs, local governments offered park areas, but the determined group of New York City boosters that included such luminaries as Grover Whalen, Thomas J. Watson, and Nelson Rockefeller, coordinated efforts with the powerful Coordinator of Construction, Robert Moses, and Mayor William O'Dwyer, to assemble acceptable interim facilities. Their determined courtship of the UN Interim Site committee resulted in the early meetings taking place at multiple locations throughout the New York area.
Sites in San Francisco (including the Presidio) and Marin County in California; St. Louis, Missouri; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Fairfield County, Connecticut; Westchester County and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in New York; Tuskahoma, Oklahoma; the Black Hills of South Dakota; Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan; and a site on Navy Island straddling the U.S.-Canada border were considered as potential sites for the UN Headquarters. San Francisco, where the UN was founded in 1945, was favored by Australia, New Zealand, China, and the Philippines due to the city's proximity to their countries. The UN and many of its delegates seriously considered Philadelphia for the headquarters; the city offered to donate land in several select sites, including Fairmount Park, Andorra, and a Center City location which would have placed the headquarters along a mall extending from Independence Hall to Penn's Landing. The Manhattan site was ultimately chosen over Philadelphia after John D. Rockefeller, Jr., offered to donate $8.5 million to purchase the land along the East River.; Robert Moses and Rockefeller Sr. convinced Nelson Rockefeller to buy the land after the Rockefellers' Kykuit estate in Mount Pleasant, New York was deemed too isolated from Manhattan.
Previous temporary sites
In 1945–46 London hosted the first meeting of the General Assembly in Methodist Central Hall, and the Security Council in Church House. The third and sixth General Assembly sessions, in 1948 and 1951, met in the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Prior to the construction of the current complex, the UN was headquartered at a temporary location at the Sperry Corporation's offices in Lake Success, New York, an eastern suburb of the city in Nassau County on Long Island, from 1946 to 1952. The Security Council also held sessions on what was then the Bronx campus of Hunter College (now the site of Lehman College) from March to August 1946. The UN also met at what is now the Queens Museum, built as the New York City Pavilion for the 1939 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The General Assembly met at what had previously been the ice skating rink, and the Long Island Rail Road reopened the former World's Fair station as United Nations station. After the UN moved to its new Manhattan headquarters, the building was remodeled and briefly used as a pavilion for the 1964 New York World's Fair, after which it reverted to use as a skating rink until 2008, when the entire building began a long-term renovation to create expanded museum facilities.
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 immediately from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. However, the full loan was initially withheld due to a case regarding UN employee Valentin A. Gubitchev and a KGB spy Judith Coplon, who had been charged with espionage and were set to go on trial in March 1949. The House was loath to distribute the full $65 million because the government was concerned that the UN's proposed headquarters would grant diplomatic immunity to the two individuals. The UN used the Reconstruction Finance Corp.'s $25 million as a stopgap measure. The resulting case circumscribed the immunity of UN employees. To save money, the UN considered retaining an existing building on the Manhattan site, which had been slated for demolition once the headquarters was completed. Until 1950, the UN refused to accept private donations for the headquarters' construction, citing a policy that prohibited them from accepting donations.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the initial buildings occurred on September 14, 1948. A bucket of earth was removed to mark the start of construction for the basement of the 39-story Secretariat Building. Fuller, Turner, Slattery, and Walsh, a consortium of four contracting companies from Manhattan and Queens, were selected to construct the Secretariat Building, as well as the foundations for the remaining buildings. In October, Harrison requested that its 58 members and the 48 U.S. states participate in designing the interiors of the building's conference rooms. It was believed that if enough countries designed their own rooms, the UN would be able to reduce its own expenditures. The headquarters were originally supposed to be completed in 1951, with the first occupants moving into the Secretariat Building in 1950. However, in November, New York City's construction coordinator Robert Moses reported that construction was two months behind schedule. By that time, 60% of the headquarters' site had been excavated. The same month, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to formally thank the national, state, and city governments for their role in building the headquarters. The formal $23.8 million contract for the Secretariat Building was awarded in January 1949.
A prayer space for people of all religions was announced on April 18, 1949. Until then, the UN had avoided the subject of a prayer room, because it had been difficult, if not impossible, to create a prayer room that could accommodate the various religions. Two days after this announcement, workers erected the first steel beam for the Secretariat Building, to little official fanfare. The consortium working on the Secretariat Building announced that 13,000 tons of steel would eventually be used in the building, and that the steelwork would consist of a strong wind bracing system because the 72-by-287-foot (22 by 87 m) structure was so narrow. The flag of the United Nations was raised above the first beam as a demonstration for the many spectators who witnessed the first beam's erection. The Secretariat Building was to be completed no later than January 1, 1951, and if the consortium of Fuller, Turner, Slattery, and Walsh exceeded that deadline, they had to pay a minimum penalty of $2,500 per day to the UN. To reduce construction costs, the complex's planners downsized the Secretariat Building from 42 stories to 39 stories.
The cornerstone of the headquarters was originally supposed to be laid on April 10, 1949. However, in March of that year, Secretary-General Trygve Lie delayed the ceremony after learning that Truman would not present to officiate the cornerstone laying. Seven months later, on October 11, Truman accepted an invitation to attend a cornerstone-laying ceremony, which was planned to occur on October 24. At the ceremony, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey laid the headquarters' cornerstone.
In June 1949, UN officials wrote a letter to the American Bridge Company in which they expressed intent to buy 10,000 to 11,000 tons of steel. This steel would be used to build the rest of the complex, as well as a deck over FDR Drive on the headquarters' eastern side. To fit in with the accelerated schedule of construction, the steel would have to be delivered by September. The project also included a four-lane, $2.28 million vehicular tunnel under First Avenue so that traffic could bypass the headquarters when the UN was in session. The tunnel started construction on August 1, 1949. The tunnel involved two years of planning due to its complexity. Property inside Tudor City, just west of the headquarters, was also acquired so that two streets near the UN headquarters could be widened. The expanded streets were expected to speed up construction. In October 1949, contracts were awarded for the construction of two vehicular ramps over the FDR Drive: one to the north of the UN headquarters, and one to the south. Another contract to redevelop 42nd Street, a major corridor leading to the UN headquarters, was awarded in December of that year.
The Secretariat Building was ceremonially topped out in October 1949 after its steel framework had been completed. The UN flag was hoisted atop the roof of the newly completed steel frame in celebration of this event. The installation of the Secretariat Building's interior furnishings proceeded quickly so that the building could be open in January 1951. In February 1950, the UN invited companies from 37 countries to bid on $2 million worth of furniture for the Secretariat Building. A month later, the UN announced that it would also be accepting all donations from private citizens, entities, or organizations. This marked a reversal from their previous policy of rejecting all donations. A $1.7 million steel contract on the United Nations General Assembly building, the last structure to be built, was awarded in April 1950. At the time, the building was not expected to be complete until 1952 due to a steelworkers' strike, which had delayed the production of steel. The first pieces of the platform over the FDR Drive was lifted into place the same month. In June 1950, Norway proposed that it decorate and outfit the complex's Security Council chamber, and the UN unofficially accepted the Norwegian offer.
In December 1949, Robert Moses proposed placing a playground inside the UN headquarters, but this plan was initially rejected. The UN subsequently reversed its position in April 1951, and Lie agreed to build a 100-by-140-foot (30 by 43 m) playground at the northeast corner of the headquarters site. However, the UN did reject an unusual "model playground" proposal for that site, instead choosing to construct a play area similar to others found around New York City.
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 out of its Lake Success headquarters by May. The construction of the General Assembly Building was delayed due to a shortage of limestone for the building, which in turn resulted from a heavy snow at the British limestone quarries that were supplying the building's limestone. The erection of the building's framework began in February 1952. The Manhattan headquarters was declared complete on October 10, 1952. The cost of construction was reported to be on budget at $65 million. In 1953, twenty-one nations donated furnishings or offered to decorate the UN headquarters.
A new library building for the UN headquarters was proposed in 1952. The existing UN library, a 6-story structure formerly owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), was too small. The NYCHA building could only hold 170,000 books, whereas the UN wanted to host at least 350,000 to 400,000 books in its library. The new facility was slated to cost $3 million. By 1955, the collection was housed in the Secretariat Building and held 250,000 volumes in "every language of the world", according to The New York Times. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library Building, designed by Harrison and Abramovitz, was officially dedicated in November 1961.
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 East River-Turtle Bay Fund, a civic group, proposed that the United Nations purchase a 3-acre (1.2 ha) tract located to the south of the headquarters, on the site of the Robert Moses Playground and the Queens–Midtown Tunnel ventilation building between 41st and 42nd Streets. The northern portion of the United Nations site remained largely undeveloped through the mid-1960s; a proposed skyscraper by Wallace K. Harrison was scrapped after the UN ran out of money and had to borrow $65 million from the United States government.
A radical proposal for redeveloping the area around the UN headquarters was proposed in 1968. It entailed closing First Avenue between 43rd and 45th Streets; constructing a new visitor's center with two 44-story towers between 43rd and 45th Streets; and connecting the new visitor's center with the existing headquarters via a public park. This plan was presented to the New York City government in 1969, but was ultimately not acted upon.
The UN staff continued to grow, and by 1969, the organization had 3,500 staff working in the New York headquarters. The UN rented additional space at 485 Lexington Avenue and in the Chrysler East complex, located three blocks west of the headquarters. It also announced its intention to build a new storage building between 41st and 42nd Streets. None of these properties would receive the extraterritorial status conferred on the original headquarters.
On July 28, 2007, UN officials announced the complex would undergo a $1 billion renovation starting in the fall. Swedish firm Skanska AB won a bid to overhaul the buildings which including the Conference, General Assembly and Secretariat buildings. The renovations, which were the first since the complex opened in 1950, were expected to take about 7 years to complete. When completed the complex is also expected to be more energy efficient and have improved security. A temporary $140 million "North Lawn Building" was built to house the United Nations' "critical operations" while renovations proceeded. Work began on May 5, 2008, but the project was delayed for a while. By 2009 the cost of the work had risen from $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion with some estimates saying it would take up to $3 billion. Officials hoped the renovated buildings would achieve a LEED Silver rating. Despite some delays and rises in construction costs, renovation on the entire UN headquarters progressed rapidly. By 2012, the installation of the new glass facade of the Secretariat Building was completed. The new glass wall retained the look of the original facade but it is more energy efficient. The renovation of the Secretariat building was completed, and the UN staff moved into the new building in July 2012.
Alternative sites were considered as temporary holding locations during renovations. In 2005, officials investigated establishing a new temporary site be created at the old Lake Success location. Brooklyn was also suggested as a temporary site. Another alternative for a temporary headquarters or a new permanent facility was the World Trade Center site. Once again, these plans met resistance both within the UN and from the United States and New York governments and were abandoned.
By September 2015, the renovations were nearly complete but the cost had risen to $2.15 billion. Demolition of the North Lawn Building began in January 2016. The building was replaced with an open plaza, and most of its materials were to be recycled.
On March 10, 2020, the U.N. closed to general public following due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. The U.N. hopes to reopen to the public on April 12, 2020. It was later announced that the pandemic also forced cuts to staff at the building.
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.
Extraterritoriality and security
The site of the UN headquarters has extraterritoriality 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 and so cannot be prosecuted by local courts unless the diplomatic immunity is waived by the Secretary-General. In 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan waived the immunity of Benon Sevan, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Vladimir Kuznetsov in relation to the Oil-for-Food Programme, and all were charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Benon Sevan later fled the United States to Cyprus, while Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vladimir Kuznetsov decided to stand trial.
United Nations Security officers are generally responsible for security within the UN Headquarters. They are equipped with weapons and handcuffs and are sometimes mistaken for NYPD officers due to the agencies' similar uniforms. The NYPD's 17th Precinct patrols the area around and near the complex, but may only formally enter the actual UN headquarters at the request of the Secretary-General.
Journalists reporting from the complex often use "United Nations" rather than "New York City" as the identification of their location in recognition of the extraterritoriality status.
Currency and postage
The complex has a street address of United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, 10017, United States. For security reasons, all mail sent to this address is sterilized, so items that may be degraded can be sent by courier. The United Nations Postal Administration issues stamps, which must be used on stamped mail sent from the building.
For award purposes, amateur radio operators consider the UN headquarters a separate "entity" under some award programs such as DXCC. For communications, UN organizations have their own internationally recognized ITU prefix, 4U. However, only contacts made with the UN Headquarters in New York, and the ITU count as separate entities. Other UN organizations such as the World Bank count for the state or country they are located in. The UN Staff Recreation Council operates amateur radio station 4U1UN, and occasionally use special callsigns with prefix 4U and ending in UN to commemorate various events at the UN.
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.
General Assembly Building
The General Assembly Building, housing the United Nations General Assembly, holds the General Assembly Hall, which has a seating capacity of 1,800. At 165 ft (50 m) long by 115 ft (35 m) wide, it is the largest room in the complex.
The Hall has two murals by the French artist Fernand Léger. 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 interpreters to watch the proceedings as they work. The ceiling of the hall is 75 ft (23 m) high and surmounted by a shallow dome ringed by recessed light fixtures. The entrance to the hall bears an inscription from the Gulistan by Iranian poet Saadi.
Original plans called for the back wall of the General Assembly Hall, behind the rostrum, to be adorned with the seals of the sixty countries that were part of the UN in 1952. Though fifty-four seals were eventually completed, these plans were scrapped in 1955 because Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld felt they would distract from the purpose of the room. 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 second floor of the building houses the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber, which was a gift from Sweden. It was designed by Sven Markelius and was renovated in 2013. This renovation added a set of curtains named "Dialogos" by Ann Edholm.
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 and was designed by the Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg. 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 Building was completed in 1950. It 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).
Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The library was founded with the United Nations in 1946. It was originally called the United Nations Library, later the United Nations International Library. In the late 1950s the Ford Foundation gave a grant to the United Nations for the construction of a new library building; Dag Hammarskjöld was also instrumental in securing the funding for the new building. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library was dedicated and renamed on November 16, 1961. The building was a gift from the Ford Foundation 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.
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 House (3 UN Plaza) and the UNITAR 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 as an interfaith space housing the offices of several non-governmental organizations. The Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) is located at 380 Madison Avenue.
In October 2011 city and state officials announced an agreement in which the UN would be allowed to build a long-sought new office tower just south of the existing campus on the current Robert Moses Playground, which would be relocated. In exchange, the United Nations would allow the construction of an esplanade along the East River that would complete the East River Greenway, a waterfront pedestrian and bicycle pathway. While host nation authorities have agreed to the provisions of the plan, it needs the approval of the United Nations in order to be implemented. The plan is similar in concept to an earlier proposal that had been announced in 2000 but did not move forward.
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 Wall also 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 Assembly session, a Chinese ivory carving made in 1974 (before the ivory trade was largely banned in 1989), and a Venetian mosaic depicting Norman Rockwell's painting The Golden Rule. A full-size tapestry copy of Pablo Picasso's Guernica, by Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach, is on the wall of the United Nations building at the entrance to the Security Council room. In 1952, two Fernand Léger 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 and U.S. President Harry S. Truman dubbed the other work "Scrambled Eggs".
Two large murals by Brazilian artist Cândido Portinari, 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 and Portinari intended to execute them in the United States. 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.
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 discussed, this time for security reasons.
Critics of relocation say that the idea would be expensive and would also involve the withdrawal of the United States from the organization, and with it much of the agency's funding. They also state that the proposals have never gone from being mere declarations.
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 part of their sessions in the General Assembly chamber. Seton Hall University's Whitehead School of Diplomacy hosts its UN summer study program at the headquarters as well.
In popular culture
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]
- "U.N. Breaks Ground for Its Capital; O'Dwyer Welcomes 'Plan for Peace'; BREAKING GROUND FOR UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS HERE U.N.BREAKS GROUND FOR WORLD CAPITAL" (PDF). The New York Times. September 15, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Hamilton, Thomas J. (October 10, 1952). "Work Completed on U.N. Buildings". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- "4 Companies Join Forces To Construct U.N.'s Home" (PDF). The New York Times. December 19, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "United Nations Visitors Centre". United Nations. Archived from the original on September 24, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "Turtle Bay blog". Foreign Policy. foreignpolicy.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "Home | UNON". Archived from the original on February 25, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
- "Welcome to the United Nations Office at Vienna!". United Nations. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2011. referring to the office at Vienna as "the third United Nations Headquarters"
- Kelsen, Hans (1950). The law of the United Nations: a critical analysis of its fundamental problems. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. p. 350. ISBN 978-1-58477-077-0. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 1349–1350. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2.
- Boland, Ed Jr. (June 8, 2003). "F.Y.I." The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Gray, Christopher (April 25, 2010). "The U.N.: One Among Many Ideas for the Site". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "Fact Sheet: United Nations Headquarters". United Nations. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- "Oscar Niemeyer and the United Nations Headquarters (1947–1949)". United Nations. December 2014. Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Philippou S., Curves of Irreverence, YALE
- Niemeyer, A Vida é um Sopro, Fabiano Maciel
- Dudley, George A., A Workshop for Peace: Designing the United Nations Headquarters, (Cambridge, MA and London, England: MIT Press and the Architectural History Foundation, 1994) p. 314. Dudley provides an accurate and detailed account of the Design meetings as well as discussing the evolution of the final design.
- Phipps, Linda S., "'Constructing' the United Nations Headquarters: Modern Architecture as Public Diplomacy," Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University, 1998; Chapters 1 and 2.
- Atwater, Elton (April 1976). "Philadelphia's Quest to Become the Permanent Headquarters of the United Nations". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Pennsylvania: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania; University of Pennsylvania Press. JSTOR 20091055.
- Mires, Charlene (April 2, 2013). "Detroit's Quixotic Bid to Host the United Nations". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Historical Society of Philadelphia (November 23, 2018). "When the United Nations Almost Chose Philly For Its HQ". Hidden City Philadelphia. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Harr, John Ensor Harr & Johnson, Peter J. (1988). "Estate offered as site for the UN headquarters". The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 432–33.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "Lake Success: A Reluctant Host to the United Nations". Newsday. New York. Archived from the original on May 23, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2009.
- "About Lehman College". Lehman College. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2009.
- "The Story of United Nations Headquarters" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
- "The History of Ice Skating in New York City Parks". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "United Nations Station". Arrt's Arrchives. August 14, 2004. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "Truman Asks Loan for U.n. Buildings" (PDF). The New York Times. April 8, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "HOUSE PASSES BILL FOR U.N. SITE LOAN; Vote Is 164 to 27 'Home for Stalin's Agents,' Foe Says -- Joy at Lake Success HOUSE PASSES BILL FOR U.N. SITE LOAN" (PDF). The New York Times. August 6, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "Spy Charge May Adversely Affect Bills" (PDF). Buffalo Courier-Express. March 7, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved December 20, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.
- Spencer, Melvin J. (1950). "International Law: Jurisdictional Immunity of United Nations Employees: The Gubitchev Case". Michigan Law Review. 49 (1): 101–110. doi:10.2307/1284159. JSTOR 1284159.
- "U.N. MAY CONVERT A BUILDING ON SITE; Rising Costs Cause the Capital Planners to Consider Using Manhattan Structure" (PDF). The New York Times. 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Barrett, George (March 4, 1950). "U.N. ACCEPTS GIFTs FOR NEW BUILDINGS; Private Donations Will Be Used to Complete and Furnish East River Headquarters" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "U.N. TO ASK NATIONS TO DO DECORATING; 58 Countries and 48 States to Be Called On for Aid at East Side Capital" (PDF). The New York Times. October 11, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "WORK ON U.N. SITE BEHIND SCHEDULE; Moses Blames 'Metropolitan Difficulties' for 2-Month Lag -- City Doing All It Can" (PDF). The New York Times. November 25, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "ASSEMBLY HAILS U.N. SITE PROGRESS; Without a Dissent, It Votes Formal Thanks to U.S. and to City and State" (PDF). The New York Times. November 19, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Hamilton, Thomas J. (January 28, 1949). "U. N. Lets $23,809,573 Contract For Its Permanent Headquarters" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Barrett, George (April 18, 1949). "U.N. to Establish Prayer Chamber Of All Faiths in New Headquarters" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Spectators Watch and Wonder As Beam Is Raised on East Side; Sidewalk Superintendents Only Witnesses of Beginning of Framework for World Peace Capital Building" (PDF). The New York Times. April 20, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "U. N. to Make $2,250,000 Steel Contract Soon To Start Second Unit of East River Project" (PDF). The New York Times. June 20, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- Pett, Saul (October 23, 1949). "U.N. Has Trimmed Its Housing Plan To Fit Its Pocketbook" (PDF). Utica Observer-Dispatch. p. 5B. Retrieved December 25, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com; Associated Press.
- "CORNERSTONE FETE POSTPONED BY U. N.; Lie Puts Off Indefinitely the Plan Set for April 10 Here as Truman Drops Trip" (PDF). The New York Times. March 25, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "TRUMAN TO SPEAK AT U.N. DEDICATION; Accepts Invitation to Ceremony at New Headquarters Site in Manhattan Oct. 24" (PDF). The New York Times. October 11, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Associated Press (October 24, 1949). "Dewey Urges UN Power to Enforce Acts" (PDF). Elmira Star-Gazette. p. 1. Retrieved December 20, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.[dead link]
- "FIRST AVENUE JOB IN U. N. AREA BEGUN; $2,280,000 Renovation Project, to Take 13 Months, Required Two Years of Planning" (PDF). The New York Times. August 2, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "CITY TO ADD LAND FOR U.N. APPROACH; Board Votes to Take Over Strip for Widening of Street to Speed Development" (PDF). The New York Times. December 17, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- "Ask Bids This Week on U. N. Overpasses" (PDF). The New York Times. October 5, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- "U. N. Approach to Be Beautified By Redevelopment of 42d Street; PLANS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF EAST FORTY-SECOND STREET" (PDF). The New York Times. December 22, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "U. N. FLAG HOISTED OVER NEW BUILDING; The Banner With Olive Branch Flies Atop Completed Steel Structure on East Side AUSTIN HAILS THE SYMBOL Vermont Marble Already Is in Place on Two Walls -- Acres of Acoustic Ceilings Planned" (PDF). The New York Times. October 6, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
- "U.N. Will Ask World for Furniture Bids; 37 Nations May Yield Skyscraper Proposals" (PDF). The New York Times. March 2, 1950. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- United Press International (April 25, 1950). "Steel Construction Launched for UN General Assembly" (PDF). Niagara Falls Gazette. p. 23. Retrieved December 22, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.
- "U. N. STEEL SUPPLY FOR ASSEMBLY SET; But Building Will Not Be Ready for '51 Session -- Delay Seen in Transfer to Manhattan" (PDF). The New York Times. December 23, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "RUSH JOB EXTENDS AREA OF U.N. SITE; Section Carrying Acreage Over Roosevelt Drive Speeded Into Place" (PDF). The New York Times. April 23, 1950. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Barrett, George (July 1, 1950). "NORWAY MAKES BID TO EQUIP U.N. ROOM; Offer to Decorate and Furnish Security Council Chamber Is Accepted Informally" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "Moses Wants Acre of Land In U. N. Site for Playground; MOSES WANTS ACRE OF U. N. PROPERTY" (PDF). The New York Times. December 16, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "Moses Faces Rebuff on U.N. Playground" (PDF). The New York Times. December 17, 1949. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "LIE AGREES TO HAVE PLAYGROUND AT U.N.; Area at Corner of East River Headquarters Will Be Set Aside for Children MOSES PERSUASION WINS Peace Body Will Pay Costs-- Assembly Building Now to Be Ready in Mid-1952". The New York Times. April 7, 1951. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Louchheim, Aline B. (October 7, 1951). "U. N. Rejects 'Model Playground; Moses' Project Is Accepted Instead; MODEL PLAY AREA REJECTED BY U.N." (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Falk, Sam (August 22, 1950). "450 of U.n. Staff Occupy New Site; U.n. Employes Commence Work in New Quarters" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- Associated Press (January 8, 1951). "UN MOVES INTO NEW BUILDING IN NYC TODAY" (PDF). Cortland Standard. p. 1. Retrieved December 21, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.
- Associated Press (January 8, 1951). "U.N. Moves in Officially At 39-Story Headquarters" (PDF). Knickerbocker News. p. 6A. Retrieved December 25, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.
- "Big Voice Communications Center Serves New UN Home in New York" (PDF). Union Springs News. November 30, 1950. Retrieved December 21, 2017 – via Fultonhistory.com.
- Rosenthal, A.M. (May 19, 1951). "U.N. Vacates Site at Lake Success; Peace Building Back to War Output; U.N. VACATES SITE AT LAKE SUCCESS" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Sullivan, Walter (May 24, 1951). "BRITISH DELAY HITS U.N. BUILDING WORK; Failure to Deliver Limestone Holds Up Assembly Hall and May Bar 1952 Session" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- "Work Is Under Way on Final U.n. Building" (PDF). The New York Times. February 16, 1951. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Childers, Erskine (September 29, 1995). "Financing the UN". Global Policy Forum. Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "21 NATIONS DONATE TO U.N.; Gifts of $500,000 Value Accepted for Building and Decor Here" (PDF). The New York Times. June 28, 1953. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "New U. N. Library Planned" (PDF). The New York Times. October 30, 1952. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Bracker, Milton (December 21, 1952). "LIBRARY FACILITIES OF U. N. RESTRICTED; $3,000,000 Building Needed but Only Key to Problem Would be Private Gift" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "EVERY LANGUAGE IN U.N.'S LIBRARY; Official Documents of All World's Governments Find Their Way Into It" (PDF). The New York Times. December 4, 1955. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Hammarskjold Library Dedicated" (PDF). The New York Times. November 17, 1961. p. 5. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "United Nations Opens Formal Gardens to the Public". The New York Times. September 19, 1958. Archived from the original on December 29, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Hamilton, Thomas J. (May 7, 1962). "Crowded U.N. Seeks More Office Space; U.N. SEEKS SPACE TO EASE CROWDING". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Clines, Francis X. (April 8, 1965). "NEWS OF REALTY: U.N. LEASES SPACE; Offices for 2 Agencies Are Taken at 866 U.N. Plaza". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Teltsch, Kathleen (December 6, 1966). "Civic Group Urges Expansion of U.N. To Tract on South; U.N. MAY EXPAND TO TRACT ON SOUTH". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "Ford Offers Help to School at U.N.; Private Institution Planned at Headquarters". The New York Times. June 24, 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
- Teltsch, Kathleen (April 21, 1968). "Towers, Parks and Walkways Are Included in Proposal for U.N. 'Campus'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Teltsch, Kathleen (November 12, 1969). "MASSIVE COMPLEX PROPOSED FOR U.N.; $300-Million Project Would Be Sheathed in Glass Huge $300-Million Complex Is Planned for U.N. Area". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Teltsch, Kathleen (May 9, 1969). "NEWS OF REALTY: U.N. RENTS SPACE; Acts to Ease Overcrowding at Its Headquarters". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 30, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- Hodge, Warren (November 28, 2007). "After 10 Years and 3 Plans, U.N. Renovation Is in Sight". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Dunlap, David W. (January 7, 2016). "Retiring a U.N. Building Not Quite Fit for the World Stage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Farley, Maggie (May 6, 2008). "'A time of rebirth' at U.N. site". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "U.N. Renovation Cost Jumps $400M". CBS News. Associated Press. February 11, 2009. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "United Nations Capital Master Plan: Current Status". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "United Nations Capital Master Plan: Timeline". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "U.N. may move to Brooklyn temporarily". USA Today. Associated Press. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on March 5, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- New York Daily News, Fred A. Bernstein: "United Nations Should Move to World Trade Center Site." November 6, 2001, column archived at Bernstein's website. Archived November 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Kjelstad, Carina (May 16, 2006). "Without Action Now, the UN Capital Master Plan Is Not Going Anywhere Anytime Soon". Global Policy Forum. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "UN Makeover Sacrifices Hammarskjold Library for Security". New York Times. September 3, 2015. Archived from the original on January 15, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "Coronavirus update: UN addresses school disruptions, suspends public access to New York Headquarters". UN News. March 10, 2020.
- Nichols, Michelle (March 13, 2020). "U.N. headquarters in New York to slash staff presence for four weeks over coronavirus" – via www.reuters.com.
- "Official language" Archived October 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine United Nations website
- "The Story of United Nations Headquarters". United Nations. July 2006. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "UN/Volcker Report". United Nations. August 8, 2005. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Q&A: Oil-for-food scandal". BBC News. September 7, 2005. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "United Nations Photo". Unmultimedia.org. September 10, 2003. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- U.S. Mission to the United Nations, 799 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017: Environmental Impact Statement. 2001. p. 11.
- For example, Richard Roth is CNN's UN correspondent, while Ian Williams Archived August 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine is his counterpart at The Nation and Carola Hoyos Archived October 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine is the UN correspondent for the Financial Times.
- "History". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "Security Notice – United Nations Headquarters". United Nations. 2001. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Endrst, Elsa B. (December 1992). "So proudly they wave ... flags of the United Nations". UN Chronicle. findarticles.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2011. (at the time the article was printed, there were only 179 member states)
- Serpentinite from Val d'Aoste http://planet-terre.ens-lyon.fr Archived January 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- "The General Assembly". United Nations. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Axworthy, Michael (2010). Iran: Empire of the Mind. Basic Books. p. 110.
- "U. N. Shelves Plan to Adorn Its Hall; Artistic and Political Reasons Bar Use of State Seals". The New York Times. January 11, 1955. Archived from the original on December 29, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
- "Remarks at inauguration of the renovated Economic and Social Council chamber". United Nations Secretary-General. April 22, 2013. Archived from the original on December 25, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
- "The Security Council". United Nations. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Hamilton, Thomas J. (October 10, 1953). "Work Completed on U.N. Buildings" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- "Office of Legal Affairs". United Nations. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "United Nations Disarmament". United Nations. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "DGACM". United Nations. Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Collections". United Nations. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Investigations Hotline". United Nations. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES HISTORIC AGREEMENT TO CLOSE LAST MAJOR GAP IN THE MANHATTAN GREENWAY AND ENABLE MODERNIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS' NEW YORK CITY PRESENCE". Press Release. City of New York. October 5, 2011. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- Foderaro, Lisa (September 30, 2011). "Land Deal With U.N. Would Fill a Big Gap in the Waterfront Greenway". news article. The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- Haberman, Clyde (February 25, 2005). "Act Globally, Get Stuck Locally". The New York Times. Global Policy Forum. Archived from the original on April 18, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- "Luxembourg Mission to the UN". United Nations. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Swords into Plowshares". United Nations. Archived from the original on July 10, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Jewett, Robert; Lawrence, John Shelton (January 2003). Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma Of Zealous Nationalism. William B. Erdmans Publishing Co. p. book jacket. ISBN 978-0-8028-6083-5.
- "Piece of Berlin Wall, a gift of Germany, unveiled at UN garden". United Nations. April 4, 2002. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- ""Chagall Window", United Nations Headquarters". United Nations. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- "Japanese Peace Bell". United Nations. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Chinese Ivory Carving". United Nations. Archived from the original on April 13, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Norman Rockwell Mosaic". United Nations. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "In praise of ... Guernica". The Guardian. March 26, 2009. Archived from the original on August 28, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- Cohen, David (February 6, 2003). "Hidden Treasures: What's so controversial about Picasso's Guernica?". Slate.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Marks, Ed (Winter 1998). "Art...at home in the United Nations". UN Chronicle. Findarticles.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "An 'element of inspiration and calm' at UN Headquarters – art in the life of the United Nations". UN Chronicle. FindArticles.com. December 1990. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Evo Morales pidió cambiar sede de Asamblea General de la ONU". El Espectador (in Spanish). Bogotá: Comunican S.A. September 24, 2013. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Park, Katrin (September 23, 2013). "New York and the United Nations: Time for a divorce". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Judge, Anthony (April 12, 2003). "Merits of Moving the UN HQ to Baghdad". Laetus in Praesens. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011. Cite journal requires
- "Iran pursues relocation of UN HQs". WilayahNews.com. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- "'NYC far & expensive': Russian MP says UN headquarters must be moved from America". RT. Moscow: TV-Novosti. October 21, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- "Russian Lawmaker: Move United Nations Headquarters To Neutral Country Like Switzerland". HNGN. August 31, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- "Morales says UN headquarters must move from 'bully' US". Inside Costa Rica. September 26, 2013. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- "Russia may call for moving U.N. from New York to St Petersburg". Johnson's Russia List. May 14, 2001. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- DeWolf, Christopher (October 25, 2007). "Will the UN move to Montreal – and how will it affect the waterfront?". Spacing Montreal. Archived from the original on September 26, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Salama, Vivian; AlKhalisi, Zahraa (January 14, 2010). "UN Is Invited to Relocate to Dubai, Government Says". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- Kotkin, Joel; Cristiano, Robert (January 12, 2010). "Move The U.N. To Dubai". Forbes. Forbes Media. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Bird, Eugene (November 3, 2014). "The UN can bring peace to Jerusalem by moving its headquarters there". Mondoweiss. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Castillo, Diego (September 25, 2013). "Evo Morales pide cambiar sede de la ONU, idea es viable pero falta una propuesta". La Nación (in Spanish). San José: Grupo Nación. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Saulny, Susan (February 11, 2003). "Court Bans Peace March in Manhattan". New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- "Seton Hall intensive Summer Program UNA-USA". UNAUSA. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
- Thill, Scott (December 6, 2009). "8 Reasons Hitchcock's North by Northwest Still Rules". Wired. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Mires, Charlene (2013). Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-0794-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Headquarters of the United Nations.|
- UN Visitors Centre
- UN: Building an International Headquarters in New York – historical overview, on the UN 60th Anniversary webpage
- Agreement Establishing the UN headquarters – with information on legal status