A few weeks ago I got an opportunity to visit the UN headquarters in New York City. An organisation for sustainable development, that I’m a big fan of, was hosting an event there.
It was a chilly sunny winter afternoon. I joined the excited crowd standing in line in front of the visitors entrance and was really happy to find my name on the guest list.
All the visitors have to go through the (airport-like) security check. That’s also where the guided tour groups enter.
After passing through the security building, you walk out to the front plaza: the view to the East River and Long Island City opens up in front of you. There is several sculptures in the plaza, each of which has a specific peace and humanity related story and meaning.
Inside of the building, in the main lobby, there is a model of the first Sputnik launched in the USSR in 1957. It was a gift to the UN from the Soviet Union. There are other artworks and sculptures in the lobby, as well as portraits of all the UN secretary generals so far.
Through the window, on the other side of the building, it is possible to see a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden.
On my way to the conference, in the corridors of the upper floor, I saw a couple of exhibitions on war/peace topics and some beautiful permanent artworks.
The event, however, was not held in the General Assembly hall. It was hosted in Trusteeship council Chamber – a smaller, but equally impressive space.
Even though I didn’t get to see all parts if the famous UN headquarters at this time, my visit did feel very special. I am planning to go there again, next time with a guided tour, and see/hear more about this unique place.