The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, and some four years later the cornerstone was laid for the present UN Headquarters in New York City. While television has captured famous scenes of debate from both the General Assembly and Security Council, much behind-the-scenes diplomacy occurs every day among delegates from the nearly 190 member states as well as between the numerous international organizations and international civil servants of the UN. In addition, translating the many words spoken and printed here is done by an amazingly dedicated staff of professionals. Some of the more well-known sights to see include the Chagall Stained-Glass Window, the Norman Rockwell Mosaic, the Chinese Ivory Carving, Japanese Peace Bell, Swords into Plowshares Sculpture, and the UN Post Office. After the tour, get your souvenir stamps and have them cancelled at the UN's own post office, visit the book store and coffee shop, and don't forget to get your picture taken outside with the flags of the world! The sad reality of the current state of the Secretariat building, however, is that it urgently needs renovations and a modern heating-cooling system. It remains to be seen as to when and whether the entire UN will pick up and temporarily move to Brooklyn while multi-year renovations take place.
The Visitors' Entrance is located on First Avenue at 46th Street. The building is closed on some holidays including Thanksgiving Day (usually fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. A limited schedule may be in effect during the general debate of the General Assembly (mid-September to mid-October), between Christmas and New Year, and during special conferences and events.
For general information on tours call: (212) 963-TOUR (8687). For tours in languages other than English, call: (212) 963-7539 on the day you plan to visit. For group reservations call: (212) 963-4440; write to the Group Programmes Unit, Room GA-56, United Nations, NY 10017; fax (212) 963-0071; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no events taking place on this date.