Things To Do In New York: The United Nations
Today's Things To Do In New York is the United Nations, where you can get a tour of the building as well as an explanation of the organization's attempts towards world peace.
Here are my photos of the UN in New York.
The first thing you learn as you enter the complex is its longstanding desire to promote free speech. They can make their own rules though...technically you leave the United States when you walk on the UN grounds.
Outside of the building is a steel globe, a gift from Italy. Inside the globe appears to be bits of machinery. It expresses the joys of globalism.
In the lobby, portraits hang of the current UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, as well as his predecessors.
See the guy in the center? That's Boutros Boutros Ghali, and he was in office before Anan. My friends and I used to go around to bars in NYC and offer women a free drink if they could correctly state who he was and what he did for a living. No one ever got that question right.
A lot gets done at the UN. This is the Security Council room, where US Secretary of State Colin Powell almost convinced the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Larger votes take place in the General Assembly room. Every nation that is part of the UN gets to vote.
Nations like Pakistan yearn for world peace and harmony.
One of the highlights of the tour comes in a world peace display. The clumps of metal you see are coins and other objects that were fused together when atomic bombs exploded over Nagasaki, Japan. It's a pretty hard example of the costs of war. You can only imagine what happened to the people.
Another memorable display was a flag that flew in the UN headquarters in Iraq. An explosion (be it a bomb or a missle) took place during the US action in the country, killing 22 UN employees. This room dedicates itself to all those who have died in the service of the UN over the years.
The UN building is filled with art of all kinds, expressing themes of wold peace and harmony.
They even have statues. This guy seems powerful, although not very manly.
In a nearby square, there is a great quote by former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold: Never "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions.
Check out the UN on 1st Avenue and 45th Street.
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