A Nation of Nations

Rex's USA Diary

United Nations

There is a small piece of Manhattan that is not Manhattan. A small piece of America that is not America. It is a Nation in its own right - The United Nations of 179 nations from around the globe. A globe which can be a bit fractured at times.

UN Globe

The General Assembly building of the United Nations is on the eastern side of Manhattan Island and looks out onto the East River. This building houses the conference facilities and offices for the UN. As a nation in its own right, it has its own laws which all members agree to. If they agree. For instance, some countries are still addicted to cigarettes, so there is no smoke-free building code here as there is across the street in the UN Plaza building (which is US territory).

UN entrance

Security is strict, with bag searches, metal detectors and guards prominent at all public parts of the building. The entrance foyer says it all really.

UN Chamber

The main function here is one of ongoing debates. To accommodate this there are many conference chambers, all fitted out with multi-lingual monitoring facilities. Apparently during a conference session delegates come and go as they please, greet their friends or conduct business in what seems a chaotic manner.

A cube of dis-arms

In the public areas of the foyer are displays about programs for humanitarian aid and such things as the removal of land mines. Among them was a display of guns. James (above) found this large cube which had been made up of guns recovered as a part of a disarmament program.

UN twisted pistol

As a symbol of its aims, this pistol with its barrel tied in a knot seemed very apt.

Wikipedia provides an interesting article on New Zealand and the United Nations