My visit to the UN Headquarters


This mural was donated to the UN by the First Lady Nancy Reagan in 185, a gift on behalf of the US. The UN was full of beautiful pieces of art from many different countries, but this one was by far my favourite. The whole building had dated and intricate designs, giving the UN lots of history and character. Before going to the UN, I was not very excited, but by the end of it, it was one of my favourite parts of New York. Our tour guide was very well educated about all the facts and history, which helped make it even more interesting than it already was.

Elana Wood, Staff Writer

In early October of 2018, I had the opportunity to visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on the last morning of my school’s Fine Arts Trip. We had spent 5 days in New York and had already visited some amazing sites, but for me the most inspiring was by far our visit to the UN. I had developed an interest in the peacekeeping operations of the UN after learning about them in my Social Studies class and I was very excited when I found out that we would be visiting where many of their meetings take place.

Upon arrival we went through a security check and entered into an open courtyard which bordered the impressively built UN Complex overlooking the East River. The building itself was built in 1952 and is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. Since then it has served as the United Nations Official Headquarters.

We were split into two groups and were given guided tours. Our tour guide was a woman who had been working for the UN for just over a year. She had explained to me how she felt that her perspective on the world had completely changed during her time there. After walking through the building, it was easy to see why she felt that.

While she was giving us the tour it was clearly evident how passionate she was about her job. She really believes in the work that the United Nations is doing and gave us a genuine view on how things work and what the United Nations is tirelessly fighting for.

Inside the building each room was embellished with art that countries from around the world had gifted to the UN. Each piece of art was unique and touched on different cultures and historical events that helped found the international organization. During the tour we also got to see artifacts from the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War that acted as a visual reminder of how conflicts can end in complete devastation if handled incorrectly. The entire building acts as a reminder of why the United Nations was formed. To say that I felt grateful and humbled upon leaving would be an understatement.

We got to enter the rooms where the Security Council and the General Assembly meet. As we walked through the General Assembly Hall we got to see them in session. The entire building was filled with passionate individuals and emitted an energy of sheer determination which all those on the seemingly never-ending search for World Peace seem to have.

I would highly recommend visiting the United Nations, or any similar humanitarian organization because it will offer a new perspective and provide insight that is hard to find elsewhere. I believe that gaining insight through such experiences is incredibly important for youth and I believe that it is often overlooked. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to visit, and would highly encourage anyone else to do the same.