THE UNSEEN U.N.

September 20, 2019 at 4:45 am

As the United Nations General Assembly gathers in New York, we’ll take you behind the U.N.’s exterior to expose its true inner beauty.

Aired on September 18, 2018 & September 19, 2019. 

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>> THE UNITED NATIONS FORMED IN
THE WAKE OF THE SECOND WORLD
WAR, THE COALITION OF NATIONS
STRIVES TO MAINTAIN PEACE,
PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND REDUCE
POVERTY AND SUFFERING AROUND THE
WORLD.
NEW YORK IS THE HOME OF THE
U.N., ADDING TO THE STATUS AS
THE WORLD CITY, THE EARLY INFLUX
OF DIPLOMATS AND HEADS OF STATE,
AND INCREASED SECURITY AND
TRAFFIC CONCERNS THAT FOLLOW
CAUSE MANY NEW YORKERS TO
QUESTION, WHY IS THE UNITED
NATIONS HERE.
WHEN THEY HEAR THE U.N. IS IN
SESSION, A GENERAL GROWN OFTEN
FOLLOWS.
THE NEW YORK CITY COMMISSIONER
MAKES THE CASE THAT THE U.N.
ENRICHES OUR MA TROP HOUSE, AND
IS WORTH THE OCCASIONAL
INCONVENIENCE.
THE COMMISSIONER GAVE US AN
INSIDER'S TOUR OF THIS
INTERNATIONAL AND UNIQUELY NEW
YORK INSTITUTION.
>> Reporter: HI, EVERYONE, I'M
THE COMMISSIONER FOR
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IN NEW
YORK CITY.
WE'RE HERE ON THE UNITED NATIONS
CAMPUS FOR A BEHIND THE SCENES
LOOK AT WHAT MAKES THE U.N. A
PRETTY SPECTACULAR PLACE HERE IN
NEW YORK.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT NEW
YORKERS TO UNDERSTAND IS THE
U.N. ISN'T THE OTHER, IT'S VERY
MUCH A PART OF NEW YORK CITY.
SO WHILE YOU LOOK AT THE
DIPLOMATS, YOU THINK THEY'RE
VISITORS HERE FOR A SHORT PERIOD
OF TIME.
ACTUALLY, THE U.N. IS LARGELY
NEW YORKERS THAT HAVE BEEN HERE
FOR 5, 10, 20, 30 YEARS, LIVING
AND WORKING IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
BUT PARTICIPATING IN THIS GLOBAL
CONVERSATION, AND WE CAN OFFER
THAT TO NEW YORKERS BY BEING
ABLE TO HOST THE U.N. IN NEW
YORK CITY.
>> EVERYBODY THAT WORKS AT THE
U.N. AS WELL AS GUESTS TO THE
U.N. AND VISITORS FROM AROUND
THE WORLD, THIS IS PRETTY MUCH
THE FIRST THING THAT THEY SEE.
>> THIS WAS CREATED AFTER JOHN
LENNON
LENNON'S DEATH.
THERE ARE 17 OTHER REPLICAS
AROUND THE WORLD.
WHILE THERE ARE MANY THINGS
ICONIC TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
FOR ME PERSONALLY, THIS IS WHAT
I THINK OF WHEN I THINK ABOUT
WHAT THE U.N. MEANS TO THE
WORLD.
>> THIS IS THE FAMOUS FOR ALL
THE RIGHT REASONS, THE GORGEOUS
ROSE GARDEN.
THERE ARE OVER 1500 ROSES HERE,
AND ONE OF MY PERSONAL SHEROES
HELPED CONCEIVE OF THIS IDEA.
AS EVERYONE KNOWS, ELEANOR WAS
ONE OF THE KEY WOMEN IN WOMEN'S
RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS AND
A PROUD NEW YORKER.
WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS
WORKING HERE, AND THIS IS QUITE
THE REFUGE THAT THEY GET TO COME
TO THINK AND BRAINSTORM TOGETHER
IN THIS BEAUTIFUL SPACE.
>> WELCOME TO THE TOP OF THE
UNITED NATIONS, YOU CAN SEE AND
FEEL PRETTY MUCH EVERY BOROUGH
ON A CLEAR DAY.
SOON AFTER THE UNITED NATIONS
DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE
TO THE EAST COAST, NELSON
ROCKEFELLER HEARD THE U.N. WAS
SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING
PHILADELPHIA.
HE ENCOURAGED THEM TO BUY THIS
PIECE OF LAND, I BELIEVE IT WAS
$8 MILLION BACK IN 1946.
HE GIFTED THIS TO THE UNITED
NATIONS, AT THAT POINT NEW YORK
CITY WON THE U.N., WHICH IS
SOMETHING WE ARE STILL VERY
PROUD OF.
§
>> SO THIS IS THE UNITED NATIONS
GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
THIS WAS RENOVATED IN THE LAST
COUPLE YEARS AS YOU CAN SEE,
THERE IS A PRITNESS AND
FRESHNESS TO THE SPACE.
THIS IS WHERE ALL 193 COUNTRIES
ARE ALLOCATED FOR THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY, THERE ARE THREE DHARS
FOR EACH COUNTRY HERE AT THE
TABLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
THIS BEAUTIFUL SPACE IS OPEN AND
USED BY CIVIL SOCIETY.
AND I HAVE PERSONALLY HAD THE
PLEASURE OF SEEING YOUNG PEOPLE
COME TO THE PODIUM, NEW YORKERS,
YOUNG NEW YORKERS.
>> WE HAVE CREATED AN OFFICE AND
AN INFRASTRUCTURE THAT SUPPORTS
AND SERVICES THE DIPLOMATIC
COMMUNITY BUT ACTIVELY SUPPORTS
NEW YORKERS.
AND THAT WHAT THIS OFFICE DOES
IS CONSTANTLY BRINGING TOGETHER
THE NEW YORKNESS OF THE U.N.
BRINGING THE U.N. TO OUR NEW
YORK CITY COMMUNITY BUT ALSO
BRINGING NEW YORKERS INTO THE
U.N.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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