The United Nations, an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries, has its headquarters along the East River in New York City. Technically anyone who visits UN Headquarters is not in New York anymore. They are not even in the United States. That is because the land and buildings are considered international territory. The United Nations has its own flag, its own post office and its own postage stamps. There is no need to change currency, however. The UN uses the U.S. Dollar. Six official languages are used at the United Nations. They are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. UN rules override the laws of New York City. This does not mean that people can commit crimes there and get away with it. There is no immunity to those who commit crimes there.
The property where the United Nations now stands used to belong to a slaughterhouse. The current buildings were completed in 1952. The perimeter of the UN is lined with flagpoles with the flags of all 193 UN member states and the UN flag. They are arranged in alphabetical order in English.
Some may think it's great to be a neighbor to a peacekeeping agency like the UN. Many New Yorkers don't always think so though. Every time a dignitary like a president or prime minister visits, streets are closed, making it hard to get around and to find parking.
You don't need to be a diplomat to visit the UN though. There are tours Monday through Friday and not just in English. Guided tours are available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Visitors can have a meal at the Delegate's Dining Room featuring a buffet of food from all over the world.
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