How often do you have the opportunity to enter the United Nations as a mere mortal? Not quite often. So we were all the more excited to have the chance to see those parts of UN Headquarters that are closed for the public.
08:00 a.m., lobby of the Hilton:
Still suffering from huge jet-lag, we have all gathered in the hotel lobby, in order to walk to the UN Headquarters.
08:30 a.m., UN Headquarters:
We are fully awake now, rubbing eyes, not believing what we see: the United Nations Headquarters and a line of people waiting to be admitted to the grounds. While we wait, we can admire the ‘German House’, the building of the German Mission to the UN.
08:50 a.m., UN Headquarters – Security Check:
It takes some time to enter the building but security comes first. Hard times require hard measures and even UN employees are checked.
09:00 a.m., UN Headquarters:
WE ARE IN! Finally!
At 9 o’clock on 13 February 2006 the HNMUN-participants from Freie Universität Berlin have entered the building of the UN Headquarters. An impressive entrance hall materializes in front of us. Information about the UN, certain countries and many other things can be admired in small exhibitions next to a row of pictures of the Secretary-Generals.
Then the tour commences - a stunning guided tour through the catacombs of the UN. At our first stop, we contemplate the gifts that have been given to the UN by different countries. Germany, obviously, gave a piece of the Berlin Wall. Then we walk through the chambers of the major organs of the UN, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council… until we finally enter the centre of power: the Security Council. Certainly an unforgettable experience!
After an exciting two-hour tour the “actual” part of the UN Headquarters visit begins as we are finally moving into the restricted part of the building.
We pass the security guard and proudly show our badges that allow us to enter the restricted areas. The UN-Tour surely was a highlight which we will never forget, an invaluable experience in life. I believe I can speak on behalf of the whole HNMUN-course to express our enormous gratitude to both Peggy Wittke and Xenia Jakob for preparing this special excursion, not to forget Swati Dave from the United Nations Department of Public Information for having organized the amazing briefings.