2006_08_unbldg.jpgSenator Charles Schumer painted a grim picture of what could happen during an emergency at the United Nations' headquarters as he asked that the UN's much-delayed renovation to move ahead. Schumer noted that that if the Secretariat building "were owned by a private company there would be so many violations the government could close it down." The Secretariat has no internal sprinkler system and does not comply with many city fire and safety codes, plus asbestos could fill the area if old steam pipes explode and if many fire trucks were parked in a plaza, they could fall into the underground parking.

At this point, there has been much talk of a U.N. building renovation, most recently with discussions about where the U.N. will or will not rent temporary office space, but nothing conclusive about the renovation has been decided. One thing holding up the renovation: The U.S. doesn't want to fund the $1.6 billion project.

Photograph of the U.N. Building from Kieranpmoore via Contribute