The United Nations has approved a $1.9 billion plan to renovate the Secretariat building. The different member states have to pay their shares either in lump sums or yearly installments (what's the interest plan on that?) and the U.S. would be paying the biggest share - 22% - which Congress needs to approve. Here is outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Statement:
The Secretary-General welcomes the adoption of the resolution on the Capital Master Plan by the General Assembly. Thanks to the funding of $1.88 billion, it will be possible to undertake a general refurbishment of United Nations Headquarters in New York between 2007 and 2014, for the first time since most of the buildings were completed in the early 1950s.
Through the Capital Master Plan, United Nations Headquarters will become a safer, healthier and more secure environment for staff, delegates and visitors. It will become better equipped for adapting to change, and for using resources in sustainable and responsible ways.
The Secretary-General extends his sincere thanks to Member States for funding the Capital Master Plan, and for ensuring that United Nations Headquarters can remain a workshop for peace for generations to come.
Also mentioned during the Friday night approval - the "serious concern at the hazards, risks and deficiencies of the current conditions of the building, which endanger the safety, health and well-being of staff, delegations, visitors and tourists." Yes, as gorgeous as the Le Corbusier designed Secretariat building is, it's a fire trap.
Earlier this year, the U.N. abandoned plans to build a temporary office space in Midtown; at the time, the U.S. had only approved $23.5 million of its $400+ million contribution to renovation plans. It's unclear where the U.N. will move during the renovations now, but Brooklyn doesn't seem to be in the plans.
A blast from 2005: Donald Trump complained to a Senate sub-committee that the U.N.'s renovations plans were terrible and could cost a lot less if managed better. And Tien visited the U.N. last year.
Gorgeous photograph of the U.N. Secretariat Building by Kieranpmoore