Welcome to the U.N.’s “Bantanamo”

by Julian Ku


The UN’s new temporary quarters, during renovations, are not too popular with the staff.

For the next four years, the United Nations’ nerve center, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s office, will be situated in a squat, three-story, corrugated steel building on the U.N.’s north lawn that looks like a cross between a suburban big-box store and a high-security lockup facility.

Bantánamo, a nickname embraced by U.N. staffers, has taken much of the grandeur out of diplomacy at the United Nations. It’s a serious comedown for U.N. civil servants and delegates who have been grinding away in the cause of peace in one of New York City’s architectural landmarks, the glass and marble U.N. headquarters tower and the U.N. General Assembly hall — now undergoing a $1.87 billion renovation.

I think they are overreacting. Or they don’t think Guantanamo is really that bad.


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