Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide gives UN Secretary-General a tie made of the original tapestry. 
Photo: NorwayMFA.Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide gives UN Secretary-General a tie made of the original tapestry. Photo: NorwayMFA

Foreign Minister Eide reopened UN Security Council Chamber

4/17/2013 // "The Security Council Chamber was a gift from Norway to the UN in 1952. I am delighted that Norway has taken responsibility for the renovation of what is perhaps the world's most important room," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr Eide reopened the Security Council Chamber in New York on Tuesday evening.

"Norway wanted the chamber to inspire efforts to meet the goal at the heart of the UN mandate: to create peace and security. Since 1945, we have seen that wars between states have become the exception rather than the rule, and that the UN's original vision of peace between states has to a large extent been fulfilled. At the same time, we all know that the Security Council is still facing challenges. Conflicts within countries have increased, new security threats have arisen, and the global balance of power is changing rapidly. The Security Council needs to adapt to these changes in order to retain its legitimacy. For example, the emerging powers must be better represented," said Mr Eide.

The renovation of the Chamber has taken three years. Asbestos has been removed, and a new ventilation system and facilities for modern communications technology have been installed. Norway has provided 8.2 million dollars towards the renovation of the whole UN Headquarters, and some of this has been used on the Security Council Chamber.

"The architect behind the Security Council Chamber, Arnstein Arneberg, designed the chamber so that it would withstand the test of time. It was decided that, after renovation, the Security Council Chamber was to look exactly as it did in 1952, which shows how successful Arneberg's design has been. Many aspects of the Security Council Chamber are reminiscent of the interior of the Oslo City Hall, the venue for the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize," said Mr Eide.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Norway for its contribution and encouraged all countries to be inspired by this beautiful room in their work to foster peace in the world.

Watch the movie made for the re-opening of the UN Security Council Chamber.

Watch webcast from the opening ceremony.

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