The 69th UN General Assembly started in September 2014 when world leaders spoke in the newly renovated General Assembly Hall. After 16 months of renovations, the GA Hall has the original look and feel from the 1950s but with modern updates to meet the building standards of the 21st century. In addition, there are more seats for Member States, which numbered 51 when the UN was first established in 1945 and now totals 193.
The renovated GA Hall now has state of the art electronics, improved heating and air conditioning systems which will reduce energy consumption by half, as well as better safety and security features. The renovation tasks included replacing the gold-leafed background behind the iconic UN emblem that had become caked with cigarette tar and nicotine, restoring the leather desks and chairs, removing asbestos from the walls, and eliminating mercury from the old earphones. Take a guided tour and you can see the renovated General Assembly Hall (meetings permitting access).