It feels like Stalin should have objected to this because this gives the US some extra influence. Why not insist on placing the headquaters somewhere more neutral?

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    I don't think he was asked. The US set it up and everyone else went along with it and Stalin could choose between staying out or coming in.
    – Mark Olson
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 21:02
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    Stalin was thrilled because it gave his spies in NYC extra cover.
    – sds
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 1:13
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    The decision to host the UN in the US was made in December 1945, it was then a question of which city. The Soviet Union did veto Boston, but obviously not New York. History of the United Nations - Facilities - Wikipedia: Potential sites for the UN Headquarters included Vienna, Switzerland, Berlin, Quebec, and the Netherlands before the delegation decided on a headquarters in the United States by December 1945. Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 5:09
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    @MarkOlson that's completely ridiculous claim. Without the USSR there would be no UN, all the headquarters definitely were agreed upon. P.S. Why this awful comment was so upvoted?
    – Anixx
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


You might be surprised to learn that the USSR voted for it. While the UK, France, Netherlands, and even Canada voted for a European HQ, the rest of the delegates supported a location in America.

The old world has had it once, and it is time for the New World to have it. -Andrei Gromyko

The Executive Committee, of which Gromyko was a member, suggested the USA to the Preparatory Subcommittee in the first place. Interestingly, Molotov (for whom Gromyko was a deputy) advocated for Vienna, but Stalin disagreed because he did not want to repeat the history of the League of Nations, which the USA refused to join. An American-based HQ would bind the USA to the UN to ensure that the USA would become (and remain) constrained by the UN's charter and laws. The choice of the USSR was never even considered, as Stalin and Molotov led the action that would result in the USSR's expulsion from the League of Nations and did not want to be similarly constrained in the future if it became necessary to flout the UN.

The choice was made more straightforward by the fact that Europe was in ruins, especially the European part of the USSR. The Americans could foot the $8.5M bill for the building (generously paid by the Rockefellers) while the USSR would spend its own resources on rebuilding its industry.

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