From the outside, the Security Council looks like a shed out the back of the United Nations.
It presumably has spectacular views of the East River but the windows are permanently covered in heavy drapes and a big mural by artist Per Krohg.
It is a pleasant environment with simple, clean and calming Scandinavian influences that please the western soul.
Norway refurbished the chamber in 2013.
Krohg reportedly once said the essence of the mural was "to give an impression of light, security and joy".
The chamber was anything but yesterday. No light for the families and friends of those on flight MH17 shot out of the sky. No security for the 12 million Syrians who have been displaced from their homes.
The closest thing to joy would have been the thrill for Foreign Minister Murray McCully to be chairing the council through two big items on the agenda - the latest report on what's left of Syria, and MH17, though a thrill very much kept under check.
They do things oddly at the Security Council. They vote first then have the debate.
It's a system that doesn't allow a member to be persuaded by argument but that is probably the point.
Capitals do not want their diplomats deviating from voting orders.
The main item was a proposal to set up a tribunal to prosecute those who killed 298 people when they shot down MH17 over Ukraine - suspected of being Russian-backed rebels.
Like the content of the debate, its chairing by McCully was pre-scripted. "The 7498th meeting of the Security Council is called to order ...
"Those in favour of the draft resolution contained in document E/2015/2562 please raise their hand. Those against. Abstentions?"
Eleven voted in favour, including New Zealand, three abstained, China, Venezuela and Angola, and Russia opposed it. "The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the council ...
"I give the floor to the Representative of the Russian Federation [Vitaly Churkin] ..."
Although scripted, the statements read by ministers or ambassadors were chilling. The United States' Samantha Power took up much of her speech detailing the lives of the victims, as did Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Churkin said it was not the right time, the investigations should be finished first, a lot of politics were at play, Russia's offer of metallurgical help to identify the missile had been rejected, and when one of Russia's passenger planes was shot down in 2001, it had not been an issue for the Security Council.
It is ironic two vetoes have been exercised by Russia during this month of New Zealand's presidency, but it is no reflection on New Zealand.
NZ has opposed vetoes from the outset and McCully strongly criticised them yesterday. He was also hopeful something would happen - even that the same proposal could be put again in future.
The 15 countries sitting at the table have the power to change the world. But "light, security and joy" will have to wait for another day.