National Geographic : 1961 Sep
Italian, French, Spanish, English, and Swahili, they work in several languages. "Do you know all the delegates?" I inquired. "It's part of the job," Countess Serra answered. She pointed to a row of booths at the side of the lounge. "Through those telephones come instructions to dele gates from the capitals of the world. It's our task to locate the delegates and get them to the phone. "By now, I know them all so well I can tell when a man walks into the room how he's feeling. Sometimes when I see that a representative is tired and discour aged, I just wait until he's had time to unwind a few minutes before passing on a message that isn't urgent." Hungarian Leaves Poignant Message I thumbed through a leather-bound book filled with the Countess's own sketches of famous men she has met. The autographs of many, including Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, accompanied the penciled heads. A message in the book from Maj. Gen. Bela Kiraly, a leader in the ill-fated Hungarian revolt, provided a sad HS EKTACHROME(BELOW) AND KODACHROME© NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Turbaned dignitary, His Highness Amir Talib Bin Ali of Oman, strides out of the delegates' entrance. He typifies the parade of nonmembers who call on the U.N. for assistance. Security officers search every inch of the Assembly Hall in a daily inspection that seeks out hidden danger to delegates. When the Assembly convenes, guards scan the rows of spectators. Training for two years, each man learns to fight fires, prevent accidents, and practice hand-to hand defense. No visitor may raise a camera lest it conceal a gun.