New York, the City that prides itself on its international diversity, serves as host for the United Nations headquarters, the 193 permanent missions to the United Nations, and 114 consulates. New York is a natural fit for the largest diplomatic community in the world because it is home to immigrants from nearly every country, with almost 40 percent of its population foreign-born, virtually every world language spoken, religion practiced, culture celebrated, and cuisine served.
The City’s significant diplomatic presence and the related laws governing diplomatic property and personnel necessitate a coordinating body on behalf of the City of New York, its residents, and businesses, which is the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. The Office is the first point of contact for foreign governments and the diplomatic community for any City-related requests or issues.
The Office’s scope of work includes:
- Serving as official liaison with foreign governments, the United Nations, and the U.S. Department of State, and responding to all requests from those entities on the City’s behalf
- Advising City agencies on diplomatic and consular matters
- Providing guidance to the diplomatic and consular community on City-related issues
- Responding to diplomatic incidents and emergency situations that may involve foreign nationals
- Aiding foreign-owned companies in accessing information and resources necessary to operate in New York City
- Administering the City of New York/U.S. Department of State Diplomatic and Consular Parking Program
- Working with City agencies and the diplomatic community to ensure safety and security through adherence to City codes
- Expanding New York’s foreign city outreach through New York City Global Partners, Inc., a 501c3 organization (formerly The Sister City Program of the City of New York, Inc.)