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UN Secretary-General's role

The Secretary-General of the United Nations plays a unique and critical role in international relations.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 20:18 IST

The Secretary-General is constantly subjected to many and diverse pressures... He is a world citizen because all world problems are his problems; the Charter is his home and his ideology, and its principles are his moral creed.

- Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General, 1986

The Charter describes the Secretary-General as "chief administrative officer" of the organisation, who shall act in that capacity and perform "such other functions as are entrusted" to him or her by the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other UN organs.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations plays a unique and critical role in international relations.

As the chief administrative officer of the United Nations, the Secretary-General is responsible for a wide range of administrative, managerial and substantive tasks and serves as the head spokesman for the UN representing and upholding the organisation’s principles.

He/She is responsible for carrying out functions entrusted to him/her by the Security Council, General Assembly, ECOSOC, and other UN organs.

The Secretary-General has the authority to bring to the Security Council’s attention matters, which he/she feels threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.

One of the Secretary-General’s most important roles involves the ability to use his/her “good offices” to serve as a mediator in conflict situations.

While the Security Council authorises the peacekeeping missions and the General Assembly approves funds, the Secretary-General often play the essential role of engaging with and mediating between the conflicting parties.

The Secretary-General’s basic duties include attending sessions of UN bodies; consulting with world leaders, governments and others; and carrying out country visits to meet with people, stay informed on issues and report on various conditions.

The Secretary-General issues an annual report on the work of the UN, which appraises its activities and outlines future priorities.

Each year, the Secretary-General issues a report on the work of the United Nations that appraises its activities and outlines future priorities.

The Secretary-General is also Chairman of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), which brings together the Executive Heads of all UN funds, programmes and specialised agencies twice a year in order to further coordination and cooperation in the entire range of substantive and management issues facing the United Nations System.

(With inputs from United Nations)