Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Under Secretary General of the United Nations

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An Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (USG) is a senior official within the United Nations System, normally appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Secretary-General for a renewable term of four years.

Contents

Appointment and accountability

The majority of USGs are appointed by the UN General Assembly on the recommendation of the Secretary-General for a fixed term of four years. Others (normally special envoys, Secretariat-appointees and non-programme management positions) are appointed directly by the UN Secretary-General on his own authority. However, all USGs report to the UN General Assembly through the UN Secretary-General. The only exception to this is the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services who reports directly to the General Assembly.

The distinction in method of appointment is important as USGs appointed by the General Assembly have a mandate independent of the Secretary-General, and he is therefore unable to remove them from office without the General Assembly's consent. This restriction has been seen by many commentators to weaken the Secretary-General's ability to provide strong leadership and management within the United Nations System.

Equivalent rank

Some senior posts within the UN System have the equivalent rank of Under-Secretary-General but are either not entitled or choose not to use the formal title. The most prominent example of this is the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, who is often referred to as the third most senior official within the UN System yet does not use the title of Under-Secretary-General.

Diplomatic rank

USGs have diplomatic rank equivalent to that of a national cabinet minister. Under Article 105 of the United Nations Charter they have diplomatic immunity.

Senior Management Group (SMG)

With over 50 people with the rank of Under-Secretary-General, unsurprisingly the influence and power they wield within the UN System varies dramatically. The most important USGs, controlling budgets, programmes or key activities, are also members of the Secretary-General's Senior Management Group, whose objective is to ensure strategic coherence and direction in the work of the Organization. The cabinet was approved by the General Assembly in 1997 as part of the reform proposal submitted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

List of Under-Secretaries-General

The following is a list of Under-Secretaries-General or those with equivalent rank. This list is not exhaustive. Members of the SMG are indicated by an asterisk (*).

Programmes and commissions

  • Christian Friis Bach * - United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • Alicia Bárcena * - United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)
  • María Eugenia Casar - Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Helen Clark * - Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), also chair of the United Nations Development Group
  • Joan Clos * - Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT)
  • Ertharin Cousin * - World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Shamshad Akhtar Detho * - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • Grete Faremo - Executive Director of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
  • Yuri Fedotov * - Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna and Chief Executive, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Filippo Grandi * - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein * - High Commissioner, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Rima Khalaf * - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA)
  • Mukhisa Kituyi * - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Tony Lake * - United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • Carlos Lopes * - Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • David M. Malone * - Rector, United Nations University (UNU)
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka* - Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, (UN Women)
  • Babatunde Osotimehin * - Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Michel Sidibé - Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • Achim Steiner * - Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Sahle-Work Zewde* - Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi, (UNON)
  • Secretariat officials

  • Gyan Chandra Acharya - High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS
  • Zainab Hawa Bangura* - Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • Peter Thomas Drennan * - Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security
  • Jeffrey D. Feltman * - Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
  • Tegegnework Gettu * - Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management
  • Atul Khare - Under-Secretary-General for Department of Field Support
  • Angela Kane * - Under-Secretary-General, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
  • Hervé Ladsous * - Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
  • Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal* - Under-Secretary-General for Public Information
  • Augustine P. Mahiga* - Under-Secretary-General, Mediator-in-Residence, DPA’s Mediator Debriefing and Lessons Learned Programme
  • Susana Malcorra * - Under-Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet
  • Heidi Mendoza * - Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services
  • Stephen O’Brien * - Under-Secretary-General and Humanitarian Affairs Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • Babatunde Osotimehin* - Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund,UNFPA
  • Carlos Gabriel Ruiz Massieu Aguirre - Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
  • Kingston Papie Rhodes - Chairman of the International Civil Service Commission
  • Miguel de Serpa Soares * - Under-Secretary-General and Legal Counsel
  • Yukio Takasu Under-Secretary-General for Management
  • Wu Hongbo * - Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Leila Zerrougui - Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
  • Sahle-Work Zewde - Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi
  • Advisers

  • Maged A. Abdelaziz* - Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Africa
  • Adama Dieng* - Under-Secretary-General Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide
  • Philippe Douste-Blazy - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Innovative Financing for Development
  • Espen Barth Eide* Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus
  • Paul Farmer* - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for community-based medicine and lessons from Haiti
  • Wilfried Lemke - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace
  • Kim Won-soo - Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
  • Nicolas Michel* - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General and Mediator in the border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon
  • Vijay Nambiar * - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
  • Joseph Verner Reed, Jr. - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
  • Iqbal Riza* - Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
  • Jeffrey Sachs - Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, Director of the United Nations Millennium Project
  • Special envoys

  • Gordon Brown* - Special Envoy for Global Education
  • Ray Chambers* - Special Envoy for Malaria
  • Michel Kazatchkine* - Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  • Haile Menkerios* - Under-Secretary-General, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan and Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union
  • Matthew Nimetz* - Under-Secretary-General, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Greece-FYROM Talks
  • J.V. Prasada Rao* - Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia & Pacific
  • Mary Robinson - Special Envoy on Climate Change
  • Terje Rød-Larsen* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559/2004
  • Jacques Rogge* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport
  • Christopher Ross* - Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara
  • Guebre Sellassie* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel
  • Deputy Secretary-General

    The Deputy Secretary-General is the second highest-ranking official in the UN System after the Secretary-General. Amina Mohammed is the current office holder.

    Assistant Secretary-General

    An Assistant Secretary-General sits beneath an Under-Secretary-General within the UN hierarchy. Assistant Secretaries-General are often deputies within Departments or Programmes, reporting to their respective Under-Secretary-General and through him/her to the UN Secretary-General.

    References

    Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Wikipedia


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