Secretary General Of The United Nations (2023 Updated)

Secretary General United Nations

Last Updated: 4 March 2023

The Secretary General of the United Nations is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Secretariat.

The role of the Secretary General and of the Secretariat is laid out by Chapter XV (Articles 97 to 101) of the United Nations Charter. The office’s qualifications, selection process, and tenure are open to interpretation, they have been established by custom.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN, and its work is guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

The Principal Organs of the United Nations are:

  1. General Assembly
  2. Security Council
  3. Economic and Social Council
  4. Secretariat
  5. International Court of Justice
  6. Trusteeship Council

The Executive heads of some of the United Nations System organizations & the World Trade Organization have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). This body, chaired by the Secretary General of the United Nations, meets twice a year to coordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System.

Secretary General At A Glance

1StyleHis Excellency
3Member OfSecretariat General Assembly
4ResidenceSutton Place, New York City
5SeatUnited Nations Headquarters, New York City, United States
6NominatorSecurity Council
7AppointerGeneral Assembly
8Term LengthFive Years
9Constituting instrumentUnited Nations Charter
10PrecursorSecretary General of the League of Nations
11Formation24 October 1945
12First holder1) Gladwyn Jebb (Acting)
2) Trygve Lie (First SG)
13Deputy Secretary GeneralAmina J. Mohammed (Since 1st Jan 2017)

Current Secretary General Of The UN

António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres is the current Secretary General Of The United Nations. He was born on 30th April 1949 in Portugal, he is a Portuguese Politician and a Diplomat.

  • Guterres’s political career began in 1974 when he became a member of the Socialist Party.
  • He was a founding member of the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991.
  • António Guterres served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 28 Oct 1995 – 6 Apr 2002.
  • He was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.
  • In 2015, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa appointed Guterres to serve as a Member of the Council of State of Portugal.

Facts About Secretary General Of The UN

  • The Secretary General’s routine duties include overseeing the activities and duties of the Secretariat; attending sessions with United Nations bodies; consulting with World Leaders, Government Officials, and other Stakeholders; and traveling the world to engage with global constituents and bring attention to certain international issues.
  • The Secretary General is appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
  • The role of the Secretary General is described as combining the functions and responsibilities of an Advocate, Diplomat, Civil Servant, and Chief Executive Officer.
  • The UN Charter designates the Secretary General as the “Chief Administrative Officer” of the United Nations and allows them to perform “such other functions as are entrusted” by other United Nations organs.
  • The Secretary General is also the chairman of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), a body composed of the heads of all UN funds, Programmes, and Specialized Agencies, which meets twice a year to discuss Substantive and Management issues facing the United Nations System.
  • No woman has yet served as Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • No candidate has ever been rejected by the General Assembly.
  • Guterres is the first former head of government to become Secretary General, and the first Secretary General born after the establishment of the United Nations.
  • The selection process is opaque and is often compared to a papal conclave.
  • The official residence of the Secretary General is a townhouse at 3 Sutton Place, Manhattan, in New York City, United States. The townhouse was built for Anne Morgan in 1921 and donated to the United Nations in 1972.

List Of Secretaries General Of UN

No.Secretary GeneralTenureTerm OutPolitical Party
~Sir Gladwyn Jebb
[United Kingdom]
24 Oct 194502 Feb 1946Liberal
1Trygve Halvdan Lie
02 Feb 194610 Nov 1952Labour
2Dag Hammarskjöld
10 Apr 195318 Sep 1961Independent
~U Thant
03 Nov 196130 Nov 1962Independent
3U Thant
30 Nov 196231 Dec 1971Independent
4Kurt Waldheim
01 Jan 197231 Dec 1981People’s
5Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
01 Jan 198231 Dec 1991Independent
6Boutros Boutros-Ghali
01 Jan 199231 Dec 1996National
7Kofi Annan
01 Jan 199731 Dec 2006Independent
8Ban Ki-moon
[South Korea]
01 Jan 200731 Dec 2016Independent
9António Guterres
01 Jan 2017IncumbentSocialist

Nations Which Have Had A Secretary General

Secretary General United Nations

Interesting Stats Of Secretary General

No.Secretary GeneralAge At AscensionTime In OfficeAge At RetirementDiedAge
~Gladwyn Jebb
[born. 25 Apr 1900]
45 Years
182 Days
(24 Oct
102 Days45 Years
283 Days
(2 Feb
24 Oct
96 Years
182 Days
1Trygve Lie
[born. 16 Jul 1896]
49 Years
201 Days
(2 Feb
6 Years
283 Days
56 Years
117 Days
(10 Nov
30 Dec
72 Years
167 Days
2Dag Hammarskjöld
[born. 29 Jul 1905]
47 Years
255 Days
(10 Apr
8 Years
162 Days
56 Years
51 Days
(18 Sep
18 Sep
56 Years
51 Days
3U Thant
[born. 22 Jan 1909]
52 Years
285 Days
(3 Nov
10 Years
59 Days
62 Years
343 Days
(31 Dec
25 Nov
65 Years
307 Days
4Kurt Waldheim
[born. 21 Dec 1918]
53 Years
11 Days
(1 Jan
10 Years
0 Days
63 Years
10 Days
(31 Dec
14 Jun
88 Years
175 Days
5Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
[born. 19 Jan 1920]
61 Years
347 Days
(1 Jan
10 Years
0 Days
71 Years
346 Days
(31 Dec
04 Mar
100 Years
45 Days
6Boutros Boutros-Ghali
[born. 14 Nov 1922]
69 Years
48 Days
(1 Jan
5 Years
0 Days
74 Years
47 Days
(31 Dec
16 Feb
93 Years
94 Days
7Kofi Annan
[born. 08 Apr 1938]
58 Years
268 Days
(1 Jan
10 Years
0 Days
68 Years
267 Days
(31 Dec
18 Aug
80 Years
132 Days
8Ban Ki-moon
[born. 13 Jun 1944]
62 Years
202 Days
(1 Jan
10 Years
0 Days
72 Years
201 Days
(31 Dec
(living)78 Years
254 Days+
9António Guterres
[born. 30 Apr 1949]
67 Years
246 Days
(1 Jan
6 Years
52 Days+
(Incumbent)(living)73 Years
298 Days+

Birthplaces Of Secretaries General Of The United Nations

Secretary General United Nations

General Secretaries By Regional Group

No.UN Regional GroupSecretary General
1Western European & Others Group1) Gladwyn Jebb (Acting)
2) Trygve Lie
3) Dag Hammarskjöld
4) António Guterres
2Asia & Pacific1) U Thant
2) Kurt Waldheim
3) Ban Ki-moon
3Latin American
& Caribbean
1) Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
4African1) Boutros Boutros-Ghali
2) Kofi Annan
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