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.

Appointment and accountability[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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)[edit]

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. Members of the SMG are indicated on the below list by an asterisk (*).

List of Under-Secretaries-General[edit]

The following is a list of Under-Secretaries-General or those with equivalent rank. This list is not exhaustive.

Programmes and Commissions[edit]

Equality and the Empowerment of Women, (UN Women)

Secretariat Officials[edit]

Advisers[edit]

  • 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
  • Alexander Downer* Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus
  • Paul Farmer* - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for community-based medicine and lessons from Haiti
  • Nicloas 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
  • Mr. 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
  • Wilfried "Willi" Lemke - Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace

Special Envoys[edit]

  • Ray Chambers* - Special Envoy for Malaria
  • Gordon Brown* - Special Envoy for Global Education
  • 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 & the pacific
  • Mary Robinson Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa
  • Jacques Rogge* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport
  • Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559/2004
  • Christopher Ross* - Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara
  • Ms. Guebre Sellassie* - Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel

Other Senior UN Positions[edit]

Deputy Secretary-General[edit]

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

Assistant Secretary-General[edit]

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[edit]

  1. ^ "Office of the Executive Secretary". United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia — ESCWA. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]