Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

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Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
Vice-sécretaire général des Nations unies (French)
Vice-Secretaría General de Naciones Unidas (Spanish)
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
United Nations Emblem
Jan Eliasson 2011.jpg
Sweden Jan Eliasson

since 1 July 2012
United Nations Secretariat
Appointer Ban Ki-moon
Inaugural holder Canada Louise Fréchette
Formation 1997
Website Deputy Secretary-General

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations is the deputy to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The office was created to handle many of the administrative responsibilities of the Secretary-General, help manage Secretariat operations, and ensure coherence of activities and programmes.[1][2] The post was formally established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997.[3] The post is currently held by Jan Eliasson of Sweden.


Responsibilities generally delegated by the Secretary-General to the Deputy Secretary-General include:[4]

(a) To assist the Secretary-General in managing the operations of the Secretariat;
(b) To act for the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters in the absence of the Secretary-General and in other cases as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(c) To support the Secretary-General in ensuring inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coherence of activities and programmes and to support the Secretary-General in elevating the profile and leadership of the United Nations in the economic and social spheres, including further efforts to strengthen the United Nations as a leading centre for development policy and development assistance;
(d) To represent the Secretary-General at conferences, official functions and ceremonial and other occasions as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(e) To undertake such assignments as may be determined by the Secretary-General;

The Director in the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General is a sitting observer of the United Nations Development Group.[5]

Current office holder[edit]

Jan Eliasson of Sweden was named as the next Deputy Secretary-General by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 2, 2012. He was formally appointed to the post and assumed office on July 1, 2012.[6]


Canadian Louise Fréchette was the first Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, holding the position from 1998 to 2005. She was appointed to the post by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and assumed her duties on March 2, 1998. In 2005, partly in response to criticism by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker for failed management of the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme, Frechette announced her resignation. She remained at her post until March 31, 2006.[4]

On March 3, 2006 it was announced that Mark Malloch Brown from the United Kingdom would succeed Louise Fréchette as Deputy Secretary-General on April 1, 2006. Brown left his post concurrent with Kofi Annan's departure as Secretary-General on December 31, 2006.[4]

List of Deputy Secretary-Generals[edit]

Deputy Secretary-Generals
Portrait Country Term Secretary-General
Louise FréchetteLouise Fréchette  Canada 1 April 1997–1 April 2006 Kofi Annan
Mark Malloch BrownMark Malloch Brown Mark Malloch Brown 080701-F-1644L-048.jpg  United Kingdom 1 April 2006–31 December 2006
Asha-Rose MigiroAsha-Rose Migiro Asha-Rose Migiro.jpg  Tanzania 5 February 2007–1 July 2012 Ban Ki-moon
Jan EliassonJan Eliasson Jan Eliasson at Tällberg Forum 2009 cropped.jpg  Sweden 1 July 2012–present
Countries that have had a national serve as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
UN Regional Group Deputy Secretaries-General
Western European and Others 3
Eastern European Group 0
Latin American and Caribbean Group 0
Asia-Pacific Group 0
African Group 1


  1. ^ United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1997-10-07). "Report of the Secretary-General, Addendum (A/51/950/Add.1)". Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  2. ^ United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1997-11-10). "Letter dated 10 November 1997 from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly (A/52/585)". Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  3. ^ United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1998-01-09). "Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform (A/RES/52/12 B)". Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  4. ^ a b c United Nations Dept. of Public Information. "Deputy Secretary-General". Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations". United Nations. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 

External links[edit]