Secretary-General of the United Nations


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Secretary-General of the United Nations

 

the chief administrative officer of the United Nations; heads the UN Secretariat and directs its work.

The secretary-general is appointed by the UN General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year term (at its expiration he is eligible for reappointment).

The secretary-general participates in all meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council and performs other functions entrusted to him by those organs. He submits to the General Assembly an annual report on the work of the UN, and he is authorized to bring to the knowledge of the Security Council any situation that may, in his opinion, threaten international peace and security.

In the performance of their duties the secretary-general of the UN and the staff of the Secretariat may not request or receive instructions from any government or authority and are obliged to refrain from any action that might affect their standing as international officials responsible solely to the UN. The UN Charter imposes upon all member states the obligation to strictly respect the international character of the duties of the secretary-general and not seek to influence him in the performance of those duties.

The secretaries-general of the UN have been Trygve Lie of Norway (1946-53), Dag Hammarskjöld of Sweden (1953-61), U Thant of Burma (1961-71), and Kurt Waldheim of Austria (from 1972).

E. S. PCHELINTSEV

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