The UN Secretariat or UN General Secretariat is one of the main organs of the United Nations, and is led by the Secretary General of the United Nations, assisted by a team of international professionals. It provides information, studies and the facilities that are necessary for UN bodies and their meetings. It is responsible for carrying out tasks as instructed by the Security Council, the General Assembly and ECOSOC. According to the Charter of the United Nations the task force must be chosen by application with the "highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity", taking into account the importance of recruiting people from all geographical areas.
The Charter of the United Nations states that the task force shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority other than the UN itself. Each member state of the UN must respect the international character of the Secretariat and must not try to influence it. The Secretariat is the only body responsible for choosing its work team. Today the Secretary General is António Guterres.
The responsibilities of the general secretary are:
support to resolve international disputes
administer peacekeeping operations
organize congresses and international conferences
obtain the necessary information for the implementation of the decisions of the Security Council
consult the governments of the member states for their opinion on the various initiatives. Two important offices of the Secretariat are:
The Office of the Coordinator of Human Affairs
Department of Peacekeeping Operations The Secretary-General may also advise the Security Council on situations which, in his opinion, may threaten international peace and security.
On March 21, 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed several reforms to the Secretariat, and announced his intention to appoint a scientific adviser, to create an office for "peacebuilding", to establish a mechanism for decision-making with a cabinet and to strengthen its mediation functions.
The secretaries of the UN throughout its history:
Trygve Lie, Norway (1945-1953)
Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden (1953-1961)
U Thant, Burma (1961-1971)
Kurt Waldheim, Austria (1972-1981)
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Peru (1982-1991)
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egypt (1992-1996)
Kofi Annan, Ghana (1997-2006)
Ban Ki-moon, South Korea (2007-2016)
António Guterres, Portugal (2017-present)
Under-Secretary General of the United Nations