UN Secretaries General

Original UN Secretaries General

UN Secretaries General All Time List

All UN Secretaries General are appointed by the UN General Assembly who is advised by the Security Council. António Guterres became the 9th UN Secretary General on 1 January 2017, the “Chief Administrative Officer” of the United Nations, and effectively the leader and spokesperson for the organization. The “UNSG” initially serves a five year term which can be renewed. No candidates from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, China, Russia, UK and France) can be considered.

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UN Secretaries GeneralBornDiedIn OfficeCountryAchievements, Previous Offices, Trivia#
Baron Gladwyn Jebb
(Acting UN Secretary General)
190019961945-1946Great BritainBaron Jebb was acting UN Secretary General between 24 October 1945 and 1 February 1946
Trygve H. Lie189619681946-1952NorwayHe was re-elected in 1951 against the will of Russia, but later resigned.1
Dag Hammarskjöld190519611953-1961SwedenDied on 18 September 1961 in a mysterious plane crash in Zambia.2
Sithu U Thant190919741961-1971BurmaBurmese students snatched his coffin prior to burial prompting a harsh response by the military.3
Kurt Waldheim191820071971-1981AustriaDenied a 3rd term through China’s veto. Controversial on account of his National Socialist past.4
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar19201982-1991PeruMediated in the Falklands War, Cyprus conflict and Namibian independence.5
Boutros Boutros Ghali192220161992-1996EygptHis re-election was vetoed by the United States.6
Kofi Annan19381997-2006GhanaReceived the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. Critics accused him of failure in Rwanda in 1994. Chairman of “The Elders”, founded by Nelson Mandela, to work for peace, human rights and solutions to poverty, climate change and HIV/AIDS.7
Ban Ki-moon19442007-2016South KoreaCritics questioned his expertise and attitude to human rights. Made the Paris Agreement legally binding in under a year.8
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres19492017PortugalFormer prime minister of Portugal. On his first day in office Guterres said: “Let us resolve to put peace first9

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