Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
- The United Nations Security Council has endorsed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second five-year term from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2026.
- The Security Council recommends a candidate for the General Assembly’s 193 members to appoint.
- The five permanent members of the Security Council hold the most influence & can eliminate a nominee with a veto.
- The UN Charter describes the Secretary-General as the ""chief administrative officer"" of the Organization
- The Charter also empowers the Secretary-General to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in their opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
Issues/challenges with the office of UN Secretary-General:
- The UN Charter doesn’t clearly define the functions and powers of the Secretary-General.
- Selection is not done entirely on merit and transparency.
- Critics of the appointment process say it lacks transparency and falls prey to cronyism due to the permanent Security Council members’ veto power and their secret negotiations over candidates.
- The secretary-general often struggles to balance the interests of other large funders and powerful member states as well.
Significance of the office:
- Peacekeeping: The secretary-general’s office oversees peacekeeping missions and appoints the undersecretary in charge of that department.
- Mediation: As part of the “good offices” responsibility of the position, the secretary-general practices independence and impartiality to prevent and limit conflict.