Secretary Generals of the UN

Secretary Generals of the United Nations

The Secretary General of the United Nations is the most important position within the UN. Secretary Generals have used their positions to speak out on global issues. They have often been seen as offering a leader and mediator.

Because of the importance of the job, candidates tend to be chosen who are not controversial and not particularly famous.

The current secretary General is Kofi Annan. On taking the job in 1997 he described his role as

 “I am a cheerleader, I am a promoter, I am a salesman, I am a debt collector, I am a father confessor and there are other aspects I still have to discover,”

Previous Secretary Generals of the UN

  • Sir Gladwyn Jebb (United Kingdom), acting, 1945 – 1946.

1. Trygve Lie (Norway), 1946 - 1952.

2. Dag Hammarskjöld (Sweden), 1953 - 1961.

3. U Thant (Burma), 1961 -  1971.

4. Kurt Waldheim (Austria) 1972 – 1981.

5. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (Peru) 1982 – 1991

6. Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt),  1992 – 1996.

7. Kofi Annan (Ghana),  1997 to present.

- United Nations

Books on The United Nations

Books On The United Nations

The Insiders Guide to the United Nationsimage

The United Nations for Beginners

United Nations: The First 50 Yearsimage