Sunday, 15 October 2017

The role and not powers of United Nations Secretary General?

So therefore

Article 97 of the United Nations Charter, states "The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council". As a result, the selection is subject to the veto of any of the five permanent members of the Security Council. 

The Secretary-General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a spokesman for the interests of the world's peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable among them. The current Secretary-General, and the ninth occupant of the post, is Mr. António Guterres of Portugal, who took office on 1 January 2017. But I am wondering on the power bestowed on the position more than role, as the role is becoming more challenging in the face of the BIG Five that seems to be the regulator of the body. By this I will point the USA as the greatest payer of the Piper. Therefore, it may detect its tone and make the body barking without biting at the end of the day. So which is important? The power or the role? To me it it is the power, not the role. Look around everywhere, you will find not the power but the role in books and documentation. So what the point?

The power and not the role 
The Charter describes the Secretary-General as "chief administrative officer" of the Organization, who shall act in that capacity and perform "such other functions as are entrusted" to him or her by the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and other United Nations organs. The Charter also empowers the Secretary-General to "bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security". These guidelines both define the powers of the office and grant it considerable scope for action. The Secretary-General would fail if he did not take careful account of the concerns of Member States, but he must also uphold the values and moral authority of the United Nations, and speak and act for peace, even at the risk, from time to time, of challenging or disagreeing with those same Member States.Image result for pictures of kofi annan, bank moon and guterres

That creative tension accompanies the Secretary-General through day-to-day work that includes attendance at sessions of United Nations bodies; consultations with world leaders, government officials, and others; and worldwide travel intended to keep him in touch with the peoples of the Organization's Member States and informed about the vast array of issues of international concern that are on the Organization's agenda. Each year, the Secretary-General issues a report on the work of the United Nations that appraises its activities and outlines future priorities. The Secretary-General is also Chairman of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which brings together the Executive Heads of all UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies twice a year in order to further coordination and cooperation in the entire range of substantive and management issues facing the United Nations System.
One of the most vital roles played by the Secretary-General is the use of his "good offices" -- steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
Each Secretary-General also defines his role within the context of his particular time in office.

List of Secretaries-General



PortraitSecretary-General
(Born–Died)
Dates in officeCountry of originUN Regional GroupReason of withdrawalRef.
Sr. Gladwyn Jebb.jpgGladwyn Jebb
(1900–1996)
24 October 1945 –
1 February 1946
 United KingdomWestern European & OthersServed as Acting Secretary-General until Lie's election.[12]
After World War II, he served as Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations in August 1945, being appointed Acting United Nations Secretary-General from October 1945 to February 1946 until the appointment of the first Secretary-General, Trygve Lie.
1
Trygve Lie.jpgTrygve Lie
(1896–1968)
Trygve Lie Signature.svg
2 February 1946 –
10 November 1952
 NorwayWestern European & OthersResigned.[13]
Lie, a foreign minister and former labour leader, was recommended by the Soviet Union to fill the post. After the UN involvement in the Korean War, the Soviet Union vetoed Lie's reappointment in 1951. The United States circumvented the Soviet Union's veto and recommended reappointment directly to the General Assembly. Lie was reappointed by a vote of 46 to 5, with eight abstentions. The Soviet Union remained hostile to Lie, and he resigned in 1952.[14]
2
Dag Hammarskjöld.jpgDag Hammarskjöld
(1905–1961)
Sign Dag Hammarskjold.png
10 April 1953 –
18 September 1961
 SwedenWestern European & OthersDied in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), while on a peacekeeping mission to the Congo.[15]
After a series of candidates were vetoed, Hammarskjöld emerged as an option that was acceptable to the Security Council. He was re-elected unanimously to a second term in 1957. The Soviet Union was angered by Hammarskjöld's leadership of the UN during the Congo Crisis, and suggested that the position of Secretary-General be replaced by a troika, or three-man executive. Facing great opposition from the Western nations, the Soviet Union gave up on its suggestion. Hammarskjöld was killed in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1961.[14] U.S. President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld "the greatest statesman of our century".[16]
3
U Thant at UN press conference.PNGU Thant
(1909–1974)
U Thant Signature.svg
30 November 1961 –
31 December 1971
 BurmaAsia-PacificDeclined to stand for a third election.[17]
In the process of replacing Hammarskjöld, the developing world insisted on a non-European and non-American Secretary-General. U Thant was nominated. However, due to opposition from the French (Thant had chaired a committee on Algerian independence) and the Arabs (Burma supported Israel), Thant was only appointed for the remainder of Hammarskjöld's term. He was the first Asian Secretary-General. The following year, on 30 November, Thant was unanimously re-elected to a new term ending on 3 November 1966. He was re-elected on 2 December 1966, finally for a full 5-year term, ending on 31 December 1971. Thant did not seek a third election.[14]
4
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-M0921-014, Beglaubigungsschreiben DDR-Vertreter in UNO new.pngKurt Waldheim
(1918–2007)
Kurt Waldheim Signature.svg
1 January 1972 –
31 December 1981
 AustriaWestern European & OthersChina vetoed his third term.[18]
Waldheim launched a discreet but effective campaign to become the Secretary-General. Despite initial vetoes from China and the United Kingdom, in the third round, Waldheim was selected to become the new Secretary-General. In 1976, China initially blocked Waldheim's re-election, but it relented on the second ballot. In 1981, Waldheim's re-election for a third term was blocked by China, which vetoed his selection through 15 rounds. From 1986 to 1992, Waldheim served as President of Austria, making him the first head of state to rise to the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations[19]. In 1985, it was revealed that a post–World War II UN War Crimes Commission had labeled Waldheim as a suspected war criminal – based on his involvement with the army of Nazi Germany. The files had been stored in the UN archive.[14]
5
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (1982).jpgJavier Pérez de Cuéllar
(born 1920)
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (firma).jpg
1 January 1982 –
31 December 1991
 PeruLatin American & CaribbeanDid not stand for a third term.[20]
Pérez de Cuéllar was selected after a five-week deadlock between the re-election of Waldheim and China's candidate, Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania. Pérez de Cuéllar, a Peruvian diplomat who a decade earlier had served as President of the UN Security Council during his time as Peruvian Ambassador to the UN, was a compromise candidate, and became the first and thus far only Secretary-General from the Americas. He was re-elected unanimously in 1986.[14]
6
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1980).jpgBoutros Boutros-Ghali
(1922–2016)
Signature of Boutros Boutros-Ghali.svg
1 January 1992 –
31 December 1996
 EgyptAfricanThe United States vetoed his second term.[21]
The 102-member Non-Aligned Movement insisted that the next Secretary-General come from Africa. With a majority in the General Assembly and the support of China, the Non-Aligned Movement had the votes necessary to block any unfavourable candidate. The Security Council conducted five anonymous straw polls—a first for the council—and Boutros-Ghali emerged with 11 votes on the fifth round. In 1996, the United States vetoed the re-appointment of Boutros-Ghali, claiming he had failed in implementing necessary reforms to the UN.[14]
7
Kofi Annan Portrait.JPGKofi Annan
(born 1938)
Kofi Annan signature.svg
1 January 1997 –
31 December 2006
 GhanaAfricanRetired after two full terms.[22]
On 13 December 1996, the Security Council recommended Annan.[23][24] He was confirmed four days later by the vote of the General Assembly.[25] He started his second term as Secretary-General on 1 January 2002.
8
Ban Ki-Moon Davos 2011 Cropped.jpgBan Ki-moon
(born 1944)
Ban Ki Moon Signature.svg
1 January 2007 –
31 December 2016
 South KoreaAsia-PacificRetired after two full terms.[26]
Ban became the first East Asian to be selected as the Secretary-General and the second Asian overall after U Thant. He was unanimously elected to a second term by the General Assembly on 21 June 2011. His second term began on 1 January 2012.[27] Prior to his selection, he was the Foreign Minister of South Korea from January 2004 to November 2006.
9
António Guterres November 2016.jpgAntónio Guterres
(born 1949)
Assinatura António Guterres.svg
1 January 2017 –
present
 PortugalWestern European & Others
Guterres is the second former head of government to become Secretary-General, and the first Secretary-General born after the establishment of the United Nations. He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He has also been President of Socialist International (1999–2005) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2005–2015).