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October 2016. The united nations elected its 9th secretary general antonio guterres of portugal. The the position has been described as the hardest in the world.
But what exactly the un secretary general do well the secretary general is the leader and de facto spokesperson of the united nations according to the un charter this means leading most meetings creating an annual report and addressing the security council on matters that threaten international peace and security beyond. This the job actually has few official duties and as a result every secretary general has interpreted it differently for instance some. Act as world moderators .
Which is to say the diplomatic mediator in international disputes in fact. When president franklin delano. Roosevelt was creating the un this is how he envisioned.
The secretary generals role. One example of a moderator type was secretary general kofi annan.
Who prioritized human rights and the spread of hiv while in office from 1997 to 2006 by comparison annans successor ban ki moon has been more of an administrator. Type overseeing the un. But with little input about what its moral obligations.
Should be not only is the job of the secretary general open to interpretation. But so is the appointment process. The un charters only stipulation is that the five member un security council.
Recommend a candidate to the general assembly. All 193 of which vote to approve traditionally the security councils process of narrowing down officials has occurred behind closed doors. However amid calls for transparency in 2016.
The general assembly began holding open hearings and q. As and they can do this because.
The un charter. Doesnt actually specify how the body should choose a candidate. Nor does it say what type of person should be chosen or the length of their tenure that said there are a few unofficial norms secretary generals tend to be career diplomats from neutral small to medium sized countries like peru or sweden.
Although there is no formal limit on how many times. A person can be appointed to the position. No secretary general has exceeded two 5 year terms.
This is all somewhat. Straightforward so why is the secretary generals job purportedly so difficult well. The secretary generals day to day is heavily shaped by caution and judgement as they must take into account.
The concerns of the uns member states while acting as an impartial moral authority. In fact one of the most crucial aspects of the job is acting as an intermediary in high stakes international disputes.
Take secretary general dag hammarskj ld who was tasked with forging peace between israel and arab states during the 1950s suez crisis or javier perez de cuellar. Who brokered the ceasefire that ended the iran iraq war in 1988. Many in the un are hoping that its new secretary general antonio guterres.
Will use his experience serving as the organizations high commissioner for refugees to be a powerful leader in the face of the migrant crisis. This is why the secretary generals role is often described through juxtaposition. They must be a diplomat and advocate activist and bureaucrat world moderator and chief administrator.
Even secretary and general experts say guterres will not only have to mediate world conflicts. But the un itself as the organization becomes increasingly divided on issues such as the syrian civil war when guterres assumes this powerful. But ambiguous position in january.
Theres no doubt he will face some daunting global challenges. .
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