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Current Affairs

UN Secretary-General appointment

Date: 11 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to be re-elected for a second five year term when the assembly will meet to vote.



The UN Secretary-General post does not have a term limit but no person has served in the position for more than two terms.



  • The UN Security Council recommends the candidate for the post of Secretary-General. The UN General Assembly votes to elect the candidate.

  • The Permanent Five of the Security Council has immense powers related to selection of candidate for the post. They can veto any candidate’s selection.

  • It is more often the selection by the Security Council behind a closed door meeting. The approval by General Assembly is a mere formality.

  • The Permanent Five includes US, UK, China, Russia and France. Without their backing the candidate is eliminated.

  • The non-permanent members of Security Council do not have the veto powers but their approval is also necessary.

  • Out of the total 15 votes, a candidate requires 9 to sail through. This is not possible without the support of non-permanent members.

  • A candidate requires a recommendation of a UN member for the post. Guterres had the backing of Portugal and none of the challengers received UN members backing.

  • The UN General Assembly will have the opportunity to see the resume and profile of candidates. They can even question them in the open sessions.


Functions of UN Secretary-General

  • He is considered the chief administrative officer who will be expected to perform functions given by General Assembly, Security Council, and other UN organs.

  • Their work includes consulting world leaders, attending UN sessions, meeting government officials and travelling throughout the globe to interact with UN member states.

  • The Secretary-Generals have come from countries termed neutral. The region-wise rotation policy is followed for candidates.