The Role of the UN Secretariat in light of the
Student (M.Com), Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
The Secretariat symbolizes the United Nations and serves as an embodiment of the UN. The UN Charter entrusts the Secretariat with the job of defending the interests of “We the peoples of the United Nations”1
referred to in the starting phrase of the UN Charter.Article 7 of the Charter enlists the Secretariat as one of the principal organs of the UN.The acquisition of such a status must entail significant consequences, for it is the principal organs which are primarily responsible for the attainment of the UN objectives and for the observance of the principles of the Charter. Thus, the leitmotif of this paper is to ascertain the role that the Secretariat is mandated to play in the international arena in light of the Charter principles, international political external code and the role expectations. The paper provides a legalistic description of the administrative, political and diplomatic role of the Secretariat as envisaged by the UN Charter. According to Article 97, the Secretariat is composed of the Secretary-General and the staff, and as the latter is appointed by the former and as the Secretary-General is alone responsible to the UN for the work of the Secretariat,the paper will aim to highlight the trend to structure the role of the Secretariat around the traits of the Secretary-General holding the office. The paper will also attempt to study the effect of personal qualities, work ethics, ethical framework and perceptions of the Secretary-General on the role expectations from the office of the Secretariat. The paper will attempt to analyse the expansionist interpretation of the Secretariat‟s role stamped on the office by the successive Secretary-General‟s. The paper also aims to identify the political constraints that the office of the Secretariat is endowed with. An attempt is made to demonstrate how these political constraints can be overcome, as they have been viewed as influencing the handling of the position. The paper concludes with certain overarching observations.
Many scholars have reiterated the imperativeness of the Secretariat. Rovine stated that it is the Secretariat which “symbolizes the organization, serves as its spokesman, and as defender of its interests and involvement in international politics.”2
Kille3 explained that the Secretariat remains an embodiment and symbol of the UN. Distinguished scholars such as Ramcharan4, Johnstone5 and Lentner6 asserted that the Secretariat safeguards the principles of the UN Charter by maintaining a moral stand based on the charter‟s interpretation and thus, acts as a “defender of interests”. Murthy7
and Boven8 even went to the extent of proposing that the Secretariat serves as
a fair representative of the “We the peoples of the United Nations”9
referred to in the starting phrase of the UN Charter. Dorn compared the role of Secretariat with other international agencies and stated that by promoting
Preamble, UNITED NATIONS (August 28, 5:15 PM), http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/preamble/.
A W ROVINE, THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS: THE SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WORLD POLITICS, 1920–1970 45 (Leiden: Sijthoff, Albertus Willem 1970).
K J KILLE, MORAL AUTHORITY AND THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ETHICAL FRAMEWORK 11 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press 2007).
Ramcharan, The Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, DALHOUSIE L. J., 742-757
I Johnstone, The Role of the UN Secretary-General: The Power of Persuasion Based on law, GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, 441-458 (2003).
H. Lentner, The Diplomacy of the United Nations Secretary-General, WESTERN POLITICAL
Q., 531-550 (1965).
C S Murthy, The Role of the UN Secretary-General Since the end of the cold war, J. OF INT‟L L.,
T V Boven, Role of the United Nations Secretariat in the area of Human Rights, N.Y.U. J. OF INT‟L L. & POLITICS, 71 (1991).
10 global interest and not limited national interest, the Secretariat “has become the closest thing we have to the „voice‟ of the world‟s conscience on the wide range of political, economic, and humanitarian issues.”10
The acquisition of such a status must entail significant consequences, and thus, the leitmotif of this paper is to ascertain the role that the Secretariat is mandated to play in the international arena in light of the United Nations Charter principles, international political external code and the role expectations.
The motivation to write this paper is to contribute to the literature on the role of the UN‟s Secretariat- specifically from the point of view of the UN Charter, the international political „external code‟ and the role expectations. The paper provides a legalistic description of the administrative, political and diplomatic role of the Secretariat. The paper aims to identify the political constraints that the office of the Secretariat is endowed with. The paper also attempts to analyse the expansionist interpretation of the Secretariat‟s role stamped on the Secretariat‟s office by the successive Secretary-General‟s. An attempt is made to explore the ways in which these political constraints can be overcome, as they have been viewed as influencing the handling of the position.
The paper is divided into seven sections. Part 2discusses the provisions of the UN Charter and the „sacred‟ UN
mandate. Part 3 attempts to research on the political and diplomatic role of the Secretariat. The part will also
discuss the role of the UN Secretariat in light of the UN principles on the use of force, dispute settlement and regulation of armaments with a special focus on Article 99 and Article 33 of the UN Charter. Part 4 will attempt to identify the political constraints on the exercise of power by the UN Secretariat and analyze how it can be overcome. Part 5of the paper emphasizes on the administrative role of the Secretariat. Part 6 of the paper aims to highlight the trend to structure the role of the Secretariat around the traits of the Secretary-General holding the office. This part will attempt to analyse the expansionist interpretation of the Secretariat‟s role stamped on the office by the successive Secretary-General‟s. Part 7 of the paper concludes the paper with certain overarching observations.
THE UN CHARTER AND THE ‘SACRED’ MANDATE
Article 7 enlists the Secretariat as one of the principal organs of the UN.11 According to Article 97 of the UN
Charter, the Secretariat is composed of the Secretary-General and the staff. The Secretariat is entrusted by the Charter to work towards the accomplishment of the UN‟s „sacred‟ mandate. The „sacred‟ mandate fosters establishment of a community founded on the pillars of justice, fairness, equality and respect for law. In the accomplishment of the „sacred‟ mandate, the Charter entrusts the Secretariat with the duty of upholding and strengthening the constitutional position of the office in order to ensure the positioning of the office in the front rank of the UN. As principal organ of the UN, the Secretariat is responsible for the attainment of the objectives of the organisation and for the observance of the principles of the Charter.12 The Secretariat, thus, appears as one of the organisational elements shouldering and sharing the responsibility for the constitutional behaviour of member states.13 The role of the Secretariat is aimed at ensuring peace and security, economic and social
development and international cooperation.14
The multi-faceted role requires Secretariat to act as administrator and manager, discharge a political and diplomatic role, and above all, serve as a „moral voice‟ in the international arena.
THE POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC ROLE OF THE SECRETARIAT
The political and diplomatic role of the Secretariat is aimed at ensuring peace and security, economic and social development and international cooperation. The primary purpose for the establishment of the UN was attainment of peace and progress in a world beset by poverty, great-power rivalry and unrest. Establishment of a firm foundation for peace and security was ardently desired by the framers of the Charter on account of the experiences of war and the political failure of the League of Nations. Further, the Secretariat is obliged to direct
A W DORN, THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A VISION FOR AN EVOLVING WORLD ORDER. WORLD ORDER FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM: POLITICAL, CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING PEACE, 128 (1999).
Article 7, The UN Charter.
C H Alexandrowicz, The Secretary-General of the United Nation, THE INT‟L & COMP. L. Q., 1112 (1962).
11 his role towards achievement of economic and social equality by initiation of development and assistance plans and vigorous use of UN‟s specialized agencies at the hands of the Secretariat.
Article 99 And The Un Principles On The Use Of Force
The UN Charter mandates promotion of “higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress”15. For the accomplishment of this goal, the Charter also mandates the Secretariat to ensure compliance and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights throughout the world. The role of the Secretariat is to further and secure the nine principles enshrined in the first chapter of the Charter. These principles enable the Secretariat to ascertain what international events lay within the domain of possible UN action. For instance, invasion of Egypt by Britain, Israel and France in the case of Suez crises was a violation of the UN principle advocating for peaceful-settlement and non-use of force and thus, fell within the domain of UN action.
However, international events don‟t always fit accurately within the framework, which becomes the source of dilemma for the Secretariat.16 The principle regarding fulfilling of international obligations opens the door to disagreement on exactly what a good-faith fulfilment might be, while an effort to maintain the territorial integrity of a state can clash with the right to self-determination.17
Article 55 (a), The UN Charter.
D JONES, SEEKING BALANCE THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AS NORMATIVE NEGOTIATOR 41 ( Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press).
12 An example of a clash between UN Charter principles is Rhodesia- South African crises where the right of self-determination of the member-state was being compromised. The UN intervened and sanctions were imposed on the State despite the UN principle on non-intervention in a State‟s internal affairs. It was expedient because the practice of racism was a direct attack on the right of self-determination to which all people of the world are entitled to.
The role played by the Secretariat in the case of Biafra and Ireland conflict is debated to be not ideal. In spite of mass killing and starvation in the case of Biafra conflict, the Secretariat under U Thant refused demands of
mediation because of absence of invitation from the Nigerian government.18 The government desired OAU to
be the final forum for conflict resolution and thus, the UN didn‟t interfere in the war situation.19
The good office of the Secretariat under Thant was also refused in the case of Ireland conflict where UN assistance was demanded by Northern Ireland because Britain argued that UN involvement would amount to interference in the internal affairs of Britain.
In such a conflicting scenario, the Secretariat is mandated to play the role of “political activist” and do an innovative interpretation of these principles which are mainly codes of behaviour intended to facilitate
international cooperation by furtherance of peace and security.20 These principles may be the source of dilemma
in certain instances but they are statements of future intent as well. These principles are provided to the Secretariat as the „external code‟ and how the tension plays out depends on the Secretariat as they seek to utilise their office as a force for furtherance of peace and security. Under the guidance of the „external code‟, the Secretariat should undertake lucrative, yielding and rewarding interpretation of the UN Charter principles that protects the well-being of the member-states.
Article 99 allows the Secretariat to bring the attention of the Security Council to situations threatening the
maintenance of global peace and security.21Article 99 is an extra-ordinary provision that aims to arrive at the
rescue of the Secretariat in a situation where it has become difficult for to ensure conformity with the UN principles because of the hard realities of world politics. Article 99 envisages independent political role by the Secretariat. Sir Eric Drummond, the first Secretary-General of the League of Nations believed that Article 99
conferred on the Secretariat “a new and highly responsible duty”22
The Secretariat under Lie never formally invoked Article 99 even when the UN Commission Report suggested invocation in respect of the invasion of South Korea by the armed forces of the communist North Korea. It was followed by boycott of Secretariat by Communist bloc nations during the tenure of Lie.23 The Secretariat's support for all the resolutions orchestrated by the US and absence of any reasonable steps taken to mediate the war attracted a lot of criticism.24
Article 99 was formally invoked for the first time by the Secretariat under Hammarskjöld in the case of Congo crises. The Congo crises resulted from de-colonialism evolving into chaos because of political conflicts which aggravated into riots and mutiny. The situation was worsened by Katanga‟s (a part of Congo) desire for secession. Though it was argued that UN intervention would amount as intervention in the domestic conflicts, the Secretariat succeeded in conducting series of negotiations between the Congo government and the secessionists and thus, the conflict was resolved with the dismissal of the Prime Minister of Congo. It was an ideal instance of Article 99 invocation as envisaged by the Charter.
The good office of the Secretariat under Thant was also refused in the case of Pakistan crises as Thant feared that the member states may not encourage the issue, thereby, bringing down his prestige. Rather than invoking Article 99 in consequence to inaction in the Security Council, the Secretariat issued a public memo requesting to consider the threat that the crises posed. The Secretariat relied on informal powers of Article 99 which is not the role that Charter provides for. Article 99 gives all-expansive power and the Secretariat must not deter from taking recourse to Article 99.
J. Jonah, Independence and Integrity of the International Civil Service: The role of the Executive Heads and the Role of States. U. J. OF INT‟L L. & POLITICS, 841-859 (1982).
C. PURVES, THE INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT (1945).
Article 99, The UN Charter.
R FOSDICK, THE LEAGUE AND THE UNITED NATIONS AFTER FIFTY YEARS: THE SIX SECRETARIES-GENERAL (Connecticut: Newtown 1972).
J MULDOON, THE HOUSE THAT TRYGVE LIE BUILT: ETHICAL CHALLENGES AS THE FIRST UN SECRETARY-GENERAL 94 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press)
13 Article33, Dispute Settlement And Regulation Of Armaments
The role of the Secretariat is to resolve conflicts and not inflame them. The UN Charter offers a legal template and a moral mandate for peaceful settlement of conflict. At the heart of any issue of conflict or crises lies the means of conflict settlement envisaged in Article 33, namely; “negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful mean”.25Article 33 sets out that these means of dispute settlement may be employed in a situation where the continuance of the dispute may endanger the maintenance of peace and security. It is mainly the Secretariat that is instrumental for the successful implementation of these means. These methods of dispute settlement can be employed by the Secretariat to achieve „cool breeze of calm in the midst of violence’.26
The means of dispute settlement envisaged by Article 33 can be effectively employed by the Secretariat to resolve conflicts. The Secretariat‟s stint under Hammarskjöld‟s in the case of US-China clash where certain American pilots were captured and convicted by China as prisoners of war during the Korean War was an instance of effective negotiation. U.S. contended that they should be returned under the Korean Armistice
Agreement.27 The Secretariat viewed the clash as independent of any superpower influence, decided to „crash
the party‟ and called on a meeting with the Chinese leadership.28
The Secretariat used China‟s longing for international recognition as bait in the bargaining process. The direct but judicious response to the crises earned
admiration for unique style in negotiation, which was dubbed the „Peking Formula‟.29
Under Hammarskjöld, the Secretariat‟s resort to negotiation helped solve the Suez crises. The Suez crises arose when Suez Canal was nationalised by Egypt, which was followed by invasion of Egypt‟s Sinai Peninsula by Israel.30 Fearing the economic implications of this, the British and French issued a declaration demanding security forces to separate and withdraw both the parties. Because of Egypt‟s refusal to comply with the demands, the Britain and French started bombing Egypt. After series of concerted negotiation between the foreign Ministers, the Secretariat was able to secure a ceasefire between French, Britain, Egypt and Israel troops.
In addition to dispute settlement, Article 33 can be also employed by the Secretariat for the purposes of regulation of armaments. Lie, the first secretary-general of the UN, also emphasised on the power of Article 33
to regulate the armaments in his „Memorandum of Points for consideration in the development of a twenty-year
program for achieving peace through the United Nations’31 .
ARTICLE 33, The UN Charter.
M. GOPIN, BETWEEN EDEN AND ARMAGEDDON: THE FUTURE OF WORLD RELIGIONS, VIOLENCE, AND PEACEMAKING (2000).
Gauhar, North‐South dialogue: Javier Pérez de Cuellar, 6 THIRD WORLD Q., (1984).
A LYON, THE UN CHARTER, THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND PSALMS: THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD 128 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press).
Memorandum of Points for Consideration in the Development of a 20-Year Program for Achieving Peace through the United Nations, HARRY S.TRUMAN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM (July 23, 2017, 12:45 PM),
14 Figure 232
However, negotiation, conciliation and mediation may fail to yield the desired result in many occasions. For instance, in the Congo crises, the Secretariat resorted to a very violent operation since attempts aimed at negotiations didn‟t work. The Secretariat under Thant held countless negotiations with Tshombe, the Katanga
leader but discovered that he was acting mala fide and when another full-scale attack was launched by Katanga
on the ONUC, the Secretariat gave clean slate to launch the most violent operation: “Operation Grand Slam”.33
On the other hand, in the Cyprus situation, the negotiations failed in showing any progress and thus, the
Secretariat under Waldheim barred from taking any further initiatives.34 Despite multiple rounds of negotiations
were conducted and resolutions were passed, the situation continued to get worse and thus, the Secretariat refused to take any further action at negotiation. In such circumstances, the Secretariat should ensure that the manner in which they choose to function must not be in contravention with the Charter‟s principles. The Secretariat should ensure that it continues to serve as moral authority in international arena.
K J KILLE, MORAL AUTHORITY AND THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ETHICAL
FRAMEWORK 11 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press 2007).
15 OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL CONSTRAINTS
Identifying The Political Constraints
The General Assembly encourages the demonstration of active political role by the Secretariat. The Charter could give the right and the General Assembly could encourage an active role and the use of that right, but the member states could effectively undercut this leadership role by refusing to support or cooperate with the
Secretariat who displeased them. The underlying assumption in the text of Article 100 “that the interests of the
United Nations will on any future occasion be collectively agreed on, and be capable of advancement by the secretary-general through appropriate action”35 is flawed and erroneous as “the member states’ commitment to
the organization fluctuates in response to their domestic concerns”36.
In order to effectively deal with situations where the national policy of member-states stands in contradiction with international outlook, the Secretariat should give due regard to international outlook in the performance of duties as peace must appeal to international outlook to be effective. The Secretariat should ascertain how wide is the sweep of the Charter-mandated international outlook and its relevance. However, this is easier said than done.
Balancing The ‘Dual Role’ Expectation
Theories as to the proper role of the Secretariat differ. Some argue that the Secretariat should take initiatives
and provide moral leadership on behalf of the „UN idea‟ articulated in the Charter.37
In contrast, others contend that, at best, the activities of the Secretariat should be limited to faithfully executing whatever tasks may have been assigned.38
There exists a difficulty of balancing these dual roles and this dual role pressure was described as “double
by Jacobson. Kim proposed a theoretical framework that determines the proper role of the Secretariat.40 He argued that the role of the Secretariat should fall within the „available range for the Secretary-Generalship‟ where the Secretariat and the big five in particular all feel like doing what each of them is expected to do; the Secretariat is eager to perform a role and the big five are willing to support the Secretariat.41
The intersection of the role scope and tolerance scope reflects actual available range of action where the
initiatives and missions of the Secretariat will bore maximum output and efficiency, and least opposition.42 In
relation to „role scope‟, Kim wrote that the dilemma between role of „independent principal‟ and „an agent of the member states‟ provides the Secretariat with the autonomy to invent its own role from innovative interpretation of the U.N. Charter and design its „Role Scope‟. Such an interpretation depends on factors such as Secretary-General‟s own conception of office and knowledge of political equations. In relation to „tolerance scope‟, Kim opined that that to secure the advantages of innovative political initiatives, the activities of the Secretariat must be contained within the Tolerance Scope along with the „Role scope‟. The Tolerance-Scope is indicative of that area within which the conduct and acts of the Secretariat will attract toleration and repel opposition thereby, ensuring the accomplishment of its legitimate purpose. Rivlin also pointed out that the proper role of the Secretariat must fall in between these two extremes and such a strategy will successfully help balance the „dual role‟ expectation.
Article 100, The UN Charter.
Supra note 11, at 53.
B RIVLIN, THE CHANGING INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL CLIMATE AND THE SECRETARY-GENERAL 5 (London: Praeger Publishers 1993).
Id, at 8.
M Jakobson, Filling the world’s Most impossible Job,WORLD MONITOR, 26 (1991).
J T Kim, The UN Secretary-General “Walking a Two-Scope Rope”: An Analytic Approach to the
Secretary-Generalship, KOREA REVIEW OF INT‟L STUDIES, 72 (2006).
16 Figure 343
THE ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE OF THE SECRETARIAT
The administrative role demands the Secretariat to undertake a range of tasks in order to ensure that the organisation runs smoothly and in accordance with the „mandate‟. These bureaucratic obligations comprises of budgetary and staffing obligations. Article 97, 98, and 101 extensively deals with the administrative role of the Secretary-General and the staff, which together constitute the Secretariat.
Article 97 provides that the Secretariat will execute all the administrative duties that are entrusted to the
Secretariat.44 Though Article 7 of the UN Charter enlists the Secretariat as one of the principle organs of the
United Nations45, Article 98 provides that the Secretary-General shall perform the duties entrusted to him by other principal organs.46Article 98 enlists the dependent administrative role and underpins the leadership position.
Article 100 stresses that the political and administrative role of the Secretariat should be discharged in
accordance with the „exclusive international character’ of the UN. Article 101 confers staffing responsibilities
and focuses the appointment criteria of “efficiency, competence and integrity”47. These virtues would ensure safeguard against loss of confidence and respect in the Secretariat as had happened in the case of Secretariat under Joseph Avenol, the second Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who executed his responsibilities
Article 97, The UN Charter.
Article 7, The UN Charter.
Article 98, The UN Charter.
17 in extremely dependent and impartial manner by prioritizing national interests above that of League‟s interest, and thereby, violating the “exclusive international character” of the United Nations.48
STRUCTURING THE ROLE OF THE SECRETARIAT AROUND THE TRAITS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
According to Article 97, the Secretariat is composed of the Secretary-General and the staff49, and as the latter is appointed by the former50 and as the Secretary-General is alone responsible to the UN for the work of the Secretariat, the Secretary-General appears as one of the organisational elements shouldering and sharing the responsibility for the behaviour of the Secretariat.51 The style and manner of operation of the Secretariat differed under each successive Secretary-General as each viewed the organization in dissimilar ways given their ethical framework, work ethics and perceptions of the office. This gave rise to the trend to structure the role of
the Secretariat around the traits of the Secretary-General holding the office.52 For instance, “Leave it to Dag”
had become the mantra during the tenure of Hammarskjöld. The mantra was a tribute to the influence of his
impeccable record of maintaining a morally, religiously and ethically right stance and to his personality.53 This
personalization of the Secretariat‟s role was probably far from the founders‟ minds when they set out the requirements and functions of the office, but, intended or not, the personality and ethical framework of each secretary-general has shaped the role expectations from the Secretariat‟s office.54
Effect Of Secretary-General’s Ethical Framework On The Decision-Making Process Of The Secretariat
The Charter lays down the formal requirements of the office but doesn‟t provide for appropriate courses of action by the Secretariat in all situations and areas. The Charter‟s incomplete terms causes the Secretary-General to take decisions guided by Secretary-Secretary-General‟s „ethical framework‟. An ethical framework can be defined as the combination of personal values that establish the beliefs, forms of reasoning, and interpretations of the world that guide an individual when making judgements about proper behaviour in specific contexts.55 The style and manner of operation of all successive Secretary-General‟s have differed substantially as each viewed the organization in dissimilar ways.
Some may contend that ethical framework doesn‟t matter in public role. However, it must be noted that it plays a major role in the movement from belief to action. An internal code of personal beliefs and values can usefully be thought of as a kind of spiritual filter.56 The filter helps to determine what is important and what is not, what deserves action and what does not. Values and beliefs provide spiritual sustenance and strength and no matter how the action turns out to be, it guides reflection as well.57 The Charter barely stresses on the ethical framework of the head of the Secretariat, but its prominence puts it high in any consideration of the pursuit of peace.
The following diagrams showcase the ethical framework of the six successive Secretaries-General and its implications on the decision-making process of the Secretariat.
J BARROS, BETRAYAL FROM WITHIN: JOSEPH AVENOL, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS (New Haven: Yale University Press 1969).
Article 97, The UN Charter.
Article 101, The UN Charter.
Supra note 13.
Supra note 16.
Supra note 2.
Supra note 16, at 60
20 Expansionist Interpretation Of The Secretariat’s Role Stamped By Five Successive Secretary-General’s
21 Trygve Lie
Lie stamped an expansionist interpretation of the Secretariat‟s role at a time when the world was by no means ready to accept the outlook of world‟s citizenship. Lie established implied political prerogatives of the Secretariat‟s office which stem from Article 99 and thus, shaped the political role of the Secretariat.58
Lie interjected himself on a range of matters and always expressed all his strong views and opinions, even when they were not in line with those of the big powers. He never let the big powers make him a „pushover‟ and devoted all his energies to deal with the major challenge of the time- Poverty. Lie interpreted the Secretariat‟s role in a pragmatic and open-minded way and advocated for the “middle road” or the “middle way” approach in the execution of the Secretariat‟s responsibilities.59
Lie advocated for Secretariat‟s dedication to social democratic principles, namely social justice, fairness, equality, human rights and respect for the law. The Secretariat under Lie was subsumed by a broader set of secular humanistic values and showcased strong devotion to Western democratic ideals as opposed to communism.
The Secretariat under Hammarskjöld pursued five primary goals: economic opportunity, political equality, prevention of violence, pre-emption of conflict through negotiation and international justice.60 The Secretariat‟s efforts under Hammarskjöld were significant both in terms of the unprecedented use of international mediation and in the level of diplomatic sensitivity. He advocated that the Secretariat should showcase deep commitment to neutrality and social outreach.
The Secretariat under U Thant dealt with ethical dilemmas regarding the use of force, intervention vs. non-intervention, impartiality vs. neutrality, independent vs. dependent office and idealism vs. realism, and thus, contributed to the role expectations from the office.61 U Thant advocated that the primary role of the Secretariat is to ensure replace of global mentality of „narrow mindedness‟ by the notion of „world citizenship‟.
The Secretariat under Waldheim voiced concerns over employment practices at the Secretariat to ensure that the administrative task of appointing the staff does not only conform to the appointment criteria of “efficiency, competence and integrity”62 but also answers to the exclusive international character of the UN. Waldheim advocated that the Secretariat must prefer dialogue in conflicting situations, engage in persistent efforts, prefer
collective action over national action, adopt a pragmatic process and strive to avoid the Europe‟s 20th century
Perez De Cuellar
The Secretariat under Cuellar showcased commitment to peace, equity, justice and commitment to the rule of law. His belief in equal worth of individuals and sense of noblesse oblige of public service caused the Secretariat to advocate for liberalism in action.64 He felt that the Secretariat must be dynamic in pursuit of public norms and emphasized on separation of religion from public role.
Leon Gordenker wrote that given the imperativeness of the position of the UN Secretariat in the international
arena, it “would have to be recruited from among the angels”65
. The Charter entrusts the UN Secretariat to play a dynamic role to tackle many of the pressing contemporary issues that the world faces today. The Secretariat
Supra note 10.
Supra note 23.
Supra note 23.
Article 101, The UN Charter.
Supra note 16.
Supra note 10.
LEON GORDENKER, THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND THE MAINTENANCE OF
22 needs to emerge as the moral voice in the international arena, and act as a mediator, conciliator and arbitrator
committed to the goal of furthering common good of all.66 However, at the same time, given that the Secretariat
enjoys no direct or organised means of assistance, the interim analysis concludes that the exercise of the UN Secretariat`s role must lie within the „available range‟ where the initiatives and missions will bore maximum output and efficiency, and least opposition.
1. Memorandum of Points for Consideration in the Development of a 20-Year Program for Achieving Peace through the United Nations, HARRY S.TRUMAN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM (July 23, 2017, 12:45 PM),
2. Preamble, UNITED NATIONS (August 28, 5:15 PM), http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/preamble/
3. A. Gauhar, North‐South dialogue: Javier Pérez de Cuellar, 6 THIRD WORLD Q., (1984).
4. C S Murthy, The Role of the UN Secretary-General Since the end of the cold war, J. OF INT‟L L., 181-196 (1995). 5. C. H. Alexandrowicz, The Secretary-General of the United Nation,THE INT‟L & COMP. L. Q., (1962).
6. H. Lentner, The Diplomacy of the United Nations Secretary-General, WESTERN POLITICAL Q., 531-550 (1965). 7. I Johnstone, The Role of the UN Secretary-General: The Power of Persuasion Based on law, GLOBAL
GOVERNANCE, 441-458 (2003).
8. J T Kim, The UN General “Walking a Two-Scope Rope”: An Analytic Approach to the Secretary-Generalship, KOREA REVIEW OF INT‟L STUDIES, 72 (2006).
9. J. Jonah, Independence and Integrity of the International Civil Service: The role of the Executive Heads and the Role of States. U. J. OF INT‟L L. &POLITICS, 841-859 (1982).
10. M Jakobson, Filling the world’s Most impossible Job,WORLD MONITOR, 26 (1991).
11. Ramcharan, The Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, DALHOUSIE L. J., 742-757 (1990).
12. T. V. Boven, Role of the United Nations Secretariat in the area of Human Rights, N.Y.U. J. OF INT‟L L.&POLITICS, (1991).
13. A. LYON, THE UN CHARTER, THE NEW TESTAMENT, AND PSALMS: THE MORAL AUTHORITY OF DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD 128 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press)
14. A. W. DORN, THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A VISION FOR AN EVOLVING WORLD ORDER. WORLD ORDER FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM: POLITICAL, CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING PEACE, 128 (1999).
15. A. W. ROVINE, THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS: THE SECRETARY-GENERAL IN WORLD POLITICS, 1920–1970 45 (Leiden: Sijthoff, Albertus Willem 1970).
16. B RIVLIN, THE CHANGING INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL CLIMATE AND THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
5 (London: Praeger Publishers 1993).
17. C. PURVES, THE INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT (1945).
18. DJONES, SEEKING BALANCE THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AS NORMATIVE NEGOTIATOR 41
(Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press).
19. J BARROS, BETRAYAL FROM WITHIN: JOSEPH AVENOL, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE LEAGUE OF
NATIONS (New Haven: Yale University Press 1969).
20. J MULDOON, THE HOUSE THAT TRYGVE LIE BUILT: ETHICAL CHALLENGES AS THE FIRST UN SECRETARY-GENERAL 94 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press)
21. J. KAUFMANN, CONFERENCE DIPLOMACY: AN INTRODUCTORY ANALYSIS (1968).
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23. LEON GORDENKER, THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL AND THE MAINTENANCE OF PEACE 33.
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