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Chef de Cabinet

"Supported by a Front Office, Director of Office and Special Assistant, the Chef de Cabinet is responsible for providing management and guidance to the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG). This includes, but is not limited to, preparing and approving correspondence for the signature of the Secretary-General; ensuring substantive clarity and political sensitivity; drafting correspondence to governments and high-level officials; vetting all incoming correspondence to the Secretary-General; and ensuring the provision of supporting information and background notes, as well as recommending appropriate action and subsequent follow-up and implementation; drafting, reviewing, and clearing official statements; and drafting briefs and talking points for the Secretary-General. In addition, the Chef de Cabinet is responsible for providing guidance and supervision over the following key areas and posts in the EOSG: management and senior appointments; and as Director of Office, oversees the work of the Scheduling Office, Central Records Unit, Administrative Unit, Speechwriting/Correspondence Unit, Spokesperson, and Chief of Protocol. The following entities report through the Chef de Cabinet: Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM); Department of Field Support (DFS); Department of Public Information (DPI); Department of Management (DM); Department of Safety and Security (DSS); Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS); Office of Legal Affairs (OLA); Ethics Office; Office of the Ombudsman; and the Office for the Administration of Justice (AOJ). Vijay Nambiar was appointed to the Office of the Chef de Cabinet in January 2007 and served until February 2012. His papers consist of one series, S-1941: Activities. Before assuming the post of Chef de Cabinet, Mr. Nambiar served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Prior to this, he served as Deputy National Security Advisor to the Government of India; Head of the National Security Council Secretariat; and India�s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2002-2004). He also served as Ambassador to India in Pakistan (2000-2001), China (1996-2000), Malaysia (1993-1996), Afghanistan (1990-1992), and Algeria (1985-1988). A veteran Indian diplomat, Mr. Nambiar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1967 and held numerous bilateral and multilateral appointments in Beijing, Belgrade and New York during the 1970s and 1980s. He served as Joint Secretary (Director-General) handling East Asia in 1988 during the period of the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China. Between 2010 and 2016 he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar. Susana Malcorra of Argentina succeeded Mr. Nambiar, and assumed the Office of the Chef de Cabinet in March 2012. She served in the position until November 2015. Her papers consist of one series, S-1954: Activities. Prior to her appointment as Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Malcorra worked in the private sector as an electrical engineer for IBM and Telecom Argentina. In 2004, she joined the World Food Programme (WFP) as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Executive Director, and oversaw daily emergency and humanitarian operations. She joined the UN Secretariat in 2008 as the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support (DFS). In this position, she directed logistical and administrative support for 30 UN field operations overseeing more than 120,000 military, police and civilian personnel. Ms. Malcorra currently serves as the Foreign Relations Minister of Argentina, a position she has held since November 2015. She was succeeded as Chef de Cabinet by Edmond Mulet of Guatemala on 27 November 2015. Mr. Mulet served as Chef de Cabinet from 2015 to 2016. He was Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2011 through 2015. He also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) between 2006 and 2007 and 2010 and 2011. Prior to that, he was Guatemala�s Ambassador to the European Union and the United States. He was a member of Guatemala�s National Congress for 12 years, including one term as its President. As of August 2017 Mr. Mulet�s records have not been transferred to the United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UNARMS). "

Department of Economic and Social Affairs

In 1949, "the Technical Assistance Section of the Division of Economic Stability and Development and the International Centre for Training in Public Administration were transferred from the Department of Economic Affairs to the Technical Assistance Administration (TAA).” (YUN, 1949) "The Technical Assistance Administration is responsible for the programme of technical assistance, which includes the operation and administration of the programmes authorized by General Assembly resolutions on advisory social welfare services, on training in public administration and on the United Nations programme of technical assistance for economic development of under-developed countries. In addition it is responsible for administering the United Nations Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance as approved by resolution of the Economic and Social Council (222(IX)). These programmes include the organization of technical assistance missions, the provision of expert advice, the award of fellowships and scholarships and the organization of demonstration projects, seminars, and training institutes." (YUN, 1950)

TAA was aided by the Technical Assistance Board (TAB), which was under the mandate of the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, later combined into the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For the life of TAA, there were talks about merging it with both the Department of Social Affairs and the Department of Economic Affairs. However, while the two Departments merged in 1955, the Technical Assistance Administration remained a separate entity until 1959. Throughout the period of its existence, the Director-General was Hugh L. Keenleyside.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs OUSG

Established in 1967 as a division of the Department of Social and Economic Affairs; in 1970 became a separate department. Ceased to exist at the end of 1978.

The functions of the Office were: to assist the Secretary-General in strengthening coherence of the United Nations system; to represent the Secretary-General in communication with specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE), and other intergovernmental organizations; to assist departments and related bodies in matters of coordination with specialized agencies the IAEA, and other intergovernmental organizations; to assist with coordination and resolving of differences between inter-organizational bodies; to assist the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, their subsidiary organs and other intergovernmental organizations in the formulation of decisions involving system-wide activities; to exercise initiative with regard to inter-organizational problems; to serve as the secretariat for the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC); to assist with implementation of the Secretary-General's policies in regard to specialized agencies, the IAEA, and other organizations (ST/SGB/Organization, Section G, March 1976).

The Under-Secretary-General for Interagency Affairs and Coordination was C. V. Narasimhan.

Department of General Assembly and Conference Management

Mandated to provide technical support, meeting and documentation management, and be the go-to organization for delegate needs. Takes part in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly. In 2006, the Department was reformed to include the following goals: “to provide high-quality documents in a timely manner in all official languages, as well as high-quality conference services to Member States at all duty stations, and to achieve those aims as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.” (YUN, 2006).

The department consists of the following units: the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, the General Assembly and Economic and Social Affairs Division (GAEAD), the Meetings and Publishing Division (MPD), the Documentation Division (DD), the Central Planning and Coordination Service (CPCS) and the Protocol and Liaison Service. The Under-Secretary-General from 2002-2006 was Jian Chen, succeeded by Dr. Shaaban Muhammad Shaaban (2007-2013), Mr. Tegegnework Gettu (2013 - present)

Predecessor Organizations:

  • Conference and General Services (1946-1953)
  • Department of Conference Services (1954-1957)
  • Office of Conference Services (1958-1972)
  • Department of Conference Services (1973-1991)
  • Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services (1997-2001)

Department of Management

The Department of Management provides guidance and support for human resource, central support services (covering such topics as archives, procurement, travel, and staff development), and finance and budget for the United Nations Secretariat. As of 2012, the Department of Management was going through a reform process, especially in regards to human resources, procurement, accountability, and accounting. This involves a Management Committee, a Management Performance Board, an Independent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC), and an Ethics Office (established in 2005). The Ethics Office was "established to sustain an organizational culture based on accountability, integrity, and transparency", and includes a whistle blower protection policy, and policies against harassment. (DM publications, 11/11).

The department includes an Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, an Office of Human Resources Management, an Office of Central Support Services, and of 2005, the Capital Master Plan Project. The Under-Secretary-General from 1997-2002 was Joseph E. Connor, followed by Catherine Bertini (2003-2005), Christopher Bancroft Burnham (2005-2006), Alicia Bárcena Ibarra (2007), Angela Kane (2008-2012) and OIC Warren Sach (2012).

Predecessor Organizations:

  • Administrative and Financial Services (1946-1953)
  • Office of General Services (1954-1971)
  • Office of Personnel (1955-1971)
  • Office of the Controller (1955-1971)
  • Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Admin. and Management (1968-1974)
  • Department of Administration and Management (1975-1996)

Department of Peacekeeping Operations - Office of the Under-Secretary-General

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was created in 1992 during the restructuring of the Secretariat initiated by the incoming Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The DPKO was set up to allow the United Nations to have greater institutional capacity to respond to international crises. The Department traces its roots to 1948 with the creation of the first UN peacekeeping operations: UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Up to the late 1980s, peacekeeping operations were operated through the UN Office of Special Political Affairs. By the early 1990s, the strategic context for United Nations peacekeeping had evolved from military observation to multidimensional enterprises designed to ensure the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and to assist in laying foundations for sustainable peace. Peacekeepers’ enlarged scope of activities included helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, human rights monitoring, electoral reform, humanitarian assistance, security sector reform, demining, as well as the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants.

At its inception in 1992, the functions of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations included: formulating policies and procedures, based on Security Council resolutions and mandates, for the establishment of new peacekeeping operations and the effective functioning of ongoing operations; securing military units and equipment as well as other material and human resources required for peacekeeping operations; developing operational plans and methodologies for multidimensional operations; undertaking contingency planning for peacekeeping operations; and providing logistic and administrative support for the operations in the field.

In 1994, the DPKO was reorganized into two sections, the Office of Planning and Support and the Office of Operations. Each section was headed by an Assistant Secretary-General. The Office of Planning and Support was divided into a Planning Division and a Field Administration and Logistics Division (FALD). The Office of Operations was divided into three divisions organized along regional lines: the Africa Division (AD), the Asia and Middle East Division (AMED), and the Europe and Latin America Division (ELAD). The Policy and Analysis Unit and the Situation Centre were created in 1993, and the Lessons Learned Unit was created in 1995. In 2007, under the initiative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations underwent major structural change, and the Department of Field Support (DSF) was created to address shortcomings in mission support, such as logistics, transportation and recruitment. Close interaction between DPKO and DFS is maintained through shared functional and operational areas.

As of 2012, the four main offices of the DPKO were the Office of Operations, the Office of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions (established in 2007), the Office of Military Affairs, and the Policy Evaluation and Training Division.

The leadership of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was carried out by Marrack Goulding, who served as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from June 1992 until February 1993. Kofi Annan served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from June 1992 until March 1993, when he was appointed to succeed Goulding as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. Annan served as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations until he was appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Former Yugoslavia, serving six months in that position (November 1995-April 1996). Ismat Kittani temporarily replaced Kofi Annan as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations during his absence. After returning to DPKO, Mr. Annan served as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations until December 1996. Kofi Annan was succeeded by Bernard Miyet (January 1997-October 2000), Jean-Marie Guéhenno (October 2000-June 2008), Alain Le Roy (June 2008-October 2011), and Hervé Ladsous (October 2011-present).

Department of Political Affairs

The Secretary-General, in a February 1992 note (A/46/882) announced a number of changes related to the restructuring of the United Nations Secretariat, with effect from 1 March 1992. He stated that the changes in the departments and top echelon of the Secretariat were intended to consolidate and streamline the Organization's activities into well-defined functional categories. The main aspects of the restructuring included the establishment of the Department of Political Affairs headed by two Under-Secretaries-General (USGs) with clearly defined geographical responsibilities and functions. The new Department of Political Affairs incorporates the activities of the former Office for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services; Office for Research and the Collection of Information; Department of Political and Security Council Affairs; Department for Special Political Questions, Regional Cooperation, Decolonization and Trusteeship; and the Department of Disarmament Affairs. The Under-Secretaries-General for 1992 was James O.C. Jonah and Vladimir F. Petrovsky, and for 1993 was Marrack Goulding and James O. C. Jonah. The Under-Secretary-General for 1994-1996 was Marrack I. Goulding, followed by Kieran Prendergast (1997-2005), Ibrahim Gambari (2005-2006), and B. Lynn Pascoe (2007-present).

Disarmament Affairs was under the mandate of DPA for the span of 1992-1997.
Office of Disarmament Affairs (1992-1993)

  • The Office of Disarmament Affairs was a part of the Department of Political Affairs from 1992 until 1993, and then was renamed the Centre for Disarmament Affairs.
    Centre for Disarmament Affairs (1993-1997)
  • The Centre for Disarmament Affairs was a part of the Department of Political Affairs from 1993 until 1997, and then reverted back to being the Department for Disarmament Affairs, separate from DPA.

Predecessor Organizations:
Department of Security Council Affairs (1946-1951)
Department of Trusteeship and Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories (1946-1964)
Department of Political and Security Council Affairs (1952-1991)
Department of Trusteeship and Non-Self-Governing Territories (1965-1971)
Office of Political Affairs, Trusteeship, and Decolonization (1972-1986)
Department of Political and General Assembly Affairs (1972-1992)
Office for Special Political Questions (1979-1986)
Department for Special Political Questions, Regional Co-operation, Decolonization and Trusteeship (1987-1990)
Office for Special Political Questions, Regional Co-operation, Decolonization and Trusteeship (1991)
Department of Political Affairs (1992-present)
Field Operations (1998-present)

Department of Public Information

Established in 1946 by GA resolution 13(I), the Department of Public Information promotes global awareness of the work of the United Nations. Its original mandate stated that it “advises the Secretary-General on information policy; and, working with the specialized agencies, it: supervises and maintains facilities at headquarters for representatives of all information media; maintains Information Centres away from headquarters, to disseminate United Nations information throughout the world; provides services for press coverage of United Nations activities and issues informative publications; organizes sales and distribution throughout the world of all informative material issued by the United Nations; broadcasts accounts of United Nations activities and provides facilities for commercial and governmental broadcasting services; working with the United Nations Film Board, produces and encourages the production of films on subjects connected with the United Nations and the specialized agencies; maintains and encourages film and photographic coverage of United Nations activities and maintains files of prints for publication purposes; provides United Nations information material and related services to educational agencies, lecturers and nongovernmental organizations; prepares surveys of press and radio opinion on United Nations activities; and maintains the library and reference services of the United Nations." (YUN, 1947-1948) In 1951, the Management and Circulation Division was created. In 1962, the Economic and Social Information Unit was created. In the mid-70s, there was a large push to reform and streamline the department, in order to improve both its information dissemination abilities and its coordination with other departments within the UN. As media technology continued to improve, the department changed its focus to include a more thematic approach, and also made it a point to strengthen ties with a large number of organizations around the globe as well as with youth. As of 1978, the main departments of DPI were Press and Publications, Radio and Visual Services, External Relations, and the Centre for Economic and Social Information. The late 70s and early 80s saw much debate about the effectiveness and impartiality of the department, both in the geographical representation within the department, and the variety of ways in which information was made available to the public. 1979 also saw a number of development programmes put in place to train broadcasters and journalists from developing countries, graduate students, and interns. Many of these debates were resolved through resolutions 36/149 B, 40/164 A and 41/68 B, which laid out the expectations for the department. Starting in the early 80s, DPI, in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Joint United Nations Information Committee, focused on “building up the information gathering and dissemination capabilities of developing countries, thus making them less dependent on outside sources, and achieving a more comprehensive and realistic image of the United Nations throughout the world.” (YUN, 1983) In 1996, two resolutions were adopted, one calling for the development of information flows and communication capabilities in the service of humanity, and the other outlining UN public information policies and activities. The late 90s saw a focus on presenting the UN as open, transparent and capable, as well as an increasing amount of information transmitted through the internet, including virtual collections in the Dag Hammarskjold Library. In 1999, the UN News Service was developed, as well as a daily news page on the UN website, an increase to the UN Radio programme, stronger ties with other UN departments, and the placement of op-eds by UN officials in news services across the globe. In the early 2000s, DPI continued to promote the idea of the UN as relevant in the 21st century, the new UN News Service as an all-encompassing clearinghouse for information in all formats, not just on the web, direct international radio broadcasting from UNHQ, and began to integrate the Information Centres with the UN Development Programme field offices. The department reports of the General Assembly’s Committee on Information. As of 2012, there were three divisions of the department: the Strategic Communications Division, the News and Media Division, and the Outreach Division. From 1958-1979, it was referred to as the Office of Public Information. For a brief period in 1997, it was referred to as the Office of Communication and Public Information. From 1946-1954, the Assistant Secretary-General was Benjamin A. Cohen, followed by Under-Secretary Ahmed S. Bokhari (1955-1958), Alfred G. Katzin (1959), Hernane Tavares de Sa (1960-1964), Jose Rolz-Bennett (1965-1967), Assistant Secretaries-General Agha Abdul Hamid (1968-1971) and Genichi Akatani (1972-1978), Under-Secretary-General Yasushi Akashi (1979-1986), Thérèse P. Sévigny (1987-1991), Eugeniusz Wyzner (1992), Marco Vianello-Chiodo (1993), Samir Sandar (1994-1997), Kensaku Hogen (1998-2000), and Shashi Tharoor as Interm Head in 2001, Under-Secretary-General in 2002, and Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information from 2003-2006. He was succeeded by Kiyotaka Akasaka (2007-2012) and Acting Head Maher Nasser (2012-present).

Executive Office of the Secretary-General EOSG

The Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) was established initially in 1946 to assist the Secretary-General with relations with members and organs of the United Nations, and with specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations, as well as to assist with policy and coordination of the Secretariat. It was established shortly after the first Secretary-General of the United Nations took office following appointment by the General Assembly on 1 February 1946. The Executive Office of the Secretary-General "assists the Secretary-General in the performance of those functions which he does not delegate to the departments and for which he retains personal responsibility. These functions include consultation with governments and the heads of the specialized agencies and the supervision of special projects" (YUN, 1947-1948) It also aids in policy creation and implementation, coordinates the activities of the departments, publications and correspondence, and advises on UN protocol.

The following Secretariat bodies reported to the Secretary-General from the beginning: the Department of Security Council Affairs, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Department of Social Affairs, the Department of Trusteeship and Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Department of Public Information, the Department of Legal Affairs, the Department of Conference and General Services, and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

From 1946 through the 1950s the EOSG was responsible for protocol and liaison with diplomatic representatives, as well as for relationships with non-governmental organizations, communications with member state representatives and related, and for the coordination and support of General Assembly activities.

The internal organization consisted of one or more Executive Assistants to the Secretary-General, the General Assembly Section, and the Protocol and Liaison Section. In 1972 the functions of the General Assembly Section moved to the Department for Political and General Assembly Affairs. As of 2012, the Executive Office consists of the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, the Protocol and Liaison Service, the Global Compact Office, the Office of Information and Communication Technology, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.

The name of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General has stayed the same since 1946.

The following individuals have served as Secretary-General of the United Nations: Trygve Lie, (1946-1953), Dag Hammarskjold (1953-1961), U Thant (1961-1971), Kurt Waldheim (1972-1981), Javier Perez de Cuellar (1982-1991), Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992-1996), Kofi Annan (1997-2005), and Ban Ki-moon (2006-present).

The Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General was Andrew W. Cordier from 1946-1961, followed by C. V. Narasimhan as the Under-Secretary for General Assembly Affairs and Chef de Cabinet from 1962-1972. He was succeeded by Ismat T. Kittani (Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General, 1973-1974). The next Under-Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet was Rafeeuddin Ahmed (1975-1981), followed by Virendra Dayal (1982-1992), Jean-Claude Aime (1993-1996), Iqbal Syed Riza (1997-2004), Mark Malloch Brown (2005), Alicia Barcena Ibarra (2006), Vijay Nambiar (2006-2012), and Susana Malcorra (2012-present).

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