Definitions of United Nations

Definitions of United Nations


The Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day work of the United Nations and services the other principal organs of the United Nations, in addition to administering the programs and policies that they develop. Features

The Secretariat has a wide variety of functions. As an example, only a few can be mentioned below:

  • Manage peacekeeping operations
  • Mediating in international disputes
  • Conduct examination of economic and social trends and problems
  • Prepare studies on human rights and sustainable development
  • Raise awareness and inform the world’s media about the work of the United Nations
  • Interpret speeches and translate documents into the official languages ​​of the Organization

Structure of the Secretariat

It is made up of international officials who work in offices around the world and its head is the Secretary General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a renewable period of five years. Currently, António Guterres, from Portugal, is the one who holds the position of Secretary General.

Staff are only accountable for their activities to the United Nations and pledge not to seek or receive instructions from any government or authority outside the Organization. Likewise, the member states undertake to respect the exclusively international character of the performance of the functions of the Secretary General and of the staff and not to try to influence them.


Although its headquarters are in New York, the United Nations maintains a significant presence in Geneva, where there is an Office that is a diplomatic conference center and a forum on human rights. In Vienna there is another Office of the Organization hosts its activities in the fields of international drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice, use of outer space for peaceful purposes and international trade law. Finally, there is another Office, located in Nairobi, which is the headquarters of the Organization’s activities in the fields of the environment and human settlements.

General secretary

Main article: Annex: Secretaries General of the UN .

He is the highest administrative official of the United Nations and represents the image of the UN to the international community. The position of Secretary General has the possibility of bringing great creative potential since he is the executive head of the Secretariat and, therefore, responsible for its administration. He is also a spokesperson for the international community and personification of its will. It is in favor of peace, but at the same time taking into account the interests of the major powers and regional groups of Member States. It also uses its “good offices” in the interest of preventive diplomacy and adapts its work according to the needs of the Organization at that time.

The Charter authorizes the Secretary General to draw the attention of the Security Council to any matter that may endanger international peace and security. The Charter also assigns it “other functions” entrusted to it by the Security Council, the General Assembly and other principal organs of the United Nations. The power of the Secretary General is limited, yet these broad guidelines allow him an extraordinary scope of action.

The Secretary-General also consults with world leaders and others on a daily basis, attends meetings of the various organs of the United Nations, and travels around the world. This is part of its efforts to learn about all the issues of international interest before the Organization, as well as to gather opinions from all member states and convey the concerns of civil society representatives.

Each year the Secretary General publishes a report on the Organization’s work (PDF version) in which he assesses the Organization’s activities and outlines future priorities.

The current Secretary General is Mr. António Guterres (2017 – 2021). His predecessors as Secretary General have been the following:

  • Ban Ki-moon (2007 – 2016)
  • Kofi Annan (1997 – 2006)
  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992 – 1996)
  • Javier Pérez de Cuellar (1982 – 1991)
  • Kurt Waldheim (1972 – 1981)
  • U Thant (1961 – 1971)
  • Dag Hammarskjöld (1953 – 1961)
  • Trygve Lie (1946 – 1952).

UN members

According to abbreviationfinder, the full members of the United Nations are 192 countries and 2 non-member states, permanently invited to participate in the sessions and in the work of the General Assembly.

Member countries

Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kingdom of Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, DPR Korea, Singapore, Syria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen, Belarus, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Republic of the Congo, Denmark, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Federative State of Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Macedonia, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay

Observer countries

Palestine, Vatican

Definitions of United Nations