The current term of the Secretary-General is five years, with a possibility to be re-appointed for a second five year term. In accordance with Article 97 of the Charter, the appointment is made by the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
There are several ways to approach research on the appointment of a Secretary-General.
For more information, see our FAQ: How is the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed?
The Charter sets the framework but does not define all the types of activities the Secretary-General should carry out. Broadly, the Secretary-General performs both administrative and political activities. Some examples are:
Because of the variety of activities carried out by the Secretary-General, research can be challenging or overwhelming.
In general, we recommend that researchers start with secondary sources and use cited references to identify additional or primary sources. It may also help to focus on one type of activity or significant event to narrow the focus of the research.
In addition to the annual report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, the Secretary-General reports to the principal organs and their subsidiaries on a broad range of topics.
In general, reports of the Secretary-General are issued in response to request from one of the principal organs or a subsidiary body. The report usually cites the resolution or decision that called for it.
The symbol assigned to a Secretary-General report usually indicates the body to which the report is submitted.
For example, the Secretary-General reports to the General Assembly, symbol A/-, on:
The Secretary-General reports to the Security Council, symbol S/-, on topics such as:
The Secretary-General reports to the Economic and Social Council, symbol E/-, on topics such as:
The Secretary-General reports to other organs and subsidiary bodies on topics on their agendas.