Senior Appointments (SG, DSG, USG and ASG)
at the United Nations

As is the practice in many other international institutions, one arrives at the highest positions in the Secretariat either by appointment of the Organization’s legislative organs or Chief Administrative Officer. These positions include:

Secretary-GeneralAppointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council
Deputy Secretary-GeneralAppointed by the Secretary-General following consultations with Member States
Under-Secretary-General (USG)A Head of Department, appointed by the Secretary-General
Assistant Secretary-General (ASG)
A Head of Office, appointed by the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has wide authority to appoint senior staff at the ASG and USG levels as well as special envoys at all levels. However, the appointment of a number of senior officials is subject to specific requirements set forth in General Assembly resolutions or related legislative documents. For example:

  • The Under-Secretary-General of the Office of Internal Oversight Services is appointed by the Secretary-General following consultations with Member States and approval by the General Assembly.
  • The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and the Force Commanders in peacekeeping missions are appointed according to a long-standing practice that the Secretary-General informs the Security Council of his intention to appoint these officials before a decision is taken.
  • A Special Representative or Special Envoy is a highly respected expert who has been appointed by the Secretary-General to represent him on a set of critical issues. This typically involves continued negotiations with Governments at the highest levels on issues such as human rights, peace-building and peacekeeping, conflict resolution and post conflict as well as post emergency recovery. A Force Commander is the head of United Nations peacekeeping troops where they are deployed.

Above texts are copied from United Nations Official Web Page ( 
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