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UN Secretaries-General

Facts and information about all of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations
a data set by Nane
created November 29, 2016
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FAMILY TREE
NameNationalityDates in OfficeImageBiographical FactInteresting FactNotable Life AchievementAppointment as Secretary-GeneralWritings and StatementsAs Secretary-General …While serving as Secretary General …
Trygve Halvdan LieNorwegian1946–53He grew up in relative poverty before earning a law degree and entering politics.He was once the editor in chief of a periodical published by a political party in his home country.He participated in drafting the Security Council provisions of the UN charter.He was selected to be the first Secretary-General of the UN.He was a prolific author, with a long list of published books.He supported the creation of the state of Israel.He worked for the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Iran and a ceasefire to fighting in Kashmir.
Dag HammarskjöldSwedish1953–61He died in a plane crash in Africa while on a UN peace mission to the Congo.He was a very spiritual man with a deep interest in poetry and religion.He posthumously received the Nobel Peace Prize.He was selected to be the second Secretary-General of the UN due to his reputation as a competent technocrat.His only book, "Markings," is a collection of reflections from his diary.He helped to resolve a dispute over the Suez Canal.He organized the first UN conference on the peaceful use of atomic energy.
U ThantBurmese1962–71When he was a child, his father was the only person in the town who could communicate well in English.He had a strong interest in reports of UFOs.He participated in the conference that gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement.He was selected as the third Secretary-General of the UN following the death of the previous office-holderHe regularly contributed to several newspapers and magazines under the pen name "Thilawa."He played a key role in addressing the Cuban Missile Crisis.He was publicly critical of American conduct in the Vietnam War.
Kurt WaldheimAustrian1972–81He has faced allegations of being complicit in Nazi war crimes.In 1994, Pope John Paul II awarded him a knighthood in the Order of Pius IX.After serving as UN Secretary-General, he was elected President of his home country.He was selected as the 4th Secretary-General of the UN just after being defeated in a presidential election.He published a memoir called "In the Eye of the Storm."He flew to Iran in an attempt to negotiate the release of the American hostages held in Tehran.He played a key role in the UN Conference on the Human Environment, the first major UN conference on the environment.
Javier Pérez de CuéllarPeruvian1982–91He continued to serve as his home country's ambassador to France until age 84.He was portrayed in a movie produced by the BBC.He is an accomplished pianist.He was selected as the 5th Secretary-General of the UN, and the first to come from the Americas.He is the author of an academic book on diplomatic law.He mediated between Britain and Argentina in the aftermath of the Falklands War.He participated in the negotiations for the independence of Namibia.
Boutros Boutros-GhaliEgyptian1992–96His grandfather was a former Prime Minister, and his grandmother was a prominent historian.He was a Christian from a majority Muslim country.After leaving the UN, he became the first Secretary-General of La Francophonie, an organization of French-speaking nations.He was selected as the 6th Secretary-General of the UN, but only served one term.He authored "An Agenda for Peace," a suggestion for how the UN could respond to violent conflict.He worked to address the violence that followed the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.He faced criticism for the UN's failure to act during the Rwandan Genocide.
Kofi AnnanGhanaian1997–2006He studied management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United StatesAfter leaving the UN, he worked on peace on human rights issues with President Jimmy Carter.He received a Nobel Peace prize (shared with the UN) for his prioritization of human rights as UN Secretary-GeneralHe was selected as teh 7th Secretary-General of the UN, and the first to come from sub-Saharan Africa.He authored a five-point "Call to Action" to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.He played a key role in the creation of the Millennium Development Goals.He promoted the "Responsibility to Protect," a doctrine asserting the responsibility of the international community to prevent genocide.
Ban Ki-MoonSouth Korean2007–2016 (still serving)He does not consider himself a member of any religious group.He has been criticized for his lack of fluency in English and French.In 2013, Forbes magazine called him one of the most powerful people in the world.He was not initially seen as a serious candidate, but was ultimately selected as the 8th Secretary-General of the UN.He delivered a speech titled "The Time Has Come" to the UN Security Council, in which he urged greater recognition of LGBT rights.He repeatedly identified the Darfur crisis as the top humanitarian priority of his administration.He was involved in efforts to address the Syrian civil war and European migrant crisis.
António GuterresPortuguese2017- (elected, but not yet serving)He has been a key player in the Socialist party in his home country.He served as the UN High Commisioner for Refugees.He served two terms as Prime Minister of his home country.He has been selected as the 9th Secretary-General of the UN in 2016. His term starts in 2017.He has been a vocal advocate for a more humane approach by European countries to the Mediterranean refugee crisis.He will inherit the challenges of addressing the Syrian refugee crisis.He will begin his term in the same month that Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States.
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