Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
Amina J. Mohammed
since 1 January 2017
United Nations
United Nations Secretariat
StyleHer Excellency
Reports toThe Secretary-General
SeatUN Headquarters
New York City (international territory)
AppointerThe Secretary-General
The Secretary-General appoints the Deputy Secretary-General following consultations with Member States and in accordance with Article 101 of the Charter of the United Nations.[1]
Term lengthSee below
The term of office of the Deputy Secretary-General must not exceed that of the Secretary-General.[1]
Constituting instrumentGeneral Assembly Resolution 52/12 B[1]
PrecursorDeputy Secretary-General of the League of Nations
Inaugural holderLouise Fréchette
WebsiteDeputy Secretary-General

The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations is the deputy to the secretary-general of the United Nations. The office was created to handle many of the administrative responsibilities of the secretary-general, help manage Secretariat operations, and ensure coherence of activities and programs.[2][3] The post was formally established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997.[1]

Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria was named as deputy secretary-general by then secretary-general-designate António Guterres. Mohammed assumed the office the same day as Guterres began his term, on 1 January 2017.


Responsibilities generally delegated by the secretary-general to the deputy secretary-general include:[4]

(a) To assist the Secretary-General in managing the operations of the Secretariat;
(b) To act for the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters in the absence of the Secretary-General and in other cases as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(c) To support the Secretary-General in ensuring inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coherence of activities and programs and to support the Secretary-General in elevating the profile and leadership of the United Nations in the economic and social spheres, including further efforts to strengthen the United Nations as a leading centre for development policy and development assistance;
(d) To represent the Secretary-General at conferences, official functions and ceremonial and other occasions as may be decided by the Secretary-General;
(e) To undertake such assignments as may be determined by the Secretary-General;

The director in the Office of the Deputy Secretary-General is a sitting observer of the United Nations Development Group.[5]


Canadian Louise Fréchette was the first deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, holding the position from 1998 to 2005. She was appointed to the post by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and assumed her duties on 2 March 1998. In 2005, partly in response to criticism by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker for failed management of the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme, Frechette announced her resignation. She remained at her post until 31 March 2006.[4]

On 3 March 2006 it was announced that Mark Malloch Brown from the United Kingdom would succeed Louise Fréchette as deputy secretary-general on 1 April 2006. Brown left his post concurrent with Kofi Annan's departure as secretary-general on 31 December 2006.[4]

List of deputy secretaries-general

No. Deputy Secretary-General Portrait Country Term Secretary-General
1 Louise FréchetteLouise Fréchette  Canada 2 March 1998 – 1 April 2006 Ghana Kofi Annan
2 Mark Malloch BrownMark Malloch Brown  United Kingdom 1 April 2006 – 31 December 2006
3 Asha-Rose MigiroAsha-Rose Migiro  Tanzania 5 February 2007 – 1 July 2012 South Korea Ban Ki-moon
4 Jan EliassonJan Eliasson  Sweden 1 July 2012 – 31 December 2016
5 Amina J. MohammedAmina J. Mohammed[6]  Nigeria 1 January 2017 – present Portugal António Guterres
Countries that have had a national serve as deputy secretary-general of the United Nations.
UN Regional Group Deputy Secretaries-General
Western European and Others 3
Eastern European Group 0
Latin American and Caribbean Group 0
Asia-Pacific Group 0
African Group 2


  1. ^ a b c d United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1998-01-09). "Renewing the United Nations: a program for reform (A/RES/52/12 B)" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-01-08.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1997-10-07). "Report of the Secretary-General, Addendum (A/51/950/Add.1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-20.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ United Nations. General Assembly (52nd Session) (1997-11-10). "Letter dated 10 November 1997 from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly (A/52/585)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-20.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c United Nations Dept. of Public Information. "Deputy Secretary-General". Archived from the original on 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  5. ^ "UNDG Members". Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  6. ^ "Respecting gender parity and geographical diversity pledges, SG-designate Guterres appoints core team members". UN News Centre. United Nations. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.