Leadership

The Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, appointed by the UN Secretary-General, is the head of UN DESA. He advises the Secretary-General on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental, and nurtures key partnerships with governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations. The USG is assisted by the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs.

The USG

The Under-Secretary-General is responsible for a number of tasks, including:

  • managing the Department and its divisions;
  • advising the Secretary-General on the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – including the SDGs;
  • establishing key partnerships with governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations;
  • convening the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, which is the coordination vehicle within the UN development system;
  • overseeing the Development Account of the United Nations regular budget, which funds programmes implemented by ten different entities in the UN Secretariat.

USG Mr. Wu Hongbo assumed the office on 1 August 2012. A career diplomat, Mr. Wu was previously the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Germany. Watch the video to hear Mr. Wu explain how DESA effectively delivers on its mandate.

The ASGs

In directing and managing UN DESA, the Under-Secretary-General is supported by the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Mr. Lenni Montiel, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Mr. Thomas Gass.

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