Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization

I. Introduction

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

From the ashes of war through seven decades of profound turbulence and change, the vision articulated in the Charter of the United Nations has stood the test of time, even as the world has become transformed beyond anything our founders imagined.

Full report for 2015 PDF document | 2014 report PDF document | Past reports PDF document

II. The work of the Organization

A. Promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development

World Bank/Allison Kwesell

The post-2015 development and climate processes, which ultimately aim to eradicate poverty, improve people’s lives, and rapidly transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy, are mutually reinforcing: when acted on together, they can provide prosperity and security for present and future generations.

B. Maintenance of international peace and security

UN Photo/Albert González Farran

The ultimate goal of peacekeeping — to support a political process and help a country to make the transition from conflict to lasting peace — remains the same. However, the context in which mandated tasks are implemented continues to evolve and the mismatch between the resources assigned to our missions and the complex security environments in which they operate has become increasingly glaring.

C. Development of Africa

FAO/Believe Nyakudjara

Despite the persistence of security threats and the impact of climate change in some parts of [Africa], some progress was made in addressing election-related threats and in strengthening the nexus between peace, security and development.

D. Promotion and protection of human rights

UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

Many countries and subregions experienced armed conflict involving a variety of non-State actors who spread terror across borders, were often implicated in organized crime and perpetrated gross violations of the human rights of children and women. While such actions are unforgiveable, a deeper understanding of the root causes of violent extremism 
is required.

E. Effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts

UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Growing humanitarian needs continue to outpace the resources available to meet them… Millions of people remain without protection or adequate assistance, owing to hostilities, insecurity and obstacles to humanitarian access … Increased funding alone is not the answer, however… Without substantially higher political commitment to address the underlying causes, it will not be possible to cover constantly increasing needs. 

F. Promotion of justice and international law


War crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and other gross violations of human rights undermine the very foundations of the rule of law at both the international and national levels… We continue to accord high priority to activities in support of strengthening national capacity to combat impunity for those crimes, in line with international law.

G. Disarmament

UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Unregulated arms transfers to conflict zones, terrorists and organized crime groups should be a thing of the past. For the Arms Trade Treaty to be truly effective, universal participation in the treaty — as well as rigorous implementation by all — are essential. 

H. Drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations

UNMIL Photo/Christopher Herwig

The connections between drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption and terrorism are becoming more diverse and sophisticated, and fuel insecurity and political instability globally… The recent tragic events resulting from migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean and Andaman Seas have further highlighted the shared responsibility of States in addressing these issues.

III. Strengthening the Organization

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Multi-stakeholder initiatives… demonstrate the great potential in partnership to harness the strengths of various actors towards achieving the goals of the United Nations… The Organization should continue to seize the great potential of partnership, while ensuring oversight and accountability.

IV. Conclusion

UN Photo/Mark Garten

In this seventieth anniversary year, I am convinced that the world needs the United Nations more than ever before.