A view of the UN Secretariat building with flags of UN Member States flying in the foreground.

The United Nations Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other main organs. The Secretary-General is the head of the Secretariat, which has tens of thousands of UN staff members working at duty stations all over the world. UN staff members are recruited internationally and locally, and work in duty stations and on peacekeeping missions. Serving the cause of peace in a violent world is a dangerous occupation. Since the founding of the United Nations, hundreds of brave men and women have given their lives in its service.

The Secretariat is organized along departmental lines, with each department or office having a distinct area of action and responsibility. Offices and departments coordinate with each other to ensure cohesion in the UN’s programme of work. Much of the UN Secretariat is located in New York City, USA.  The UN also has three major Offices outside of its Headquarters and five Regional Economic Commissions. 




The Secretary-General is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations and head of the UN Secretariat.

Offices and Departments at Headquarters in New York


Executive Office of the Secretary-General

Office of Internal Oversight Services

Office of Legal Affairs

Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

Office for Disarmament Affairs

Department of Peace Operations

Department of Operational Support

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT)

Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Development Coordination Office

Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Department of Global Communications

Department of Safety and Security

Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance

Special Advisers, Representatives, Advocates and Envoys

United Nations Ombudsman

Internal Justice Bodies

Other Entities



Offices Outside the Main Headquarters


UN Regional Commissions