The Secretariat is the administrative organ of the UN. It services the other principal organs of the United Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them. At its head is the Secretary General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council to a five-year term. The current Secretary General is Ban Ki-moon, elected in 2007.
The duties carried out by the Secretariat are as varied as the problems dealt with by the UN. These range from administering peacekeeping operations to mediating international disputes, from surveying economic and social trends and problems to preparing studies on human rights and sustainable development. The Secretariat also informs the media about the work of the UN, organises international conferences, interprets speeches and translates documents.