A Grunt’s View of U.N. Leadership


An internal U.N. survey shows that the bosses think they are doing a better job than their employees do.

The vast majority of U.N. workers—89 percent—say they are proud to work for their international organization, which keeps the peace in far-flung war zones, tends to natural and humanitarian disasters, and promotes the global response to issues such as climate change and pandemics.

But drill down deeper into the lower ranks of the U.N. Secretariat and you will find far less confidence in the leadership’s ability to position the world body to confront the challenges ahead. When he came into office just over three years ago, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres undertook a major reform of the U.N. Secretariat, restructuring divisions that deal with peace and security, development and management.

So, how has that been going? Depends who you ask.

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