This is a sharp insight into the heart of the United Nations. Behind the public face of its Secretary General, Kofi Annan is a core of advisors and officials, this book examines them in close detail. This UN is facing tremendous pressures from today's world and is a crucial part of its future. The office of UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat exercise policy functions that are the closest we have to a central point for responding to global interests. Recent incumbents such as Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan have had a profound political impact on the global stage. This book explains the history, structure, functions and the new challenges faced by the institution in the core of the UN. This book: * gives special attention to policy development by the Secretary General * makes clear the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation * details the solid and substantive work of the UN by avoiding its debating functions. Written by a world authority on the subject, this is the ideal introduction for students of the UN, international organisations and global governance.