A new paper from Paul Novosad and Eric Werker:
We examine, over a 60 year period, the nationalities of the most senior positions in the United Nations Secretariat, ostensibly the world’s most representative international institution.
…The most overrepresented countries are small, rich democracies like the Nordic countries. Statistically, democracy, investment in diplomacy, and economic/military power are predictors of senior positions–even after controlling for the U.N. staffing mandate of competence and integrity.
National control over the United Nations is remarkably sticky; however the in influence of the United States has diminished as US ideology has shifted away from its early allies. In spite of the decline in US influence, the Secretariat remains pro-American relative to the world at large.