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Encyclopedia > United Nations General Assembly
  United Nations General Assembly
 

Spanish president in the General Assembly in New York
Org type: Principal Organ
Acronyms: GA, UNGA
Head: President of the UN General Assembly
As of 18 September 2007
Srgjan Kerim
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Status: Active
Established: 1945
Website: www.un.org/ga
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Commons:Category:United Nations General Assembly United Nations General Assembly
Portal: Portal:United Nations United Nations Portal

Membership For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see: The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly on a yearly basis. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Srgjan Kerim Dr. Srgjan Kerim (Macedonian: ) was Macedonian Foreign Minister in 2000 and 2001. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA / GA) is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.[1] It has also established a wide number of subsidiary organs.[2] The following article helps to explain the structure of the United Nations General Assembly, the universal decision-making body of the United Nations. ... In addition to the current 191 member states, the United Nations welcomes several other international agencies, entities, and one non-member state (for several years prior to their admission after a referendum in 2002, Switzerland was also an observer state). ... While the United Nations is an international organization, the United Nations System is the whole network of international organizations, treaties and conventions that were created by the United Nations. ... UN redirects here. ... A session of the Security Council in progress The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. ... UN redirects here. ... A United Nations General Assembly Resolution is voted on by all member states of the United Nations in the General Assembly and requires a simple majority (50% of all votes plus one) to pass (with the exception of important questions which require two-thirds majority). Although General Assembly resolutions are...


The General Assembly meets under its president or secretary general in regular yearly sessions which last from September to December, although it can reconvene for special and emergency special sessions. Its composition, functions, powers, voting, and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter. The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly on a yearly basis. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Charter of the United Nations#Chapter IV - The General Assembly Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter contains the Charters provisions dealing with the UN General Assembly, specifically its composition, functions, powers, voting, and procedures. ...


The first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations. is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Methodist Central Hall, London Westminster Central Hall, Westminster Methodist Hall or Methodist Central Hall Westminster is a building in London, England. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Voting in the General Assembly on important questions – recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; budgetary matters – is by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Other questions are decided by majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, including adoption of a scale of assessment, Assembly resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security under Security Council consideration. The one state, one vote power structure theoretically allows states comprising just eight percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote. One state, one vote is a system of representation in which each state in a federation has equal representation. ...


During the 1980s, the Assembly became a forum for the North-South dialogue – the discussion of issues between industrialized nations and developing countries. These issues came to the fore because of the phenomenal growth and changing makeup of the UN membership. In 1945, the UN had 51 members. It now has 192, of which more than two-thirds are developing countries. Because of their numbers, developing countries are often able to determine the agenda of the Assembly (using coordinating groups like the G77), the character of its debates, and the nature of its decisions. For many developing countries, the UN is the source of much of their diplomatic influence and the principal outlet for their foreign relations initiatives.  Newly industrialized countries  Other emerging markets  Other developing economies  High income  Upper-middle income  Lower-middle income  Low income A developing country is that country which has a relatively low standard of living, an undeveloped industrial base, and a moderate to low Human Development Index (HDI) score and per capita... link titlelink titlelink titlelink titlelink title--210. ...

Contents

The agenda

The agenda for each session is planned up to seven months in advance and begins with the release of a preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda.[3] This is refined into a provisional agenda sixty days before the opening of the session. After the session begins the final agenda is adopted in a plenary meeting which allocates the work to the various Main Committees who later submit reports back to the Assembly for adoption by consensus or by vote.


Items on the agenda are numbered. Several items may be discussed in a single plenary session. Also, discussions on a topic of the agenda can continue across separate meetings months apart.


General Assembly resolutions

See also: United Nations General Assembly Resolution and United Nations Document Codes

The General Assembly votes on many resolutions brought forth by sponsoring states. These are generally symbolic statements covering an array of world issues. Most General Assembly resolutions, while symbolic of the sense of the international community, are not enforceable as a legal or practical matter as the General Assembly lacks enforcement powers with respect to most issues. However, the old classic concept according to which General Assembly resolutions have no legal effect must be discarded today. Not only does the General Assembly have authority to make final decisions in some areas such as the United Nations budget, but many resolutions may also be constitutive or proof of international customary law, and therefore binding on member states[4]. A United Nations General Assembly Resolution is voted on by all member states of the United Nations in the General Assembly and requires a simple majority (50% of all votes plus one) to pass (with the exception of important questions which require two-thirds majority). All General Assembly resolutions are... The principle organs of the United Nations System issue official documents in six languages under the United Nations masthead with a unique document code for reference. ...


From the First to the Thirtieth General Assembly sessions, all General Assembly resolutions were numbered consecutively, with the resolution number followed by the session number in Roman numbers (for example, Resolution 1514 (XV), which was the 1514th numbered resolution adopted by the Assembly, and was adopted at the Fifteenth Regular Session (1960)). Beginning with the Thirty-First Session, resolutions are numbered by individual session (for example Resolution 41/10 represents the 10th resolution adopted at the Forty-First Session).


Special sessions

A meeting of the General Assembly in New York
A meeting of the General Assembly in New York

Special sessions may be convened at the request of the UN Security Council, or a majority of UN members, or, if the majority concurs, of a single member. A special session was held in October 1995 at the head of government level to commemorate the UN's 50th anniversary. Another special session was held in September 2000 to celebrate the millennium; it put forward the Millennium Development Goals. A further special session (2005 World Summit) was held in September 2005 to commemorate the UN's 60th anniversary; it assessed progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and discussed Kofi Annan's In Larger Freedom proposals. Image File history File links Unpicture. ... Image File history File links Unpicture. ... A session of the Security Council in progress The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. ... The Millenium Development Goals The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. ... UN headquarters in New York City The 2005 World Summit, 14–16 September 2005, was a follow-up summit meeting to the United Nations 2000 Millennium Summit, which led to the Millennium Declaration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). ... Kofi Atta Annan GCMG (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2007, serving two five-year terms. ...


At the first Special Session of the UN General Assembly held in 1947, Oswaldo Aranha, then president of the Special Session, began a tradition that has remained until today whereby the first speaker at this major international forum is always a Brazilian.[5] Painting of Oswaldo Aranha Oswaldo Euclides de Souza Aranha (1894-1960) was a Brazilian politician, diplomat and statesman. ...


Emergency special sessions

The General Assembly may take action on maintaining international peace and security if the UN Security Council is unable, usually due to disagreement among the permanent members, to exercise its primary responsibility. If not in session at the time, the General Assembly may meet in emergency special session[6] within twenty-four hours of the request thereof. Such emergency special sessions shall be called if requested by the Security Council on the vote of any seven members, or by a majority of the Members of the United Nations. A session of the Security Council in progress The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. ... An emergency special session is an unscheduled meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to make urgent decisions over a particular issue. ...


The "Uniting for Peace" resolution, adopted 3 November 1950, empowered the Assembly to convene in emergency special session in order to recommend collective measures – including the use of armed force – in the event of a breach of the peace or act of aggression. As with all Assembly resolutions, two-thirds of UN Members 'present and voting' must approve any such recommendation before it can be formally adopted by the Assembly. Emergency special sessions have been convened under this procedure on ten occasions. The two most recent, in 1982 and 1997 through 2003 respectively, have both been convened in response to actions by the State of Israel. The ninth considered the situation in the occupied Arab territories following Israel's unilateral extension of its laws, jurisdiction, and administration to the Golan Heights. The tenth was triggered by the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and dealt with the issue of Palestine. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 377, also known as the Uniting for Peace Resolution, states that, in the event that the UN Security Council cannot maintain international peace, a matter can be taken up by the General Assembly. ... is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Tenth emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly centered on the Palestine issue: the ongoing dispute and conflict over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. ... East Jerusalem is that part of Jerusalem which was held by Jordan from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until the Six-Day War in 1967. ... This article is about the Palestinian territories as a geopolitical phenomenon. ...


Subsidiary organs

The General Assembly subsidiary organs are divided into five categories: committees (30 total, six main), commissions (seven), boards (six), councils and panels (five), working groups, and "other".


Committees

Main committees

The main committees are ordinally numbered, 1-6: In set theory, ordinal, ordinal number, and transfinite ordinal number refer to a type of number introduced by Georg Cantor in 1897, to accommodate infinite sequences and to classify sets with certain kinds of order structures on them. ...

  • The First Committee: Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)
  • The Second Committee: Economic and Financial (ECOFIN)
  • The Third Committee: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural (SOCHUM)
  • The Fourth Committee: Special Political and Decolonization (SPECPOL)
  • The Fifth Committee: Administrative and Budgetary
  • The Sixth Committee: Legal

The roles of some of the main committees have changed over time. Until the late 1970s, the First Committee was the Political and Security Committee (POLISEC) and there was also a sufficient number of additional "Political" matters that an additional, unnumbered main committee, called the Special Political Committee, also sat. The Fourth Committee formerly handled Trusteeship and Decolonization matters. With the decreasing number of such matters to be addressed as the trust territories attained independence and the decolonization movement progressed, the functions of the Special Political Committee were merged into the Fourth Committee during the 1990s. The First Committee is one of six main committees at the General Assembly of the United Nations which deals with matters concerning world peace. ... National motto: ? Official language English? Capital Saipan Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 78 (United States) 1,779 km² Negligible Population  - Total  - Density 132,929 (1980) N/A km² GDP  - Total  - GDP/head N/A Currency US Dollar Time zone UTC: ? Independence  â€“ TTPI Began  â€“ TTPI Ended (From the US administered UN trusteeship... Colonialism in 1945 Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the establishment of governance or authority through the creation of settlements by another country or jurisdiction. ...


Each main committee consists of all the members of the General Assembly. Each elects a chairman, three vice chairmen, and a rapporteur at the outset of each regular General Assembly session.


Other committees

These are not numbered. According to the General Assembly website, the most important are:

  • Credentials Committee – This committee is charged with ensuring that the diplomatic credentials of all UN representatives are in order. The Credentials Committee consists of nine Member States elected early in each regular General Assembly session.
  • General Committee – This is supervisory committee entrusted with ensuring that the whole meeting of the Assembly goes smoothly. The General Committee consists of the president and vice presidents of the current General Assembly session and the chairman of each of the six Main Committees.

Other committees of the General Assembly are enumerated in this list. Look up credential in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Commissions

There are seven commissions:

  • Disarmament Commission, established by GA Resolution 502 (VI) and S-10/2
  • International Civil Service Commission, established by GA Resolution 3357 (XXIX)
  • International Law Commission, established by GA Resolution 174 (II)
  • United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), established by GA Resolution 2205 (XXI)
  • United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established by GA Resolution 194 (III)
  • United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, established by GA Resolution 60/180 and UN Security Council Resolutions 1645 (2005) and 1646 (2005)]

Despite its name, the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was actually a subsidiary body of ECOSOC. The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 with the purpose of codifying and promoting international law. ... The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a body of member and observer states under the auspicies of the United Nations. ... The Peacebuilding Commission was established in December 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council acting concurrently. ... United Nations Commission on Human Rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ...


Boards

There are six boards.


Councils and panels

The most important (as well as the newest) council is the United Nations Human Rights Council, which replaced the aforementioned UNCHR in March 2006. The United Nations Human Rights Council is an international body within the United Nations System. ...


There are a total of four councils and one panel.


Working Groups and other

There is a varied group of working groups and other subsidiary bodies.


General Assembly reform and UNPA

See also: United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

On 21 March 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented a report, In Larger Freedom, that criticized the General Assembly for focusing so much on consensus that it was passing watered-down resolutions reflecting "the lowest common denominator of widely different opinions". He also criticized the Assembly for trying to address too broad an agenda, instead of focusing on "the major substantive issues of the day, such as international migration and the long-debated comprehensive convention on terrorism". Annan recommended streamlining the General Assembly's agenda, committee structure, and procedures; strengthening the role and authority of its president; enhancing the role of civil society; and establishing a mechanism to review the decisions of its committees, in order to minimize unfunded mandates and micromanagement of the UN Secretariat. Annan reminded UN members of their responsibility to implement reforms, if they expect to realize improvements in UN effectiveness.[7] A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, or United Nations Peoples Assembly (UNPA), is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that eventually would allow for direct election of UN delegates by citizens of member states. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United Nations Secretary-General is the head of the Secretariat, one of the principal divisions of the United Nations. ... Kofi Atta Annan GCMG (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1997 to January 1, 2007, serving two five-year terms. ... Net migration rates for 2006: positive (blue), negative (orange) and stable (green). ... Terrorist redirects here. ... The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly on a yearly basis. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system) and commercial institutions. ... An unfunded mandate is a statute that requires government or private parties to carry out specific actions, but does not appropriate any funds for that purpose. ... In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. ... The United Nations Secretariat is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. ...


A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, or United Nations People's Assembly (UNPA), is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that eventually could allow for direct election of UN parliament members by citizens all over the world.


See also

The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly on a yearly basis. ... The below is a list of the ambassadors to the United Nations, together with their country, and when their position was last confirmed. ... In recent years, there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations. ... The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. ... While the United Nations is an international organization, the United Nations System is the whole network of international organizations, treaties and conventions that were created by the United Nations. ... A session of the Security Council in progress The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. ... The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ... The event was broadcast on NBC in the United States The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song was a benefit concert of popular music held in the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on January 9, 1979. ... The UNIS-UN Logo The UNIS-UN Conference is organized and run by high school students from the United Nations International School (UNIS). ... A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, or United Nations Peoples Assembly (UNPA), is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that eventually would allow for direct election of UN delegates by citizens of member states. ... The United Nations Interpretation Service is a part of the Meetings and Publishing Division (MPD) of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management(DGACM). ...

Notes

  1. ^ CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS: Chapter IV. UN.org.
  2. ^ General Assembly: Subsidiary organs. UN.org.
  3. ^ Research Guide: General Assembly. caitlinUnited Nations.
  4. ^ ICJ Advisory Opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons (1996)par. 70
  5. ^ Historical Personalities and Diplomats: Oswaldo Aranha. Brazilian Ministry of External Relations.
  6. ^ UNGA Emergency Special Sessions. UN.org.
  7. ^ In Larger Freedom, Chapter 5. United Nations.

External links

United Nations General Assembly
Wikisource has several original texts related to:
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