UN General Assembly

Article

May 28, 2022

The General Assembly is the highest body of the United Nations. All Member States are represented in it. The General Assembly is headed by a chairman. The General Assembly discusses all issues related to the UN Charter, the administration of other major bodies and elects their members. The first UN General Assembly was held in January 1946 in London, where the League of Nations was dissolved at the same time.

Six main committees

The General Assembly consists of committees and commissions as auxiliary bodies. There are six main committees: First Committee - Committee on Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), Second Committee - Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), Third Committee - Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), Fourth Committee - Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) Fifth Committee - the Administrative and Budget Committee, Sixth Committee - Legal Committee. The Chairman, Vice-Chairmen of the General Assembly and the chairs of these committees form the so-called General Committee.

Voting in the General Assembly

for common issues (eg the program) an absolute majority of the voters present is required, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required for essential matters, such as the admission of new members, the election of judges of the International Court of Justice requires an absolute majority of all members, a two-thirds majority of all members is required for the revision of the Charter, in political matters, decisions are taken by consensus of all Member States (consensus means general agreement). If someone makes a comment, it is further negotiated, if it does not, it is considered approved and is not discussed further. Each Member State has one vote. The voters present are those who are physically present.

Chairman of the General Assembly

The General Assembly sessions begin in September each year. The presidency rotates each year between 5 geographical regions: Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe and others. Representatives of the largest and most powerful states, such as the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France (permanent members of the Security Council) and Japan, have never presided over the General Assembly. Jan Kavan was Chairman of the General Assembly during its 57th session (2002/03).

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