United Nations General Assembly


July 1, 2022

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the five major organs of the United Nations. It is composed of all member states of the United Nations and meets in regular annual sessions convened by a president elected by a majority of representatives. As the only UN body in which all member states have representatives, the Assembly serves as a forum for members to discuss issues of international law and make decisions on the further functioning of the organization.


The regular annual session of the General Assembly usually begins on the third Tuesday in September and ends in mid-December, with the election of the President of the General Assembly at the beginning of each session. The general session begins when all members appear at the session within 6 days. Traditionally, the Secretary General addresses the Assembly first, followed by the President of the Assembly and the Brazilian representative. The first session was held on January 10, 1946, in the Central Hall of the Palace of Westminster in London, which was attended by 51 countries. For voting at the General Assembly on important issues - debates on peace and security; re-election of members of the body; accession, suspension, and expulsion of members; budget issues - a two-thirds majority of the members present at the session are required. Other issues are voted by a simple majority. Each member has one vote. Apart from voting on the new budget, including the level of taxes for members, parliamentary resolutions are not binding on members. The Assembly makes recommendations on any issue concerning the UN, except on issues of peace and security which are within the competence of the Security Council. The one-country, one-vote system theoretically allows countries that make up 8% of the world's population to vote for a resolution with a two-thirds majority. During the 1980s, the Assembly became a place of North-South dialogue - a debate on the relationship between industrialized and developing countries. These issues have become significant due to the accelerated growth and change in the composition of the UN. During 1945, the United Nations had 51 members. There are now 193, of which more than two-thirds are developing countries. Because of their numbers, developing countries are often able to identify themes d