United Nations General Assembly

The General Assembly of the United Nations (English United Nations General Assembly, UNGA ) is the Assembly of the Member States of the United Nations. It occurs annually in September at the UN headquarters in New York. Each Member State may be represented by up to five people at a meeting.

The General Assembly shall consider and approve the budget of the United Nations (Article 17 I UN Charter). Her other responsibilities include advising and recommending the adoption of resolutions. The General Assembly may deal with virtually any question of international importance, as long as it is not treated the same by the Security Council (Article 10 of the UN Charter ).

Unlike resolutions of the UN Security Council that the UN General Assembly are not binding under international law, however, can thus have political weight that they represent a decision of a majority of the Member States. But that does not mean that their decisions must under international law are of no effect: help the resolutions of the UNGA can under certain conditions lead to the formation of a binding customary international law. In addition, the decisions of the UNGA, the internal organizational matters such as administrative or budget affairs ( budget ) relate to, be binding on the Secretary.

To facilitate the work, the General Committee (Committees ) has set up on various topics, which in turn may convene working groups.

Main Committees

The Main Committees of the General Assembly are:


Each Member State has one vote in the General Assembly (Article 18 of the UN Charter ), that is the voice of each state is worth the same. On criteria such as size, population or economic power, it does not matter. Decisions are made on major issues by a majority of two thirds of the members present and voting. These include, for example:

  • Recommendations regarding the maintenance of world peace and international security
  • The election of the non - permanent members of the Security Council and other principal organs
  • The admission of new members
  • The suspension of rights of a state of membership
  • The exclusion of members
  • Budget issues

In other matters, a resolution shall be taken by simple majority.

UN reform

The UN General Assembly is no parliament. It is a gathering of bound by instructions, diplomatic officials of the governments of the UN member states without a direct democratic legitimacy through elections. The designation of the UN General Assembly as a " world parliament " is therefore misleading.

In the course of reform efforts a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations has been proposed to add to the United Nations system that could be composed of delegates. Such could be established as a subsidiary body to the General Assembly under Article 22 of the UN Charter.