Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

About Development

About Development

Role of the General Assembly

All UN Member States are represented in the General Assembly — a "parliament of nations" which meets regularly and in special sessions to consider the world's most pressing problems. Each Member State has one vote. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by two-thirds majority. Other matters are decided by simple majority. In recent years, a special effort has been made to reach decisions through consensus, rather than by taking a formal vote. The Assembly cannot force action by any State, but its recommendations are an important indication of world opinion and represent the moral authority of the community of nations.

The Assembly holds its annual regular session from September to December. When necessary, it may resume its session or hold a special or emergency session on subjects of particular concern. Its work is also carried out by its six Main Committees, other subsidiary bodies and the UN Secretariat.

During the main part of its 2008 session, the Assembly took up more than 150 different topics, including United Nations reform, restoring respect for the rule of law, the needs of small island developing States, climate change and related humanitarian dangers, and participation by all States in the global trading system. It addressed the situation in many different countries and regions, including Iraq and the Darfur region of the Sudan.

(Source The UN in brief)