The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is composed of representatives of all member states, each of which has one vote. Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority.

Functions and powers of the General Assembly

As set out in the Charter of the United Nations, the functions and powers of the United Nations General Assembly are:

Pursuant to its "Uniting for Peace" resolution of November 1950 (resolution 377 (V)), the Assembly may also take action if the Security Council fails to act, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member, in a case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Assembly can consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to Members for collective measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.

While the Assembly is empowered to make only non-binding recommendations to States on international issues within its competence, it has, nonetheless, initiated actions - political, economic, humanitarian, social and legal - which have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The landmark Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, reflects the commitment of Member States to reach specific goals spelled out in the Declaration to attain peace, security and disarmament along with development and poverty eradication, to protect our common environment, to meet the special needs of Africa and to strengthen the United Nations.

About the General Assembly