The General Assembly will hold its annual general debate for nine working days, from Tuesday to Friday, 19 to 29 September 2006, providing Member States with the opportunity to express their views on major international issues.
The sixty-first session will mark the second time that the general debate will be held with a theme proposed to Member States by the incoming President, as envisaged by Assembly resolution 58/126.
The suggested theme for the sixty-first session is "Implementing a global partnership for development".
The Secretary-General will present his report on the work of the Organization immediately prior to the general debate, a practice that began with the fifty-second session.
With the close of the general debate, the Assembly begins consideration of the substantive items on its agenda. Because of the great number of questions it is called upon to consider (160 agenda items at the sixtieth session, for example), the Assembly allocates items relevant to its work among its six Main Committees, which discuss them, seeking where possible to harmonize the various approaches of States, and then present to a plenary meeting of the Assembly draft resolutions and decisions for consideration. The Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee) is concerned with disarmament and related international security questions. The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) deals with a variety of political subjects not dealt with by the First Committee, as well as with decolonization. The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) is concerned with economic questions. The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) deals with social and humanitarian issues. The Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee) deals with the administration and budget of the United Nations, and the Legal Committee (Sixth Committee) deals with international legal matters.
On a number of agenda items, however, such as the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly acts directly in its plenary meetings.