UN emblem and podium in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Workings of the General Assembly

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy-making organ of the Organization. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.

The UNGA also makes key decisions for the UN, including:

  • appointing the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council
  • electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council
  • approving the UN budget

The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items, which lead to the adoption of resolutions.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN General Assembly has been carrying out its work since 2020 via novel means to guarantee business continuity and mitigate the spread of the disease. Specific examples include the use of virtual platforms to conduct meetings and the adoption of e-voting through procedure for decision-making when an in-person meeting is not possible.

The pandemic is not the only issue the world faces. Racism, intolerance, inequality, climate change, poverty, hunger, armed conflict, and other ills remain global challenges. These challenges call for global action, and the General Assembly is a critical opportunity for all to come together and chart a course for the future.

 

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