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United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)- About, Composition and Key Functions

United Nations General Assembly- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)- About, Composition and Key Functions_40.1

 

United Nations General Assembly- Context

  • The 76th session of the UN General Assembly opened on 14 September 2021. On that day, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives was sworn in as the General Assembly President.
    • The General Debate will take place between 21-27 September 2021.
  • Prime Minister of India launched a defence of the state of democracy in India at the United Nations General Assembly while terming India the “mother of all democracies”.

National Financial Reporting Authority- Background, Formation and Key Functions

 

United Nations General Assembly- Key Points

  • About: Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations.
    • The UNGA is headed by its President, who is elected for a term of one year.
  • Composition: It comprises all 193 Members of the United Nations.
  • Mandate: provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter.
    • It also plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law.

United Nations Security Council: Composition, Functioning and Indian Engagement at UNSC

 

United Nations General Assembly- Decision making

  • Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote. It makes the following key decisions for the UN –
    • 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.
  • Decisions by voting: Generally, a simple majority is considered but in case of important decisions, a two-thirds majority is considered. Each member has one vote.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)- About, Composition and Key Functions_40.1

 

United Nations General Assembly- Key Functions

  • According to the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly may:
    • Consider and approve the United Nations budget and establish the financial assessments of Member States
    • Elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council and the members of other United Nations councils and organs and, on the recommendation of the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General
    • Consider and make recommendations on the general principles of cooperation for maintaining international peace and security, including disarmament
    • Discuss any question relating to international peace and security and, except where a dispute or situation is currently being discussed by the Security Council, make recommendations on it
    • Discuss, with the same exception, and make recommendations on any questions within the scope of the Charter or affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the United Nations
    • Initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation, the development and codification of international law, the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and international collaboration in the economic, social, humanitarian, cultural, educational and health fields
    • Make recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any situation that might impair friendly relations among countries
    • Consider reports from the Security Council and other United Nations organs.
  • It may also take action in cases of a threat to the peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression when the Security Council has failed to act owing to the negative vote of a permanent member.
    • In such instances, the Assembly may consider the matter immediately and recommend to its Members collective measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.

 

United Nations Security Council: Composition, Functioning and Indian Engagement at UNSC

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