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General Assembly

All member states have seats in the General Assembly. The Assembly can discuss all matters within the scope of the UN Charter. Its recommendations carry moral weight as an expression of world opinion; however, the General Assembly cannot compel action by any nation. Decisions on important questions - peace and security, admission or expulsion of members, budgetary matters - need a two-thirds majority. For other issues, only a simple majority is required.

The regular session of the General Assembly begins each year in mid-September and continues until mid-December. Special or emergency sessions are sometimes convened when circumstances warrant. When the Assembly is not in session, its business is conducted within special organs and committees.

The General Assembly receives reports from all other UN organs, appoints the Secretary-General and members of other UN bodies, approves the budget, and directs the work of the Secretariat.

The General Assembly has six main committees:

  • Disarmament and International Security Committee;
  • Economic and Financial Committee;
  • Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee;
  • Special Political and Decolonization Committee;
  • Administrative and Budgetary Committee;
  • and Legal Committee.

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Date Modified:
2011-04-05