The United Nations General Assembly

One of the best known organs of the United Nations is the General Assembly. This is where world leaders come to deliver keynote speeches to the leaders of other member states.

But the General Assembly is also the supreme policy setting wing of the United Nations and deliberations on any matter are always on equal footing, given that there is equal representation, which literally means that each country has a vote and a completely equal say on any matter related to the agenda.

The General Assembly is also tasked with implementing the United Nations budget and making sure that there are no cost over runs and that everything is done in a completely accountable and transparent manner.

It also appoints the non-permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, which deals with matters such as strife, terrorism, war and destabilising behaviour by any sovereign state or criminal organisation.

It usually convenes under the auspices of the UN Secretary General or the President in a yearly session that brings together leaders from around the world. Before world leaders descend on the assembly, a lot of ground work is done by the representatives of each country before any formal decisions are taken.

If there are any pressing matters that need the UN’s attention and a formal discussion, an ad hoc assembly can be called to hammer out a course of action.

Many of the UN’s members are developing countries and therefore, due to the nature of the equal representation vote, these nations usually set the agenda. This contrasts starkly with the UN Security Council which is dominated by much larger nations that have the capability to deploy troops and assets in times of crisis.

It does however, have the power to force the Security Council to take action on a matter if one of its permanent members votes against a particular issue.

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