The General Assembly (GA)

(Non Ad Hoc)

The General Assembly of the United Nations consists of all 193 member nations and therefore occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ. In the GA, all member nations have equal representation. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions. The GA meets in annual sessions, lasting from September to December. When the GA votes on very serious issues, a two-third majority of those present and voting is needed. Each member nation has one vote. The GA votes on many resolutions, which are generally symbolic statements covering an array of world issues. Most General Assembly resolutions, while symbolic of the sense of the international community, are not enforceable as a legal or practical matter as the General Assembly lacks enforcement powers with respect to most issues. There are also a lot of subsidiary organs established. With the close of the general debate, the Assembly begins consideration of the substantive items on its agenda. Due to the great number of questions it is called upon to consider, 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 six main committees are:

  1. First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee) is concerned with disarmament and related international security questions;
  2. Second Committee (Economic and Financial Committee) is concerned with economic questions;
  3. Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee) deals with social and humanitarian issues;
  4. Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) deals with a variety of political subjects not dealt with by the First Committee, as well as with decolonization;
  5. Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) deals with the administration and budget of the United Nations; and
  6. Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) deals with international legal matters.

At HMUN, we simulate the First, the Second, the Third and the Fourth Committee.