Austria in the UN
Functions and Powers of the United Nations General Assembly
Founded in 1945 under the UN Charter, the General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. It is made up of all 192 Members of the United Nations and regularly meets to discuss important issues related to international peace and security on a multilateral level. It also elects the non-permanent members of the Security Council.
Safeguarding human rights and promoting the rule of law are the foundation of every decision reached and recommendation made by the Assembly. Even though the Assembly may only make non-binding recommendations to States, those recommendations by the international community have often led to actions on an economic, humanitarian, social and legal level which helped improve living conditions for millions of people. Each member state has one vote. Rather than on a collection of individual votes, the Assembly strives to make every decision based on a broad consensus. Every decision has to be made with a two third majority.
The Millenium Declaration, adopted in 2000, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document reflect the commitment of Member States to reach specific goals to:
- attain peace, security and disarmament along with development and poverty eradication;
- safeguard human rights and promote the rule of law;
- protect our common environment;
- meet the special needs of Africa and
- strengthen the United Nations.
From September to December each year, the UN General Assembly meets for intense working sessions. The Agenda of each regular session is categorized into nine main sections: International peace and security; Economic growth and sustainable development; Development in Africa; Promotion of human rights; Humanitarian and disaster relief assistance; Justice and International Law; Disarmament; Drugs, crime, international terrorism; and Organizational and administrative matters.