Politics & decision-making in the General Assembly

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The General Assembly is the place to set agendas of world politics, to get ideas endorsed or condemned, to have actions taken or rejected.

 

Any state can propose an agenda item, and a two-thirds majority is required to approve any resolution concerned with peace and security, admission of new members, and budgetary matters, while a simple majority of those present and voting is required on all other (‘non-important’) matters. 

The General Assembly is divided along regional lines and member states often form voting blocs and coalitions to coordinate positions on particular issues and build support for them.

 

Following the Cold War, the North-South coalitions tended to dominant assembly discussions and voting patterns. 

There has been a sustained effort to make the work of the General Assembly more focussed and relevant.

 

Efforts have included streamlining the agenda, improving procedural matters such as dates, promptness, rules of procedure, and voting, strengthening the role and authority of the President and examining the Assembly’s role in the process of selecting the Secretary-General. 

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