How the General Assembly functions


The General Assembly (GA) is the forum where all 193 member states meet to discuss global problems and develop new principles, concepts and norms. It is the closest thing to a world parliament. Each member state, large or small, rich or poor, has one vote.

It has a president and 17 vice presidents. The presidency rotates each year and the GA’s work is predominantly done through a number of committees.


These are charged with such specific issues as Disarmament and International Security, economic and financial questions, and social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

The full membership of the General Assembly meets annually – generally from September to December to vote on resolutions put forward by member states. While the assembly’s decisions are not binding on member states, they carry weight of the opinion of the world’s governments.


The UN Charter gave the General Assembly an important role in the development of international law (Article 13). Over time, the General Assembly has produced a large number of multilateral law-making treaties, including:

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