The UN General Assembly (UNGA) was created in 1945 as the main policy-making organ of the Organization of the United Nations. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote.
The UNGA also makes key decisions for the UN, including:
• appointing the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council
• electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council
• approving the UN budget
The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items, which lead to the adoption of resolutions. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by a two-thirds majority. Other matters are decided by simple majority. Many decisions are reached by consensus without a formal vote.
Although the General Assembly’s recommendations on global issues are an important expression of world opinion, the Assembly cannot force a Member State to follow its recommendations on a particular issue.