Source description last updated: 4 January 2021
In brief: The UN General Assembly is the main policymaking, deliberative and representative organ of the United Nations and the only organ in which all member nations have equal representation.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Selected reports (Special or Analytical Report, Periodical Report)
Covered monthly on ecoi.net for countries of priorities A-E.
“Comprised of all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. It also plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law.” (UN General Assembly website: Functions and powers of the General Assembly, undated)
“The Assembly is empowered to make recommendations to States on international issues within its competence. It has also initiated actions—political, economic, humanitarian, social and legal—which have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world.” (UN General Assembly website: Functions and Powers of the General Assembly, undated)
According to the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly may, amongst others, elect the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and appoint the Secretary-General, “[d]iscuss any question relating to international peace and security” and (unless an issue is currently being debated in the Security Council), make recommendations on the issue, and “[i]nitiate studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation, the development and codification of international law, the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and international collaboration in the economic, social, humanitarian, cultural, educational and health fields” and “[c]onsider reports from the Security Council and other United Nations organs” (UN General Assembly website: Functions and powers of the General Assembly, undated).
Reports of the UN Secretary-General are submitted to the UN General Assembly periodically “on topics related to the agenda for the session and on other topics as requested by a resolution” (Dag Hammarskjöld Library website: UN Documentation: General Assembly: Reports of the Secretary-General, undated).
UN Budget; the budget approved by the General Assembly for the year 2020 is 3.07 billion US dollars. (UN website: General Assembly Approves $3.07 Billion Programme Budget as It Adopts 22 Resolutions, 1 Decision to Conclude Main Part of Seventy-Fourth Session, 27 December 2019)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: All countries worldwide
Thematic focus: General situation, political developments, security situation, governance, human rights, humanitarian situation, justice, law and impunity, extrajudicial executions, peaceful settlements, military incursions, food and nutrition, refugees, political prisoners, human rights violations and accountability, discrimination against minorities, poverty, forced labor, democratization, political participation, etc.
Reports of the Secretary-General draw upon reports written by UN funds, missions, programmes and specialised agencies operating in the relevant regions, as well as on publicly available information. (see, for example, UN General Assembly: The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security, 18 August 2020 and UN General Assembly: Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, 1 October 2020)
Language(s) of publications:
English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese.
Further reading / links:
All links accessed 4 January 2021.