- Topic 1 – Children in Armed Conflict
Background Report: Use of Children in Armed Conflict
- Topic 2 – International Trade Barriers
Background Report: International Trade Barriers
Description of the Committee
The first principal organ mentioned in the United Nations Charter is the General Assembly- the main deliberative body of the United Nations. As the primary forum for international debate and cooperation, the G.A. iscomposed of representatives from all 192 U.N. memberstates; and in turn, every member state has one vote.
The G.A. has become many countries’ principal diplomatic connection with the global community. All members of the assembly have the opportunity to voice their concerns, convey their opinions, and directly participate in global decision-making. But the G.A. itself negotiates a difficult role. While the body brings together the countries of the world for debate and compromise, its every action is dictated by respect for national sovereignty- the right of each country to manage its own affairs without outside influence.
The General Assembly is empowered to consider any topic within the scope of the United Nations’ work, except for issues of peace and security that are being debated by the Security Council. The G.A. can initiate studies on international issues, recommend action from member states and U.N. bodies, and develop and codify international law.
The General Assembly cannot require nations to take action, nor can it issue sanctions or military responses. Decisions on most issues before the Assembly require a simple majority to pass.