United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is returning to in-person format this year after being held virtually last year due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides the pandemic, the pressing issues under discussion at UNGA 2021 include the political crisis in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops and return of Taliban, the coup in Myanmar, climate crisis, and the missile tests by North Korea.
UNGA - History and Significance
UNGA was established in 1945 under the Charter of United Nations. The General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations.
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. Also, it plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law.
Empowered to make recommendations
The Assembly is empowered to make recommendations to States on international issues within its competence.
It meets from September to December each year, and thereafter, from January to September, as required, including to take up outstanding reports from the fourth and fifth Committees. During the resumed part of the session, the assembly considers current issues of critical importance to the international community.
According to the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly may- Consider and approve the United Nations budget and establish the financial assessments of member states; Elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council and the members of other United Nations councils and organs and, appoint the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council; Consider and make recommendations on the general principles of cooperation for maintaining international peace and security, including disarmament; Discuss any question relating to international peace and security; Initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation, realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and much more.
Assembly’s annual general debate
The Assembly’s annual general debate provides the member states with an opportunity to express their views on major international issues. On this occasion, the Secretary-General presents on the opening day of the debate his report on the work of the Organization