The General Assembly is made up of all 193 member countries, each with one vote. It undertakes all major discussions and decisions about UN actions. It is like a global town hall, providing a powerful medium for countries to put forward their ideas and debate issues. The Assembly can discuss and make recommendations on any issue covered by the UN’s charter. However, the recommendations are not binding and the Assembly has no authority to enforce them. Members decide routine matters with a simple majority vote. Important decisions require a two-thirds majority.
The General Assembly meets annually in regular sessions that generally run from mid-September to mid-December. Recently the General Assembly has been meeting year round. It also convenes for special sessions every few years on specific topics, such as economic cooperation or disarmament. In addition, the Assembly can meet in emergency session to deal with an immediate threat to international peace. At the beginning of each regular session, the General Assembly members elect a president to preside over the assembly. The General Assembly has the power to admit new members to the UN. It approves the budget for UN programs and operations. The Assembly can establish agencies and programs to carry out its recommendations and elects members to serve on certain agencies and programs, and it coordinates those programs through various committees.