UN General Assembly

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  • UNGA
    • Role
      • All 193 members are UNGA members and each state has one vote. The GA can debate any issue within the scope of the UN Charter. Some important issues (like those connected with peace and security and agreeing the UN budget) require a 2/3 majority. GA best seen as a deliberative rather than legislative body.
    • Strengths
      • Provides the only global forum for multinational debate of international issues. It's the closest we have yet come to a liberal institution of global governance or a 'parliament of nations'.
      • Based upon sovereign equality of all nation states, so each state has one vote. Unlike in most institutions, like the WTO, powerful states can't dominate lesser states.
      • By giving equal weight to interests of all states, it enables even marginal powers to voice their opinions. Its resolutions are non-binding but carry great weight because they're based on the achievement of a truly global consensus.
        • GA has played an important role in establishing a more global response to climate change.
    • Criticisms
      • Criticised for being a 'talk shop' which is irrelevant to pressing global issues.
      • The equality of nation states means that consensus is difficult to achieve.
      • Its resolutions are non-binding and unenforceable so can soon become irrelevant, undermining the credibility of the GA.


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