General Assembly Committee 1 -
Disarmament and International Security
The First Committee deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks solutions to the challenges in the international security system. It considers all disarmament and international security matters within the scope of the UN Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any other organ of the United Nations; the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments; promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments.
Assembly Committee 2 - Economic and Financial
The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the General Assembly deals with issues relating to economic growth and development such as macroeconomic policy questions; financing for development; sustainable development; human settlements; globalization and interdependence; eradication of poverty; operational activities for development; agriculture development, food security and nutrition; information and communications technologies for development; and towards global partnerships. The Second Committee will also consider issues relating to groups of countries in special situations. It will also consider the item on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.
General Assembly Committee 3 - Social, Humanitarian & Cultural
The Third Committee of the General Assembly agenda items relate to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world. An important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006. The Committee also discusses questions relating to the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.
|General Assembly Committee 4 - Special Political & Decolonization
The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) considers a broad range of issues covering decolonization-related agenda items, the effects of atomic radiation, questions relating to information, a comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations. In addition to these annual items, the Committee also considers the items on Assistance in mine action.
|General Assembly Committee 6 - Legal
The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly. All of the United Nations Member States are entitled to representation on the Sixth Committee as one of the main committees of the General Assembly.
The Security Council
The Charter of the United Nations – an international treaty – obligates member states to settle their disputes by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered. They are to refrain from the threat or use of force against any state, and may bring the dispute before the Security Council.
The UN Charter gives the Security primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. In contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions.
There are 15 Council members. Five of these — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Member States continue to discuss changes in Council membership and working methods to reflect today’s political and economic realities. Decisions of the Council require nine yes votes. Except in votes on procedural questions, a decision cannot be made if there is a no vote, or veto, by a permanent member.
When the Council considers a threat to international peace, it first explores ways to settle the dispute peacefully. It may suggest principles to the parties for a peaceful settlement, appoint special representatives, ask the Secretary-General to use his good offices, or undertake investigation and mediation. It has developed and refined the use of non-military measures including arms embargoes, travel banks, and restrictions to guard against the exploitation of natural resources to fuel conflicts, as well as taking a lead role in the coordination of international counter-terrorism efforts. In the event that a dispute has erupted into armed conflict, the Council tries to secure a ceasefire. It may send a peacekeeping mission to help the parties maintain the truce and to keep opposing forces apart.
The Council may, in some cases, authorize the utilization of military force by a coalition of member states or by a regional organization or arrangement. This can only be carried out as a last resort when all possible peaceful means of settling a dispute have been exhausted, or after a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression have been determined to exist.
In order to hold combatants accountable for their actions, the Council has also created international tribunals to prosecute those accused of grave human rights violations and serious breaches of international humanitarian law, including genocide. In addition to its responsibility to maintain international peace and security, the Council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly to appoint a new Secretary-General and to admit new Members to the UN.
The Historical Council
This is a crisis committee where delegates are expected to work through difficult crises and come up with solutions which are both rapid and efficient in dealing with the situations. Thinking on your feet is an essential skill because this committee is trying to change history by thinking critically and quickly about what would be the best course of action prior to an impending event.