Thursday, 10 January 2013

On this Day: 10th January 1946 – The first General Assembly of the United Nations opens in London

The General Assembly meets under its president or Secretary-General in regular yearly sessions the main part of which lasts from September to December and resumed part from January until all issues are addressed (which often is just before the next session's start). It can also reconvene for special and emergency special sessions. Its composition, functions, powers, voting, and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter.

Delegates of fifty nations met at San Francisco between April 25 and June 26, 1945. Working on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, the Yalta Agreement, and amendments proposed by various Governments, the Conference agreed upon the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the New International Court of Justice. The Charter was passed unanimously and signed by all the representatives. It came into force on October 24, 1945, when China, France, the USSR, the United Kingdom, and the United States and a majority of the other signatories had filed their instruments of ratification.

The first session of the General Assembly was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.

Voting in the General Assembly on important questions – recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; budgetary matters – is by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Other questions are decided by majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, including adoption of a scale of assessment, Assembly resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security under Security Council consideration. The one state, one vote power structure theoretically allows states comprising just eighteen percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote.

Photo Legacy: Making your memories last forever

Research courtesy of Wikipedia

Images courtesy of The United Nations Photo under The Commons Agreement


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