Committee language: German
The General Assembly (for short UNGA) is the full assembly of the 193 member states of the UN. Each member state has one vote. Thus, the General Assembly is the most likely to live up to the principle of sovereign equality and the idea of giving all members a voice. The General Assembly meets annually at UN headquarters in New York City.
The General Assembly may discuss practically any issue of international importance that is not dealt with by the Security Council. Its tasks also include the adoption of the UN budget (UN Charter Article 17) and the admission of new member states.
The decisions (resolutions) of the General Assembly are not binding under international law, but only of a recommendatory nature, but are usually taken in consensus with all member states, i.e. unanimously.
Topics MUNHN 2021:
-Promotion of international free trade
Worldwide trade connections, often summarised under the buzzword of globalisation, are heavily criticised in times of the Coronavirus. But the disruption of supply chains last spring also showed how much the modern economy and society worldwide depend on functioning global trade. The answer to pressing issues such as environmental sustainability and ensuring fair and good working conditions cannot therefore be to stop global trade. Instead, the global community should ensure fair global trade through global regulation and cooperation, where all actors can benefit and a resource-efficient approach can be ensured. The transnational cooperation necessary for such regulations in the form of global governance should be discussed by the General Assembly. The General Assembly should, on the one hand, make concrete regulations to enable the free movement of goods, persons and commodities worldwide and, on the other hand, integrate long-term measures to involve transnational corporations and non-governmental organisations in the process of shaping globalisation in a sustainable manner. The General Assembly can also resort to possibilities of economic promotion (micro-credits etc.) or the harmonisation of existing standards. Global trade is currently subject to various areas of tension. Many states complain about injustices between the states of the global North and South. In addition, the interest of states in regulation has led to a complex set of rules that, despite constant adaptation, cannot respond adequately to new challenges, so the General Assembly is called upon to address this issue and develop possible solutions.
-Improving humanitarian aid in crisis areas
The latest report by UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) on the global humanitarian situation from 2019 paints a frightening image of the conditions in many areas of the world. According to the forecast, 168 million people in 53 countries would be in need of humanitarian aid in 2020. 109 million of them are in particular need of this aid. It can be seen that the people who already have it the hardest will suffer even more in the future, for example 24 million people in Yemen. This makes action by the international community necessary. The main problem here is the complexity and diversity of the situations that require humanitarian aid. In order to define a framework for action, the United Nations set out four principles of humanitarian aid in Resolution 46/182 in 1991. The problem is that there is a clear discrepancy between aspiration and reality, as actors try to instrumentalise humanitarian aid and aid providers for their own purposes or to prevent the aid from actually reaching its goal. In addition, there are often not enough (financial) resources available to provide sufficient aid in crisis areas. For example, the world produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, but does not manage to prevent the suffering civilian population from starving in crisis and war zones. This type of measure must be distinguished from humanitarian intervention and development aid. This results in a highly complex field of different actors and factors that influence the debate on finding solutions to the diverse problems surrounding humanitarian aid.
-International fight against terrorism
Terrorism is a constant threat to the freedom of all people, which is why the General Assembly is putting "international counter-terrorism" on its agenda. Terrorist attacks are deeply rooted in our memories, they leave us in fear and grief and change our thinking and actions in the long term. The fear of further attacks is great. It is therefore the duty of all United Nations states to seek ways of dealing with the terrorist threat and to take measures to combat terrorism.