Focus: GS-III Disaster Management, International Relations, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by 188 nations including India, on COVID-19, calling for intensified international cooperation to defeat the pandemic that is causing severe disruption to societies and economies.
  • The resolution titled Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’ was the first such document on the global pandemic to be adopted by the world organisation.
  • The UN Security Council is yet to discuss the coronavirus outbreak, even as the total number of coronavirus cases across the world crossed one million.

Details

  • The resolution said the 193-member General Assembly notes with great concern the threat to human health, safety and well-being caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, which continues to spread globally.
  • It recognises the “unprecedented effects of the pandemic, including the severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people”.
  • The resolution called for intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic, including by exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practices and by applying the relevant guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.
  • It also emphasised the need for full respect for human rights, and stressed that there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic.

United Nations General Assembly

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN.
  • Popularly known as the parliament of the world, where all the 193 UN member states are represented, the UNGA is the deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
  • Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.
  • It is headquartered in New York City, U.S.A.

Functions of UNGA

  • Takes a decision on important matters such as peace and security, discusses various global issues and budgetary matters.
  • Decides on matters such as the admission of new members.
  • Decisions are taken through a vote. Admission of new members and budgetary matters require a two-thirds majority, while the decision on other issues are taken by a simple majority.
  • Each sovereign state gets one vote and the votes are not binding on the membership, except in budgetary matters.
  • The Assembly has no binding votes or veto powers like the UN Security Council.
  • The UNGA can express world opinion, promote international cooperation in various fields and make recommendations to the UNSC and elect the Security Council’s non-permanent members.

Main Organs of United Nations

  1. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),
  2. United Nations Security Council (UNSC),
  3. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),
  4. United Nations Trusteeship Council,
  5. The International Court of Justice (ICJ),
  6. UN Secretariat.

All the 6 were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

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