United Nations General Assembly
The General Assembly is the chief deliberate organ of the United Nations. Here are represented all Member States each of them with a vote. The United Nations Charter assigns the General Assembly the following functions and powers: consider principles of cooperation for the maintenance of international peace and security, including disarmament and arms regulation, and make recommendations thereon; discuss all issues relating to international peace and security and except for cases where the Security Council is considering a dispute or situation, make recommendations thereon; deal and with the same exception, make recommendations on any matter within the scope of the Charter or affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the United Nations .
- First Committee: Disarmament and International Security.
- Second Committee: Economic and Financial Affairs.
- Third Committee: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs.
- Fourth Committee: Special Policy and Decolonization.
- Fifth Committee: Administrative and Budgetary.
- Sixth Committee: Legal.
Economic and Social Council
Established by the United Nations Charter, it is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress. Additionally, it aims to identify solutions to international health, economic and social problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The scope of the Economic and Social Council covers more than 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire United Nations system.
The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. Under the Charter, Member States are obliged to accept and implement its decisions. Although recommendations from other United Nations bodies are not binding as the decisions made by the Council, these may influence in certain situations, as they reflect the stance of international community.
Under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council is enabled to make decisions to take action to enforce its decisions. It can impose embargoes or economic sanctions, or authorize the use of force to enforce the mandates.
The Council has 15 members: five permanent and 10 elected by the Assembly General for two-year terms. The permanent members are China, the United States, the Russian Federation, France and the United Kingdom.
Each Council member has one vote. Decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions on substantive matters also require nine affirmative votes, but these must include the concurring votes of all permanent members. This is the rule of “great Power unanimity”, often referred to as the “veto” power.
If a permanent member does not agree with its decision, a negative vote may be exercised, which has veto power. Each of the five permanent members has exercised their veto power at some time or other. If a permanent member does not support a decision but does not want to block it with its veto they may abstain from voting.
Human Rights Council
Created as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly, the Council serves as the main United Nations forum for dialogue and cooperation on human rights. Their attention is focused on assisting Member States to meet their obligations related to human rights through dialog, capacity building and technical assistance. The Council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly to promote further development of international law in the field of human rights.
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial body of the United Nations. It is responsible for deciding under International Law on legal disputes between States and to express advisory opinions regarding legal issues that may be submitted by UN bodies or specialized agencies.
Peacekeeping is a way to help countries wracked by conflicts in order to create favorable conditions for sustainable peace. Members of the peacekeeping forces –soldiers and military officers, police officers and civilian personnel coming from many countries– oversee and observe peace processes that emerge after conflict situations and assist veterans in the implementation of peace agreements signed. Such assistance is provided in various forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening of the rule of law and economic and social development. The United Nations Charter grants the Security Council the authority and responsibility to adopt collective measures to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community generally resorts to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations. Most of these operations are established and carried out by the United Nations itself, with troops that develop their tasks under its operational command.
Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)
The Peacebuilding Commission is a new intergovernmental advisory body of the United Nations that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict, and is a key addition to the capacity of the international community in the broad peace agenda. The Peacebuilding Commission plays a unique role in 1) bringing together all the relevant actors to collect resources such as donors, international financial institutions, national governments and troop contributing countries; 2) marshalling resources and 3) advising on and proposing integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery and where appropriate, highlighting any gaps that threaten to undermine peace.