After a series of preparatory meetings and summits, the Charter of
the United Nations was signed at San Francisco, USA, on June 26,
1945. On October 24, 1945, the Charter was ratified and the United
Nations was born.
The General Assembly which is one of the six principal organs is the
deliberative arm of the United Nations open to all member states, now
192. One of its strengths is that each member has one vote irrespective
of size and level of economic development.
Every September, world leaders convene in New York City the
headquarters of the United Nations to address the General Assembly in a
General Debate. The debate covers a wide range of issues in peace and
security, human rights and development. Most of the decisions of the
General Assembly are recommendations to member states. However, because
of the moral authority of the United Nations, some of the
recommendations have been vital in the establishment of new
international guidelines. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights which started as a General Assembly resolution became the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
which is characterized as a crime under international law.