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The Role of the UN General Assembly

CFR.org Staff

Since its inception seventy-one years ago, the United Nations General Assembly has been a forum for lofty declarations, sometimes audacious rhetoric, and rigorous debate over the world's most vexing issues, from poverty and development to peace and security. As the deliberative and representative organ of the United Nations, the assembly holds general debate in the UN's New York headquarters from September to December, with special sessions convened thereafter as required.

The seventy-first session of the General Assembly will open on September 13, 2016, with heads of state and government convening for the general debate on September 20. This year, there will be high-level meetings addressing the large movements of refugees and migrants, antimicrobial resistance, the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, and the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

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