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UN Documentation: General Assembly  

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General Assembly Hall 13 November 2012 The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. Chapter IV, Articles 9-22, of the UN Charter concern the General Assembly. 

All Member States participate in the General Assembly and each state has one vote.

The General Assembly meets in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly ( A/520/Rev.17).

Each year, a regular session is held. Special and  emergency special sessions may also be convened. 

  • The regular session begins on the Tuesday of the third week in September;
  • The session is suspended in late December;
  • The session reconvenes in February;
  • The session concludes the day before the next session begins.

Meetings of the General Assembly are announced and summarized in the Journal of the United Nations. The Journal lists the documents of the General Assembly as they are published throughout the year.

From the 1st session (1946) through the 30th session (1975), General Assembly meetings and documents were consecutively numbered. At the 31st session, the symbols began to include the session number.

The basic format for the symbols of General Assembly documents is:

  • A/session/sequential number
  • From 1946 to 1975, the format was A/sequential number

Key Resources

  • Declaration and Conventions Contained in General Assembly resolutions
    Declaration and Conventions adopted by a General Assembly resolution from 1946.
  • General Assembly Resolutions
    Full text of resolutions from 1946 organized by session.
  • Official Document System (ODS)
    United Nations official document system: provides full text search of documents issued since 1993; resolutions of all principal organ & Security Council plenary documents since 1946 ; older documents are added regularly. Includes the Daily Journals of New York and Geneva.
  • Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs
    Analytical studies of the decisions of the UN principal organs under each of the Articles of the Charter ; Comprehensive summary of the decisions of United Nations Organs, together with review of related material, organized by Charter Articles.
  • UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
    Available online from October 1995. Press Releases are not official documents but provide timely information on the current activities of the principal organs and subsidiary bodies, including summaries of meetings.
  • UN Yearbook
    The Yearbook of the United Nations is the principal reference work of the UN and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's activities during the course of a year. All the Yearbooks, 1945 to the most recent, are available online and provide citation to the documentation and include the full text of resolutions.
  • UN-I-QUE
    UN Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) provides citation to the symbols for documents throughout the history of the organization: each record within UN-I-QUE is historically comprehensive. UN-I-QUE does not provide citation to all documents, but to certain documents of a recurrent nature.
  • UNBISnet - Bibliographic Records
    UNBISnet is the catalogue of the UN Library in New York. In addition to the library's holdings it accesses multilingual versions of UN documents (1993-present), citation to documents (1979-present) ; metadata and online links to older documents are added regularly.
  • UNBISnet - Index to Speeches
    Provides access to meeting records of the Principal organs, beginning in the mid-1980s, by country or organization, speaker, document symbol, or topic.
  • UNBISnet - Voting Records
    Provides the recorded vote for all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council, 1946-present. Documents can be searched by resolution symbol, keyword, or date.


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