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UN General Assembly Documentation

Introduction to General Assembly Documentation

UN Photo 692868 General Assembly Opens 71st General Debate

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.20).

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 (starting with 78th session, will be second week of September in accordance with A/RES/75/325);
  • 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 UN Charter Provisions Related to the General Assembly

Chapter IV : Articles 9-22 : General Assembly

  • Article 9 : Composition
  • Articles 10-17 : Functions and Powers
  • Articles 18-19 : Voting
  • Articles 20-22 : Procedures

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