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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at how the General Assembly fulfils its tasks of global level deliberation and organizational oversight of other UN bodies through summaries of its formal rules and evolving procedures. Its substantive conclusions have always been determined by the preferences of whatever coalition of two-thirds of the total UN membership controls the Assembly. The practical effect of pronouncements depends on the ability of states in the supporting coalition to implement them through their own actions. Analysts continue to advance proposals to enhance the Assembly’s formal authority vis-à-vis member states and other UN bodies. However, convergence on accepting the greater centralization of global governance needed to adopt them remains much less likely than continued pursuit of global governance through trans-governmental and transnational networks of the willing. For the General Assembly to be a useful deliberative body, its members should reconsider how they use it for both deliberative and supervisory functions.

Keywords: General Assembly, rules, practices, deliberations, organizational oversight, controlling coalitions, authority, networks, global governance

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