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United Nations Convenes 67th General Assembly
September 18, 2012

By Mark Trainer
IIP Staff Writer
September 17, 2012

Black-and-white photo of the UN General Assembly hall
The first session of the United Nations Organization’s General Assembly took place at Central Hall on Parliament Square in London on January 10, 1946

The first session of the United Nations Organization’s General Assembly took place at Central Hall on Parliament Square in London, England, on January 10, 1946.

On September 18, the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly will bring together the leaders of its 193 member countries at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The General Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. The Assembly meets from September to December each year, and as required thereafter.

Among the issues on the Assembly’s agenda are Millennium Development goals, climate change and food security. The Assembly will also consider the outcome of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which took place in Brazil in June.

The annual general debate, during which the world assembly hears statements by heads of state, will begin on Tuesday, September 25, and conclude on Monday, October 1.In early June, the General Assembly elected Vuk Jeremić, then minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Serbia, as president of the new session. Jeremić has led the Serbian delegation at the U.N. Human Rights Council, at the annual General Conference of the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and at meetings of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations.

The United Nations was founded in 1945, replacing the League of Nations. Delegates from 50 nations met in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. The delegates drew up the 111-article Charter, which was adopted unanimously on June 25, 1945, in the San Francisco Opera House.

The U.N. Security Council, which comprises five permanent members and 10 nonpermanent members elected by the General Assembly, has the power to establish peacekeeping operations, impose international sanctions and authorize military action. The five permanent council members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The current nonpermanent members are Azerbaijan, Colombia, Germany, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa and Togo.