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With the close of the general debate, the Assembly begins consideration of the substantive items on its agenda.

Because of the great number of questions it is called upon to consider, the Assembly allocates items relevant to its work among its six Main Committees, which discuss them, seeking where possible to harmonize the various approaches of States, and then present to a plenary meeting of the Assembly draft resolutions and decisions for consideration.

The six main committees are:

  • First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee) is concerned with disarmament and related international security questions;

  • Second Committee (Economic and Financial Committee) is concerned with economic questions;

  • Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee) deals with social and humanitarian issues;

  • Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) deals with a variety of political subjects not dealt with by the First Committee, as well as with decolonization;

  • Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) deals with the administration and budget of the United Nations; and

  • Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) deals with international legal matters.

On a number of agenda items, however, such as the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly acts directly in its plenary meetings.


General Assembly: 193 Member States

Security Council: 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent

Economic and Social Council: 54 members

International Court of Justice: 15 judges