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GA committees and Their Functions by Zeynep Keskin

Content Producer Team

 Hi everyone. It’s Zeynep here and today I want to share the basic introductions of GA committees and what their functions are. As we all know, in MUN conferences there are three types of committees: GA, crisis, and special committees. The reason why we are focusing on GA committees today is, one: because crisis committees’ options are endless, and two: special committees do not have a certain procedure or agenda items that are to be discussed within a boundary.

Main Committees
  • First Committee (Disarmament & International Security)
  • Second Committee (Economic & Financial)
  • Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian & Cultural)
  • Fourth Committee (Special Political & Decolonization)
  • Fifth Committee (Administrative & Budgetary)
  • Sixth Committee (Legal)

GA committees have a more certain way of proceeding and borders to the matters that are being discussed in each committee and each committee has its own area of agenda items, meaning that no agenda item can be given to a random committee and the functions of the committee have to be paid attention to in order to be given a solid agenda item for all the delegates and board members to have a great overall experience.

There are six main GA committees in the UN. They are: DISEC, ECOFIN, SOCHUM, SPECPOL, ADMINISTRATIVE & BUDGETARY, LEGAL

First Committee: DISEC

This committee discusses and finds solutions to matters that are related to disarmament and international security. 

This committee is a crucial committee because it involves problems that threaten global security or that pose danger to the member states’ overall security, which could have affected the countries’ military policies differently if it weren’t for this committee.

Second Committee: ECOFIN

This committee discusses and finds solutions to economic and financial matters of member states which can cause serious problems if they are not discussed and found solutions to.

 This committee covers topics such as economic crises, disagreements between two or more countries that pose danger, and are about financial sources such as mines, gasoline, farming; debt in-between countries, currency, and a lot more. Because there has to be a resolution paper at the end, almost any economic or financial problem may be discussed in this committee.

Third Committee: SOCHUM

One of the most well-known and appreciated committees of the UN, SOCHUM discusses social, cultural, and humanitarian issues. 

The width of matters that are discussed in this committee is larger because basically almost any problem can be considered as human-caused. But, to paint a more specific picture in your head, SOCHUM usually focuses on problems that include: cultural conflicts, refugee issues, specific cultural items that other countries allege to be the owner such as liberties, graveyards, etc., serious problems that occur in countries and are caused by another country’s citizen and a lot more. SOCHUM has helped a lot of fragile problems to be solved, along with finding reasonable solutions for almost every member state.

Fourth Committee: SPECPOL

Along with being one of the most crucial organs of the UN, SPECPOL stands for special political and decolonization committee. In this committee, the member states gather together to discuss matters that are usually about a countries’ internal affairs but threaten other countries’ safety and securities. This covers topics such as citizens’ riots in a country that has a threatening aspect to other countries, political or policy-based problems in countries, terror activities in countries, etc. This committee is not to be underestimated because it has discussed many problems that held incredible threats. 

Fifth Committee: ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY COMMITTEE

The administrative and budgetary committee covers the matters of member states’ financial records of the actions that are to be taken on the resolutions decided in other committees. In this committee, the resources of financial needs are decided and recorded. If every state member agrees on the decisions, the financial decisions are brought into force. Various problems of economic needs are solved peacefully. It creates a budget to spend on the resolutions of other committees and almost every country contributes to it.

Sixth Committee: LEGAL

As you can tell from its name, this committee discusses legal matters. Even though it is less known compared to other committees, it is still a perfectly functioning committee that has debates that are professional and internationally important. It covers matters that are generally related to law and justice, including drugs, crime injustice, terrorism, and a lot more. Usually, lawyers, judges, or justice politicians are a part of this committee. It functions just the same as the other committees 

Now that we have been through all the main committees of the UN, we can tell that they are all linked together and contribute to one another in ways that are financial, political, humanitarian etcetera. These six main organs are crucial for the UN because they cover nearly every possible problem that might occur internationally in any perspective along with being beneficial globally.

Sources:https://research.un.org/en/docs/ga/committees

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Sixth_Committee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_First_Committee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Fifth_Committee

Zeynep Keskin

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Written by Zeynep Keskin

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