General Assembly

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Could Russia be Suspended from the United Nations?

The General Assembly is currently meeting in Emergency Special Session on Ukraine, and will likely pass a resolution condemning Russia’s aggression, demanding the withdrawal of troops, and urging a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Such a resolution will be an important step, but also begs the question: if these appeals for peace are not heeded, what could be the Assembly’s next step?  The possibility of the General Assembly recommending sanctions has been considered in a previous post on this forum. This post considers the possibility of the Assembly going further still, and suspending Russia from the UN. The possibility of a member state being suspended from the UN is described by article 5 of the UN Charter. That article states that: ‘a member of the UN against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.’ In case of any…

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What can the UN General Assembly do about Russian Aggression in Ukraine?

Yesterday Devika Hovell wrote an excellent post on this forum, rightly noting that the Security Council was not the body to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine. Hovell pointed to the General Assembly as the most appropriate alternative, and suggested that the Security Council should pass a ‘Uniting for Peace’ (U4P) resolution, referring…

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Is the ICJ at Risk of Providing Cover for the Alleged Genocide in Myanmar?

The first anniversary of the coup mounted by the Myanmar military was marked by a surprising step. On 1 February 2022, the National Unity Government of the Union of Myanmar (NUG) made a declaration to the International Court of Justice. The government, which mainly consists of those elected representatives not yet captured by the military regime, was created…

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Beyond COP26: Time for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change?

The recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) provided a stark reminder of the gap between states’ planned greenhouse emission reductions and the global temperature goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement. The conference also dramatically showcased once more the plight of vulnerable nations faced with the devastating impacts of rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

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Will the Taliban Represent Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly?

The work of the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly is normally procedural. Typically, the Committee reviews the credentials submitted by state representatives, and ensures they comply with the Assembly’s procedural rules.  The Committee is scarcely ever called upon to consider matters of government legitimacy.  In stark contrast to this status quo, it seems this year’s…

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