UN Security Council vs UN General Assembly
UN General Assembly and Security Council are two of the main organs of the United Nations, which is an international organization created in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1945. UN came into existence to take place of the League on Nations that was formed by a group of nations to oppose Nazi Germany and Japan. The UN had a broader agenda of stopping wars between member states by encouraging them to engage in dialogue. The UN has many subsidiary organizations carrying out work in different parts of the world. There are six main organs of the UN which are as follows:
- General Assembly
- Security Council
- Economic and Social Council
- International Court of Justice
- UN Trusteeship Council
There are many other important agencies working on behalf of the UN, some of them are World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Program (WFP) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
UN Security Council
It is perhaps the most important organs of the UN as it carries out the duty of maintaining peace and security in the world. The charter of the UN has empowered the Security Council to make peacekeeping missions in war torn countries. It is also authorized to place international sanctions, both physical and economic against erring members. The Security Council can even initiate military action against any of its member, if the circumstances are extreme. All the powers of the Security Council are vested with its five permanent members who are US, UK, China, France and Russia. SC members remain at the headquarters of the UN in NY so that they can hold any emergency meeting anytime. Apart from these 5 permanent members, there are 15 non permanent members of SC that have a term of 2 years and are elected from among the member states.
The special feature of SC is its veto system whereby each permanent member has veto power. This means it can prevent adoption of a proposal using its veto power. According to the charter of the UN, SC can intervene in any situation that can give rise to international dispute or friction.
UN General Assembly
It is one of the main organs of the UN and comprises all the member states. There are 192 member states in the UN. It is mainly involved in making the budget of the UN, appointing non permanent members to the Security Council and make recommendations to the UN about its various organs and agencies. These recommendations are called General Assembly resolutions. Voting in the General Assembly takes place on a number of matters such as admission or expulsion of members, budgetary considerations, election of members in different organs etc. All the recommendations of the General Assembly are passed with two thirds majority and each nation has one vote only. General Assembly can make recommendations on all matters except peace and security which is the domain of the Security Council.
Difference between Security Council and General Assembly
It is clear that both the Security Council and the General Assembly are important organs of the United Nations with both carrying out different functions. They are similar in the sense that both work for the same aim of the UN which is to prevent wars and disputes between member states. They are also similar in the sense that both are under the leadership of the General Secretary of the United Nations. There are however, many glaring dissimilarities.
Differences between UNSC and UNGA:
UN Security Council has 5 permanent and 15 non permanent members, altogether 20 members; UN General Assembly has 192 members.
While the General Assembly is democratic in the sense that each member, howsoever powerful he may be, has a single vote, Security Council is made up of 5 super powers of the world who can take unilateral action based upon their veto powers.
General Assembly deals in all matters except international peace and security, which is the exclusive domain of the Security Council
The resolutions passed by the Security Council are binding upon the member states while the General Assembly makes general observations only.