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Global issues

United Nations

The UK is a United Nations building, New Yorkmember state of the UN.

The UK has an Ambassador at the UN who heads our Mission to the United Nations. The Mission supports other UK Government departments and represents the UK in negotiations, ensuring our interests and views are heard by other member states and UN bodies. 

Our Mission to the United Nations website has much more info about the work we do in New York.

UN General Assembly

The General Assembly (UNGA) is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations.

Comprising all 192 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter.

The Assembly meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. 

Read more about the UK at UNGA.

UN Security Council

The UK is 1 of 5 Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (UNSC). The Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.

We play a key role in all aspects of the Council's work, by providing info from our diplomatic network and negotiating and lobbying for appropriate actions and resolutions.

The UK next holds the Presidency of the UNSC in November 2010.
The Security Council continues to look at key international events and issues. 

Recent discussions have included:

  • sanctions on Iran to encourage suspension of nuclear activities
  • Somalia
  • Haiti
  • Kosovo
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan

Why do we need a strong and effective UN?

The UN and its specialised agencies and bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) play a vital role across the globe by:

  • providing emergency relief in disasters and conflicts
  • maintaining international peace and security
  • tackling disease, poverty and providing basic health services
  • developing friendly relations among nations and settling international disputes
  • promoting human rights
  • providing support to refugees whilst seeking to address the causes of the problem
  • promoting sustainable development

UN Human Rights Council

The UK is an active and committed member of the UN Human Rights Council - find out what work we're doing to promote human rights through the UN.

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