United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee

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The United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee (also known as the Special Political and Decolonization Committee or SPECPOL or C4) is one of six main committees of the United Nations General Assembly. It deals with a diverse set of political issues, including UN peacekeeping and peaceful uses of outer space. However, the issues of decolonization and the Middle East take up most of its time.[1]

United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
AbbreviationSPECPOL, C4
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersNew York, United States
Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom
Parent organization
United Nations General Assembly
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When it was first created, the Fourth Committee was solely responsible for trusteeship- and decolonization-related matters. However, after independence was granted to all the United Nations trust territories and the subsequent dismantling of the trusteeship system, the Committee's workload decreased. Consequently, the Fourth Committee was merged with the Special Political Committee, which had been created as a seventh main committee to deal with certain political issues.[2][3]

The Fourth Committee deals with: decolonization-related items, the effects of atomic radiation, questions relating to information, a comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations, review of special political missions, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, the report of the Special Committee on Israeli Practices and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.[1][4]

Working MethodsEdit

The Fourth Committee meets every year from late September to mid-November, but also convenes briefly in the spring to adopt any resolutions and decisions relating to peacekeeping passed by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. All 193 member states of the UN can attend its meetings.

Unlike most other United Nations bodies, there is no general debate at the beginning of the Committee’s work. The Committee also allows for petitioners, i.e. civil society representatives and other stakeholders, to address it on decolonization issues. Finally, the Committee usually adopts about 30-35 draft resolutions and several draft decisions annually, usually by consensus.[1]

Reporting BodiesEdit

The following bodies report through the Fourth Committee to the General Assembly:[1]


The following make up the bureau of the Fourth Committee for the 74th Session of the General Assembly:[5][6]

Name Country Position
H.E. Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom   Iraq Chairperson
Ahmadou Ahidjo   Cameroon Vice-Chair
Peter Pindják   Slovakia Vice-Chair
Andrea Bacher   Austria Vice-Chair
Juan Antonio Benard Estrada   Guatemala Rapporteur

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d The GA Handbook: A Practical Guide to the United Nations General Assembly (PDF) (2nd ed.). New York: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations. 2017. ISBN 978-0-615-49660-3.
  2. ^ "Main Committees". Dag Hammarskjöld Library. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  3. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 47 Resolution 233. Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly A/RES/47/233 17 August 1993. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth Committee)". United Nations General Assembly. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth Committee): Bureau of the 74th Session". General Assembly of the United Nations. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. ^ Manhire, Vanessa, ed. (2019). United Nations Handbook 2019–20 (PDF) (57th ed.). Wellington: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand. ISSN 0110-1951.