Thought I'd write a post to include in one of the stickies in our subforum, or create a new one, based around advice on writing a resolution.
Can anyone else offer any advice?
So, you want to write a Resolution?
These are the lifeblood of the MUN and the UN. While we can debate and talk all we want, a Resolution actually gets things done.
A Resolution that passes through the GA (according to Sections 10 and 14 of the UN Charter) is a “recommendation”. But if it’s one directed to the Security Council, then under Article 25, all Resolutions passed there are binding on *all* members. If you want the UN to exercise its full power, then this is how to do it.
A Resolution contains several key elements – the title, the committee, the delegation proposing the resolution, perambulatory clauses/phrases and the operative clauses.
This sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty simple to work out.
The title is pretty self-explanatory; it details the aim and target of the resolution. It should be the in the Title nor Message field of the "Post New Thread" screen. It should start with “Resolution”, followed by the year, then the number resolution it is (how many resolutions have been issues this year plus one) and then a short description. For example:-
Resolution 2008/13 : Concerning the current situation in the DRC
This was a resolution issued in 2008, the 13th of the year, and it dealt with the Democratic Republic of the Congo – make sense?
The Committee is slightly more complicated. The vast majority will be to the Security Council, when it is of concern to International Peace and Security. However, some can be directed to the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee if it deals with issues such as refugees or religious matters. It could be sent to the Disarmament Committee if that’s more appropriate, or the Economic Committee. If you’re confused, feel free to ask the Secretary General or any of the Mentors.
For example, Resolution 2009/04 was sent to Social, Cultural and Humanitarian because it dealt with refugees from Sri Lanka.
The next bit reads “Submitted by” – the full name of your country should follow here. Any country can also ask for other nations to be Co-Sponsors. This just means that the second nations name also gets tacked on here. UNOs don’t have the power to fully propose resolutions themselves, so they *have* to have a Co-Sponsor.
Getting a Security Council member can help your Resolution in getting sent and pushed through the SC.
Whereas Bills and Acts in national law have a Preamble, Resolutions have Preambulatory Clauses or Phrases. This details the reasons behind the resolution. This is followed by the Operative clauses, which actually detail what the Resolution proposes to do.
There are certain ways to write this. For a start, each clause starts with a verb (sometimes with an additional modifying adverb). This is traditionally bolded or italicized for the Preambulatory clauses and underlined and/or bolded for the Operative Clauses. Preambulatory Clauses are unnumbered but Operative clauses are listed as 1. and 2. and 3. etc Preambulatory clauses should end with a comma, Operative clauses with a semi-colon ( ; ).
Apparently, there is a tradition in the real Security Council that the last operative is almost always “Decides to remain seized of the matter," (sometimes changed to "actively seized". The reasoning behind this custom is somewhat murky, but it appears to be an assurance that the body in question will consider the topic addressed in the resolution in the future if it is necessary. But it’s not something we do often in the MUN.
Here’s a draft Resolution I just wrote
Very rough, but you see where it’s coming from. It’s mostly, as you’ll notice, written as one long sentence. You can see that it was written in 2009, was the first resolution of the year, deals with Somalia, should be sent to the Security Council, was proposed by the Comoros, co-sponsored by Oman and then you can see how the Preambulatory Phrases show what the Comoros thinks of the current situation and and the Operative Clauses show what it aims to do.
There’s plenty of useful phrases you can use.
Bearing in mind
Deeply disturbed by
Keeping in mind
Taking into account
Viewing with appreciation
Draws the attention
Expresses its appreciation
Expresses its hope
Takes note of
Remember that all resolutions can be revised at any time before finally being voted on. All members will help you in writing it, both with structure and the actual content. The Secretary General and Mentors are the best for this but everyone helps out. Don’t be afraid to post one, it can be amended. If it fails, don’t take it personally, you can always try again with a different take on the matter, or try out a different subject. Don't give up!
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Reform:How to Write a Resolution? watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2009 20:24
- 08-07-2009 20:55
When it came to writing my first resolution, using the Resolutions archive was very useful to get a feel for formatting.
To be honest the Committee thing still confuses me sometimes. You're supposed to send resolutions to the SC when they concern international peace and security - don't they all...
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2009 21:11
That's a good point, I'll add that one in
Same here. Most things we debate will be, but I suppose things like refugees aren't but we need more examples.