Part IVf: Resolution Writing
WHAT IS A RESOLUTION?
Resolutions are the end result of discussion, writing and negotiation. They are written international statements or international law, depending on the power of the committee. Most committees acting within the auspices of the United Nations produce suggestion-oriented resolutions; the Security Council produces resolutions that may be defined as having the force of law.
STAGES OF A RESOLUTION:
When delegates have just begun working on the document, the document is not a “resolution,” but a “working paper.” A document is a working paper from the moment it is created until it is “codified” or “approved by the dais,” which essentially means that it has been edited and meets the format rules of the conference, at which point it becomes a Draft Resolution. Prior to this approval, it is not officially property of the committee, and cannot be referred to in speeches.
A draft resolution must always gain the support of a certain number of member states in the committee before the sponsors (the delegates who created the resolution) may submit it to the committee staff. Many conferences require signatures from 20 percent of the countries present in order to submit a draft resolution. A staff member will read the draft resolution to ensure that it is relevant and in proper format. Only when a staff member formally accepts the document and assigns it a number can it be referred to in formal debate.
In some cases a delegate must make a motion to introduce the draft resolution, while in other cases the sponsors are immediately called upon to read the document. Because these procedures can vary, it is essential to find out about the resolution process for the conference you plan to attend.
PARTS OF A RESOLUTION:
The code is used for
identification and consists of four parts – the committee acronym (i.e. “SC”),
the status (“RES” for Resolution, “DR” for Draft Resolution), the number of the
topic (you can find this in the background guides), and the number of the
document itself, with 1 being the 1st one being approved by the Dais.
Example: For the General Assembly’s 1st draft resolution on its 3rd topic, the code is GA/DR/3/1.
This is the full name of your committee.
Sponsors of a draft resolution are countries that support the resolution; they are bound to support it and vote in favor of it by virtue of being a sponsor. Usually, the list of sponsors is the list of the primary authors of the draft resolution. The list of sponsors is removed by the dais when the working paper is codified.
Signatories are similar to sponsors, except that they are not bound to support the document. “Signing on,” or becoming a signatory, means that you want the resolution to be debated and/or voted upon – no more, no less.
The title is usually the title of your topic (i.e. “The Situation in Iran”), though it can also refer to a particular proposal within the document at the discretion of the sponsors and the dais.
PREAMBULAR / PREAMBULATORY CLAUSES
Preambular clauses (also known as “perambulatory clauses” or “pre-ams”) are the clauses that provide context, reasoning and justification for the operative clauses. They usually “set up the problem” or explain why the committee feels a need to act. They also usually get more specific and state why the committee feels a need to act in the specific way they’re going to. The first portion of the clause is italicized. Preambular clauses may not be amended or divided.
Operative clauses are the parts
of the resolution that actually do something. If you’re sending in
peacekeepers, condemning a country’s actions, calling for a ceasefire, or
allocating money, it takes place in the operative clauses. The first portion of
the clause is underlined, and each operative clause is numbered.
For Additional help on Resolution Writing, please consult the following attachments regarding a template/preamblatory and operative clause words.