Writing a Resolution – very useful for first time delegates
The basic structure of a resolution is shown below:
These outline the problems.
Each clause is separated by a comma.
Each clause starts with a “pream” phrase.
These present solutions to the problems. Each clause is separated by a semi-colon. Each phrase starts with an “operative” phrase.
To see how a resolution is written, we shall look at the problem of global warming. We shall look at it from the point of view of a developing country such as Mali. Start by considering the key points.
Various gases, but particularly carbon dioxide trap heat from the sun and are thought to cause global warming.
Carbon dioxide is produced by industry and vehicles burning fossil fuels.
Global warming could cause devastating effects on sea level and climate.
At the Earth Summit, industrial nations agreed to keep carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels, but in most cases this is not being kept to.
One way of reducing carbon dioxide production would be to introduce a carbon tax.
It is industrialised countries that are mainly responsible for the production carbon dioxide.
Mali is an extremely poor country so economic development is a much higher priority than environmental considerations.
These problems would be outlined in the “Pream” section of the resolution. There is a list of preambulatory and operative phrases at the end of this section on writing a resolution.
The pream section of the resolution might read as follows;
Concerned that the levels of carbon dioxide continue to rise,
Noting that this increase is due mainly to burning of fossil fuels in industrialised countries,
Deeply concerned that the continued global warming is likely to have extremely serious environmental consequences,
Further noting that the Earth Summit agreements are not being fully implemented.
Each phrase is indented 5 spaces. Each phrase can only be used once, although “further……….” Can be used a number of times. For example you could have “Further noting” two or three times, but only of course if “Noting” has been used before.
The second part of the resolution consists of outlining how the problem could be solved. Clauses in the operative section start with “operative phrases”, they are numbered and the whole clause is indented 5 spaces.
Returning to the problem of global warming; we might decide on the following as answers.
Countries need to abide by the Earth Summit agreement.
One way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be for the industrialised countries to introduce a carbon tax.
Income raised by this tax could be used to assist the Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) develop clean energy systems.
These ideas can then be put into a resolution:
- Calls upon all member states to abide by agreements made at the Earth Summit;
- Further suggest that one way of achieving a reduction of carbon dioxide
production would be for industrialised countries to introduce a carbon tax.
- Recommend that income raised by the carbon tax is used to assist LEDCs
develop clean energy production systems.
Usually every line in a resolution is numbered.
The title of a resolution should include the following:
- The name of the committee debating it
- The question (what the resolution is about the)
- The names of the submitter (the country of the person writing it),
- The names of the co-submitters (countries supporting it) and
- The UN body to which the committee reports (the GENERAL ASSEMBLY)
If the resolution has several pages, each page is numbered in the following way:
Page 1 of 1
QUESTION OF: Global Warming
SUBMITTED BY: Mali
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Commas separate preambulatory clauses. Initiating phrase indented 5 spaces and underlined.|
Operative clauses are numbered and separated by a semi-colon.
All the operative clauses are indented 5 spaces.
A full-stop is used at the very end of the resolution.
|Concernedthat levels of carbon dioxide continue to rise,Notingthat this increase is due mainly to burning of fossil fuels in industrialised countries,Deeply concerned that continued global warming is likely to have extremely serious environmental consequences,|
Further noting that the Earth Summit agreements are not being fully implemented,
1. Calls upon all member states to abide by agreements made at the EarthSummit;
2. Suggests that one way of achieving a reduction of carbon dioxide production would be for industrialised countries to introduce a carbon tax;
3. Recommends that income raised by the carbon tax is used to assist LEDCs develop clean energy production systems.
Initiating phrases are given overleaf. If you want to use a phrase of your own, that is fine as long as it is the same grammatically.
“Demand” is a phrase which can only be used by the Security Council. Strong phrases such as “condemn” are best avoided as it required a two thirds majority to pass a resolution continuing them, rather than the normal simple majority.
During debate, a resolution can be amended. If in debate you were asked a question that shows a weakness in your resolution, you can alter the resolution by making a “friendly amendment”. Other delegates can amend the resolution in open debate or in time against in a closed debate as an unfriendly amendment; this requires a vote to pass.