Delegate Information

Resolutions

Please be aware that no pre-written resolutions are allowed in the simulation. Furthermore, delegates may only work on resolutions and/or working papers during MUNSA sessions. Failure to observe these rules will result in disqualification for any and all awards, including the Best Delegate award.

Resolutions are the primary tools of discussion in the United Nations. They form the basis for all United Nations debate, bringing one or several issues to the floor in a form that representatives can discuss, amend, and reject or ratify, as circumstances dictate. At MUNSA, though there may be multiple working papers on the floor at any one time, delegates must come to one final resolution.

Resolutions usually state a policy that the United Nations will undertake, but they may also be in the form of treaties, conventions, or declarations in some bodies. They range from very general to very specific in content. Depending on the body involved, they may call for or suggest a course of action, condemn an action, or require action or sanctions on the part of the Member States. It should be noted that no body other than the Security Council may require action or sanctions from Member States. In some cases, final conventions and treaties may also require action, but this would only be on the part of the signatory nations.

A resolution is divided into two parts: the preambulatory clauses and the operative clauses.

Preambulatory clauses: These clauses introduce the resolution by explaining the purpose of writing it. They state a concise history of the problem, reasons for action, and/or precedents for the proposed solution, often citing the United Nations Charter, past United Nations actions or resolutions, and international treaties.

Operative clauses: These clauses state what position or action Member States are called upon to endorse. The operative clauses may outline a series of steps to solve a problem or may simply be a definition, recommendation, or statement of favorable or unfavorable opinion.

Delegates should never forget the importance of keeping resolutions consistent with their country's foreign policy. The Chairs and/or fellow delegates may question resolutions if they feel the country being represented is not accurately role-playing. Well-written resolutions display the following:

  • Familiarity with the problem.
  • Clarity of the issue—arguments must be clearly stated.
  • Conciseness—avoid unnecessary information.
  • Depth—give the resolution substance.
  • Proper form—poor grammar, typographical errors, and sloppy format can cause your resolution to suffer.
Tips on Resolution Writing

The following list includes important points to consider when writing a resolution. This is not an exhaustive list, but should provide a good starting point to make your resolutions as realistic as possible.

  • Be sure you read Resolution Writing found on The United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) website.
  • In the preambulatory clauses, describe the recent history of the situation and the issue as it currently stands.
  • Reference past UN actions and resolutions, when available.
  • In the operative clauses, include actions that will help to solve the problem and not just make a statement.
  • Don't be blatantly political in the contents of the resolution—this may damage efforts to reach a consensus on the issue.
  • Take into account the points of view of other nations whenever possible.
  • Write the resolution from your country's side of the international or UN perspective, not from your country's individual point of view.
  • Don't create new bodies without considering the financial implications—funding is not an issue, but waste and redundancy are.
  • Building upon the previous work of a committee, conference, or organization lends credibility to your plan of action, especially if the previous efforts were successful.
  • Verify, before you create a committee, that one with similar duties does not already exist.
  • Do not demand a particular country do something. The UN does not have the power to dictate what a country does within its own borders. This would infringe on the nation's sovereignty.
  • Be specific. For example, healthcare services is rather vague. You should define it to include nutritional supplements, immunizations, etc.
  • It is best, although not always possible, to avoid singling out countries or regions for blame.
  • If you suggest your country is better than others, or exemplary on a particular issue, do so cautiously. This could invite attacks on your country.
  • Avoid wordiness.