Draft Resolution Writing

What is a Draft Resolution?

A draft resolution is a document written during a conference that addresses the issues a committee is discussing and contains the solutions to that issue a group of delegates developed. A draft resolution compiles the results of discussion, writing and negotiation—written suggestions for addressing a specific problem or issue debated in the committee. A draft resolution has three main parts: the heading, the pre-ambulatory clauses and the operative clauses. Heading contains: the committee name, the sponsors, the signatory and the topic. Preambulatory clauses state: the issues the committee wants to resolve and why, relevant statistics, background information and past action (UN action, international or regional efforts). Operative clauses state: the solutions proposed to resolve the issue being debated.

Blocs write position papers that are presented. Usually some blocs merge to develop a combined draft resolution that is then presented, debated and voted on.

A draft resolution becomes a resolution once it is voted upon and successfully passed with a majority vote. During debate on a draft resolution, the draft resolution can be amended. An amendment is a written request to add, delete or change an operative clause within the draft resolution whose aim is to strengthen the resolution.

Friendly amendment: change that is generally agreed upon with a general consensus and is automatically incorporated into the resolution (change in spelling or correcting a mistake).

Unfriendly amendment: a request that changes the integrity or content of the clause significantly. This sort of amendment is debated and voted on by the committee.

General Tips

1. You can use sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses to make your ideas and proposals more explicit.
2. Use sub clauses to explain the what, how, who, when, where of your proposed solution.
3. If your resolution is too vague then it probably won’t pass, but if it's too specific it's harder to get support (and votes).
4. Be realistic. Do not create objectives for your resolution that cannot be met. Make sure your body can take the action suggested.
5. If you are proposing the creation of an organization, make sure there isn’t already an existing organization with the same purpose (which there probably is!).
6. While developing your draft resolution’s content, be an active listener and incorporate different delegates’ points of view and proposals.
7. While you want multiple delegates to actively contribute to the draft resolution, the end document should be as cohesive as possible.
8. If you or anyone else in your bloc does not feel comfortable verbally defending a clause (especially a controversial clause) it is best to leave it out as it will be scrutinized.
9. Maintain a positive attitude– remember a draft resolution is your bloc’s idea to the best solution possible to the issue you are debating.
10. The committee will be more likely to pass the resolution if many delegates contribute ideas and contribute to the decision-making process.