Resolutions are at the heart of every Model United Nations conference: they are the end results of the research, critical thinking, debate, deliberations, and compromises delegates have put together over the course of the council. The resolution writing process begins with an idea. If you have an innovative idea designed to tackle the problem being discussed in committee, being writing a resolution as soon as you’d like. Note, however, that it is not suggested that you write a resolution immediately, during the first hour of the first committee session. (Also note that NAIMUN strictly prohibits pre-written resolutions.) Rather, participate in debate, listen to your fellow delegates, and create a comprehensive, well-rounded plan, preferably by collaborating with other countries in your bloc. Most resolutions are co-authored by several delegations, all of which are sponsors. Each delegation can sponsor or sign as many resolutions as they wish. Sponsors are countries who agree with the content of the resolution or draft and intend to support it. Signatories are countries who would like to see the draft debated but do not necessarily support all the elements of the resolution (A signatory of a resolution does not have to vote in favor of the resolution).
Once you’ve drafted a resolution, submit it to the Dais. Before you do so, make sure that the resolution is written in the correct format, complete with preambulatory and operative clauses. Detailed instructions on formatting resolutions, as well as a sample resolution, will also be included in the Delegate Guide, available at the conference for your consultation, as well as on some of the links provided in the Other Resources section. As well, be sure that you have the required twenty percent plus one sponsors or signatories required to submit a resolution. In large committees, several groups of countries may be working on similar resolutions at the same time, so be aware that the Chair may, at his or her discretion, require that you combine resolutions with similar content before you are permitted to submit them. Once a resolution is submitted, it will be distributed to the committee for review, debate, and, eventually, a vote. Resolutions require a simple majority to pass.
When a resolution is distributed, it will be read by the sponsors who will then take substantive (questions about the meaning and intentions of the resolution) and/or non-substantive (questions about the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and clarification of the resolution) questions, depending on the chairs discretion.
Amendments are a means to add, remove, or change things in a resolution on the floor. There are two types: friendlyamendments, which need to be approved by all the resolutions sponsors and which are added without a vote to the resolution, and unfriendly amendments, which require 12.5% +1 of the committee to sponsor or sign and a majority vote to pass.
A Note About Terminology and Ordering
A savvy delegate will also take note of the order of documents. When you are just beginning to create a resolution, it is properly called a working paper. Once the working paper is submitted to the Dais and subsequently released to the committee for review, it becomes a draft resolution. When draft resolutions are being debated on the floor, they should be referred to in the order they were submitted. Draft resolution 1.1, for instance, is the proper way to refer to the first draft resolution presented concerning the first topic, and it is followed by draft resolutions 1.2, 1.3, etc. Draft resolutions 2.1, 2.2, and so on follow when debating the second topic. A resolution does not properly become a resolution until it is voted on by the committee and passes.