Model United Nations (MUN) Resolution


Model United Nations (MUN) Resolution

Model United Nations (MUN) Resolution is a simulated report of the real United Nations resolutions. These resolutions are written by the participants of Model United Nations conferences, who are usually high school or college students. Resolutions are vital to all MUN conferences because they are written, debated, and voted on during conferences and form a significant aspect of Model United Nations. Delegates are expected to write these resolutions according to strict procedures (given by the MUN conference organizers) and thus writing a debatable, efficient and format wise correct resolution is very important.

The Model United Nations is a concept that began in the United States and since then its aim has been to teach young people (especially high school students) about the United Nations by simulating its process. MUN has gained a wide following all around the world and "today approximately 60,000 high school and college students take part annually in local, regional and international MUN's."[1]

During an MUN conference, delegates are expected to write “resolutions”. United Nations resolutions are the real and original reports written and voted upon in the UN. In the Model United Nations, delegates write resolutions in order to simulate those written at the UN. Resolutions, both in the UN and in the Model United Nations, aim to provide solutions to current international issues. These reports are the core of all MUN conferences because during conferences, resolutions are first written, then debated and voted upon within committees, and then, finally, passed resolutions go to the General Assembly (GA), just like in the real UN, in order to be voted upon by all the Member States. This process is what MUN conferences are all about, therefore, writing an efficient and format wise correct resolution is a must.

Contents

Writing A Resolution

Resolutions have specific formats and have to be written in a particular way. Both format and content have to follow the procedures for resolutions provided by the conference organizers. Each conference may have a slightly different format. Yet, punctuation and style are constant in all MUN conferences. Resolutions that don’t abide by the resolution format are not considered relevant and may not be passed by the Control Panel. The control panel, not in every MUN conference, checks and controls draft resolutions before they are debated within committees.

Heading

When starting to write a resolution, it is important to write:

  • Committee (Forum)
  • Issue (Subject/Topic/Question of)
  • Main-submitter (Sponsor/Proposed by/Submitted by)
  • Sub-main submitter (Submitter to the Second Degree)
  • Signatories

By providing the information stated above, a delegate introduces the committee or the General Assembly to the issue and briefly mentions the states that have already agreed to debate the resolution. For example, if the issue/topic is “eliminating of arms sales to areas of political and social unrest” and if one of the signatories is Afghanistan, it is clear Afghanistan is willing to debate this issue and the issue is mostly relevant to nations with areas of political or social unrest.

A template for the heading of a resolution is as follows: ‘’’Forum:’’’ Human Rights Committee ‘’’Question of:’’’ Advancing Women in Government and Politics ‘’’Submitted by:’’’ France

Addressing a United Nations Organ

After writing the basic heading of a resolution, one has to write the name of the specific UN organ it is addressing. These are the MUN organs a delegate may address:

A delegate has to address a United Nations organ because a resolution has to have an audience and thus a delegate has to ask a particular group of delegations (be it the Permanent Five of the UN, or the General Assembly) to vote for or expand on the resolution. Common errors while addressing a United Nations organ are forgetting to put a coma after the name of the organ and writing the abbreviations of the organ, for instance writing “GA” instead of “General Assembly”. Also, after addressing the desired organ, the resolution does not proceed directly after: the clauses have to be a new paragraph.

Template addressing formats:

  • The General Assembly,
  • The Economic and Social Committee,
  • The Security Council,

Preambulatory Clauses

What are Pre-ambs?

Preambolatory clauses, or pre-ambs, are both historic justification for actions proposed in the resolution, and the description of the issue at hand. Pre-ambs may refer to the UN Charter, cite past UN resolutions or treaties on the topic at hand, mention statements made by the Secretary-General or a related UN body, recognize the efforts of regional or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in dealing with the problem, and/or make general statements on the topic such as emphasizing its significance or effects. Delegates should note that pre-ambs cannot propose solutions or address delegations to take action on the issue discussed.

Sample Preambulatory Clauses

Delegates have to start pre-ambs using only the following phrases[2] :

  • Acknowledging
  • Affirming
  • Alarmed by
  • Approving
  • Aware of
  • Believing
  • Bearing in mind
  • Confident
  • Congratulating
  • Contemplating
  • Convinced
  • Declaring
  • Deeply concerned (Deeply conscious, Deeply convinced, Deeply disturbed, Deeply regretting)
  • Deploring
  • Desiring
  • Emphasizing
  • Expecting
  • Expressing its appreciation
  • Fulfilling
  • Fully alarmed (Fully aware, Fully believing, Further deploring, Further recalling)
  • Guided by
  • Having adopted (Having considered, Having considered further, Having devoted attention)
  • Keeping in mind
  • Noting further (Noting with appreciation, Noting with approval, Noting with deep concern)
  • Pointing out
  • Reaffirming
  • Realizing
  • Recalling

Punctuation and Format

Preambulatory clauses are separated by commas, and the phrases in the beginning of each clause have to either be italicised or bolded, depending on the rules of the MUN conference. Every clause has to be one sentence and may not end with a period (full-stop), because the whole resolution is intended to be a single sentence.

Sample Preambulatory Clauses

‘’Acknowledging’’ that the United Nations wishes for special attention to be paid to the question of women's participation in political life; to assist them in this respect, the IPU solicited the ideas of the male and female politicians who compose it, and drafted a Plan of Action to correct present imbalances in the participation of men and women in political life,

‘’Emphasizes’’ that every nation has the right and the need to ensure its security, in these changing times, arms requirements and procurements may need to change too,

‘’Recognizes’’ that over the past three decades, international, regional and sub regional organizations have undertaken initiatives addressing elements of the conventional arms trade, yet experts discussed those instruments, arrangements and documents, noting that their scope varies and some also include transfer criteria and guidelines,

Operative Clauses

What are Operative Clauses

Operative clauses identify the actions or requests stated in the resolution. Unlike pre-ambs, they have to propose solutions for the topic debated; however, if they don’t state a possible solution they are not considered operative clauses and are likely to be struck out (eliminated) by other delegations. Each operative clause should contain a single idea or proposal, and should follow a logical pattern. Operative clauses should be well prepared, because they are vital to the resolution and they are the proposals that aim to “resolve” the issue at hand.

Sample Operative Clause Phrases

Each operative clause begins with a verb, and the delegate can only utilize the following phrases:[3]

  • Accepts
  • Affirms
  • Approves
  • Asks
  • Authorizes
  • Calls for
  • Calls upon
  • Condemns
  • Congratulates
  • Confirms
  • Declares accordingly
  • Deplores
  • Designates
  • Encourages
  • Endorses
  • Expresses its appreciation (Expresses its hope)
  • Further invites (Further proclaims, Further recommends, Further requests, Further resolves)
  • Hopes
  • Invites
  • Proclaims
  • Proposes
  • Recommends
  • Regrets
  • Requests
  • Resolves
  • Seeks
  • Strongly affirms (Strongly condemns, Strongly urges)
  • Suggests
  • Supports Trusts
  • Urges

Punctuation and Format

Operative clauses are, as pre-ambs, supposed to be one sentence, and hence do not end with a period, but instead, a semicolon. As semicolons separate operative clauses, so too do their numbers (as each clause must be numbered). Starting from the number 1, the following operative clauses are to be numbered 2, 3, 4 and so on. The operative phrases have sub and sub-clauses that help expand or further explain the suggested solution for the problem. Sub-clauses are meant as extensions to the main operative clauses, and must be phrased accordingly.

Sample Operative Clauses

2. Urges all Member States to renovate its laws concerning arms sales and arms manufacturing (and the universal laws) as the Control Arms Campaign noted that legal loopholes allow dealers to easily by-pass controls, in order to, but not limited to: a) put an end to the avoidance of end-use limitations (most governments demand to see an end use certificate identifying where arms are going and what they are to be used for), to ensure that: i. arms authorized for export are delivered to the stated end user, ii. arms are not diverted or misused for human rights violations,

b)improve the accountability and financial transparency by putting an end to off-shore banking, which is used to make it harder to track the finances,

c) tackle the issue of by-passing national laws by manufacturing in another country by, but not limited to: i. developing communication between nations, ii. signing the Arms Trade Treaty that will create international laws for arms manufacturing and therefore dealers will have only one law to abide by, ergo the mentioned laws won’t be ignored as easily;

4. Further urges nations to promote employment of women in order to create equal employment opportunity and increase female political participation by: a) Mandating that at least 35% of the representatives or the employees of each government should be female,

b) Encouraging business corporations to take on women as interns by: i. Granting tax exemptions to those who take on women as employees, ii. Awarding corporations that take female interns, for example providing them with free marketing, iii. Informing corporations on how taking interns (esp. female) is good for business (it is proven that the best way to recruit future employees is by hiring them as interns while still in school),

c) Making sure that there is objectivity concerning wages, allowing women fair and equal wages as men for the same amount of work done.

General Format and Punctuation of a MUN Resolution

The whole resolution is meant to be one sentence, thus there are no periods (full-stops) in between clauses. The last operative clause ends with a period and this finalizes the resolution. Every clause, both preambulatory and operative, are written as different paragraphs and instead of one whole paragraph. Even though clauses complete each other and technically are one sentence, they are different ideas and they have to be physically separated.

The Adventure of a MUN Resolution

In every MUN conference, first comes the Opening Ceremony, then delegates go to their respective committees and the Lobbying process begins. Delegates try to convince each other to sign the resolutions they have wrote, merge each others’ resolution or simply write a resolution from scratch. Once the resolution writing phase of the Lobbying process has ended, delegated “sell” their own resolution to others, and try to gather enough signatures (the number varies) in order to get their resolution debated. Then, the MUN resolution that have collected enough signatories are controlled by the Control Panel, which decides whether the resolutions are content and formant wise appropriate. Generally, all resolutions are considered worthy enough to be debated within committees. After the Control Panel approves a MUN resolution, the Sponsor (or main-submitter) reads the resolution (usually only the operative clauses) out loud to the delegates in his/her committee. Then the debating process begins, and various delegations give speeches for or against the resolution; they might make amendments (corrections, adjustments, add new clauses, strike clauses, change the wording of clauses etc.) to the resolution. Finally, the MUN resolution is voted and nations can be for, against the resolution or may abstain. If the resolution passes in a committee of one of the General Assembly organs, the resolution is also debated at the GA and once again voted amongst all nations of the MUN. If the resolution passes in a “special” committee, such as the ECOSOC, the resolution’s adventure ends in its committee.

Sample Resolution

The following resolution was submitted at the Prague Model United Nations 2011 (PRAMUN). It was first passed in the Disarmament Committee (Conference on Disarmament) and then in the General Assembly with no votes against it. This resolution was written by the delegation of Nigeria, two students from Açı High School, Turkey. Asya Igmen (16) and Daglar Ozkan (16) have kindly agreed to present their resolution as a sample MUN resolution.

Forum: Disarmament Committee

Question of: Eliminating arms sales to areas of social and political unrest

Submitted by: Nigeria

Stresses that some governments spend more on military expenditure than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined,

Deeply concerned that even though the arms industry is a huge industry it has many downsides as well; warlords, for example, ravaged Somalia, in the early 1990s and the warlords’ influence was only made possible because of the weapons they had access to,

Emphasizes that every nation has the right and the need to ensure its security, in these changing times, arms requirements and procurements may need to change too,

Recognizes that over the past three decades, international, regional and sub regional organizations have undertaken initiatives addressing elements of the conventional arms trade, yet experts discussed those instruments, arrangements and documents, noting that their scope varies and some also include transfer criteria and guidelines,

1. Calls upon Member States to help institute the Arms Trade Treaty (only if the treaty’s fundamental goals and objectives are clearly defined, if it’s fair, objective, balanced, non-political, non-discriminatory and universal within the framework of the UN), which will set common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms in order to, but not limited to:

a) create regional stability,

b) ensure the physical and intelligence security of export, import and transferring of weapons that will decrease illegal arms trafficking, therefore reduce the number of weapon-owning citizens and put and end to armed conflicts, by taking corresponding precautions such as, but not limited to: i. keeping important information on arms transportation unrevealed to the public, ii. increasing border control, iii. improving international customs in order to put an end to arms smuggling, iv. tackle the bribery and corruption issues associated with arms transferring by making the penalty of such violators more stringent,

c) solve issues relating to unlawful transfers to non-State actors (individuals or entities not acting under the lawful authority of any State),

d) protect international human rights law and international humanitarian law by not selling arms to regimes that will use the weapons to commit human rights abuses (definitely not to “known human rights violators”, but if a regime has violated human rights in the past, it must be committed not to do so again and guarantee the UN that these actions shall not be repeated, so that conditional trade might be possible) in order to: i. reduce conflicts, and so the number of deaths, ii. decrease casualties that occur during suppressions of insurrection and action in aid of civil authorities to restore order when a nation’s Armed Forces are called upon to do so,

e) increase social and economic development;

2. Urges all Member States to renovate its laws concerning arms sales and arms manufacturing (and the universal laws) as the Control Arms Campaign noted that legal loopholes allow dealers to easily by-pass controls, in order to, but not limited to:

a) put an end to the avoidance of end-use limitations (most governments demand to see an end use certificate identifying where arms are going and what they are to be used for), to ensure that: i. arms authorized for export are delivered to the stated end user, ii. arms are not diverted or misused for human rights violations,

b) improve the accountability and financial transparency by putting an end to off-shore banking, which is used to make it harder to track the finances,

c) tackle the issue of by-passing national laws by manufacturing in another country by, but not limited to: i. developing communication between nations, ii. signing the Arms Trade Treaty that will create international laws for arms manufacturing and therefore dealers will have only one law to abide by, ergo the mentioned laws won’t be ignored as easily;

3. Calls upon the UN to organize a group of governmental experts, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, in cooperation with the Arms Trade Oversight Project, the Control Arms Campaign, Amnesty International and all other concerned NGOs, that will point out the existing problems, issues that might occur and possible loopholes a Code Of Conduct (the EU’s, the US’ etc.) might have or has, also the group will discuss the possibility of creating an international Code of Conduct.

References

  1. ^ Libraries and Academic, Information Resources. "Model United Nations Research at Stanford". Stanford University: Jonsson Library. http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/jonsson/collections/intl/mun.html. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Oregon, MUN. "How To Write A Resolution". Oregon MUN. http://oregonmun.org/rh9htw.pdf. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Oregon, MUN. "How To Write A Resolution". Oregon MUN. http://oregonmun.org/rh9htw.pdf. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 

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