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Ch.04 Conference Documents

Standard Model United Nations Rules of Procedure

1. Working Papers

Delegates may propose working papers for the committee’s consideration. Working papers are intended to aid the Committee in its discussion and formulation of draft resolutions and should be written in draft resolution format.

Typically, the authors of a working paper should indicate the name of the committee, the topic under discussion, and the signatories who feel this paper is worth discussing at the top of the first page.

Working Papers are not official documents, but do require the signature of the Director in order for it to be copied and distributed. Once distributed, it is considered introduced and delegates may begin to refer to that Working Paper by its designated number.[1] No formal introduction of a working paper is needed.

2. Draft Resolutions

A Draft Resolution can be introduced when it receives the approval of the Director and is signed by 20% of the countries (sponsors + signatories) in the committee. The final number of countries required for each committee will be publicized at the beginning of each session, as it is contingent on the eventual attendance of the committee.

Note that the contents of a Draft Resolution must have been discussed during the formal and informal debate. Clauses that have not been discussed but are included in the document may be grounds for rejection by the Director.

Sponsors are Member States which have contributed to the formulation of the draft resolution. Any delegate can sponsor only one Draft Resolution and can withdraw it at any time by submitting a request in writing to the Director. If a delegate wishes to sponsor another Draft Resolution, that delegate will have to withdraw his/her sponsorship of the initial draft resolution.

Signatories are Member States and Observer Entities which do not necessarily agree with the Draft Resolution, but see potential in its contents, therefore deserving of further discussions, which means that the signatory believes that the draft resolution has the potential for further discussion. As such, the signatory has no further obligations towards the draft resolution and can be party to numerous draft resolutions.

After a Draft Resolution has been approved by the Director and distributed to all delegates, a motion to introduce the Draft Resolution is in order.

When a Draft Resolution is introduced, it will remain on the floor until a Draft Resolution on that topic area has been passed or until debate on that specific Draft Resolution is voted down, or withdrawn by all of its sponsors. No delegate may refer to a Draft Resolution until it is formally introduced. A Draft Resolution that has not been formally introduced may not be voted upon during substantive voting.

When there are more than one Draft Resolution on the floor, delegates may refer to the Draft Resolution by its designated number.[2]

More than one Draft Resolution may be on the floor at any one time, but at most one Draft Resolution is passed per topic area.

After the Q&A session, the debate proceeds according to the General Speaker’s List for that topic area, delegates may motion for moderated caucus to discuss on the Draft Resolution(s), submit amendments or motion to close debate and enter voting procedure.

3. Amendments

Delegates may amend the operative clauses of any Draft Resolution that has been introduced. No amendments to preambulatory clauses are in order. Amendments to amendments are out of order.

When there are more than one amendment on the floor, delegates may refer to the amendment by its designated number.[3]

An amendment is classified into two types: Friendly and Unfriendly Amendment.

3.1 Friendly Amendment

A Friendly Amendment is one whose sponsors include all the sponsors of the draft resolution at which it is directed.

A Friendly Amendment requires the approval of the Director but no signatories are required.

After a friendly amendment has been approved by the Director, the Moderator shall read out the changes, which are to be immediately incorporated into the Draft Resolution at which it is directed.

3.2 Unfriendly Amendment

An Unfriendly Amendment is one whose sponsors do not include all the sponsor of the DR at which it is directed.

An Unfriendly Amendment must have the approval of the Director and must also be signed by 20% of the countries in the Committee (including sponsors + signatories). The final number of signatories required for each committee will be publicized at the beginning of each session, as it is contingent on the eventual attendance of the Committee.

After a unfriendly amendment has been approved by the Director, a motion to introduce the amendment is in order. This is a procedural motion and requires a simple majority to pass.

Once passed, the formal debate is paused and the Committee will debate and vote on the unfriendly amendment. Only one unfriendly amendment can be debated on at any time.

Once an unfriendly amendment is passed, the Committee returns to the formal debate and the amendments are to be immediately incorporated into the Draft Resolution at which it is directed. The Committee returns to the formal debate after voting for the unfriendly amendment, regardless of the outcome of the vote.

4. APPENDIX

4.1 Resolution Format Guide

The ultimate goal of each committee is to produce a draft resolution, or its equivalent, detailing the collective action to be taken to solve the problem at hand. The solutions outlined in the draft resolution reflect the content of the discussions during the formal debate and caucuses as well as the level of consensus reached. In order to formulate an effective draft resolution, realistic and innovative solutions must be incorporated into the document.

Generally, each clause is elaborately expounded with subclauses to deal with specific subtopics of the main problem. A typical draft resolution consists of two parts: heading and body.

Heading

The title of the draft resolution should be in capital letters, followed by a number. The first number indicates the topic area being discussed. Upon the approval of the Committee Director, the draft resolution will be assigned a number based on the order in which it was submitted to the Dais. For example, the first approved draft resolution on the second topic area should have the label “DRAFT RESOLUTION 2.1”.

Below the title should include the committee name, topic, sponsors as well as signatories. Take note that abbreviations of the names of Member States (USA, UK) are discouraged.

Body

The body of a typical draft resolution consists of two types of clauses: preambulatory and operative clauses, each with different functions and format.

Preambulatory Clauses

The first part of the body starts with addressing the committee, which is to be in italic.

In essence, preambulatory clauses include the following:

  1. The reasons for which the committee is addressing the issue at hand;
  2. Stating all the issues the committee attempts to address;
  3. Highlight previous UN actions, which include previous resolutions, treaties, conventions, national and international efforts, references to the UN Charter, etc., in relation to the issue.

Preambulatory clauses are not numbered, and each clause is separated by a comma (,). Furthermore, each preambulatory phrase is to be in italic. There is no limit to the number of clauses, but ideally the preambulatory section should be concise, while including relevant clauses justifying the actions the committee is about to take.

Operative Clauses

Operative clauses outline the specific solutions which the sponsors of the resolution propose to resolve the issue at hand. The solutions have been previously debated and have garnered a certain degree of consensus. As previously mentioned, operative clauses may be expounded in the form of subclauses and sub-subclauses in order to further address specific issues stemming from the main issue. Each operative phrase is to be in italic. Subclauses and sub-subclauses do not require to begin with operative clauses.

Unlike preambulatory clauses, operative clauses are separated by a semicolon (;) and are numbered. Subclauses are indicated in alphabet form, and sub-subclauses are indicated by roman numerals. This differentiates them from preambulatory clauses by making it easier for the committee to address specific clauses through their designated reference. For example, a committee might discuss clause 3, subclause a, sub-subclause iii. Finally, the draft resolution is to end with a period (.).

4.2 Sample Draft Resolution

DRAFT RESOLUTION 1.1[4]

Committee: The Security Council

Topic: D.P.R. Korea’s Nuclear Test

Sponsors: United States of America, United Kingdom

Signatories: China, Russian Federation, France

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolution 825 (1993), resolution 1540 (2004) and, in particular, resolution 1695 (2006), as well as the statement of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41),

Reaffirming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

Expressing the gravest concern at the claim by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that it has conducted a test of a nuclear weapon on 9 October 2006, and at the challenge such a test constitutes to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the danger it poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond,

……

Expressing profound concern that the test claimed by the DPRK has generated increased tension in the region and beyond, and determining therefore that there is a clear threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

1. Condemns the nuclear test proclaimed by the DPRK on 9 October 2006 in flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1695 (2006), as well as of the statement of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41), including that such a test would bring universal condemnation of the international community and would represent a clear threat to international peace and security;

2. Demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile;

……

8.Decides that:

(a)All Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of:

(i)Any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms, or related materiel including spare parts, or items as determined by the Security Council or the Committee established by paragraph 12 below (the Committee);

……

16.Underlines that further decisions will be required, should additional measures be necessary;

17.Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

4.3 Sample Amendment

AMENDMENT 1.1

Committee: The Security Council
Topic: D.P.R. Korea’s Nuclear Test
Sponsors: Indonesia, Nigeria, United Kingdom
Signatories: People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, Uganda

Change the word “immediately” to “gradually” in operative clauses, No. 6.
Delete the operative clause No. 7.
Add as the final operative clause: “Decides to remain seized of the matter.”.

4.4 Preambulatory Phrases

Affirming, Alarmed by, Approving, Aware of, Bearing in mind, Believing, Cognizant of, Confident, Contemplating, Convinced, Declaring, Deeply concerned, Deeply conscious, Deeply convinced, Deeply disturbed, Deeply regretting, Desiring, Emphasizing, Expecting, Expressing its appreciation, Expressing, its satisfaction, Fulfilling, Fully aware, Fully alarmed, Fully believing, Further deploring, Further recalling, Guided by, Having adopted, Having considered, Having considered further, Having devoted attention, Having examined, Having heard, Having received, Having studied, Keeping in mind, Noting, Noting further, Noting with approval, Noting with deep concern, Noting with regret, Noting with satisfaction, Observing, Reaffirming, Realizing, Recalling, Recognizing, Referring, Seeking, Taking into account, Taking into consideration, Taking note, Viewing with appreciation, Welcoming

4.5 Operative Phrases

Accepts, Affirms, Approves, Asks, Authorizes, Calls, Calls upon, Condemns, Confirms, Congratulates, Considers, Declares accordingly, Demands, Deplores, Designates, Draws attention, Emphasizes, Encourages, Endorses, Expresses its appreciation, Express its hope, Further invites, Further proclaims, Further reminds, Further recommends, Further requests, Further resolves, Has resolved, Notes, Proclaims, Reaffirms, Recommends, Regrets, Reminds, Requests, Solemnly affirms, Strongly condemns, Supports, Takes note of, Transmits, Trusts, Urges

[1] Working Papers for Topic A will be named 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc., while Working Papers for Topic B will be named 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc

[2] Draft Resolutions for Topic A will be named 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc., while Draft Resolutions for Topic B will be named 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc

[3] If the first DR of Topic A accepts an amendment, the amendment should be named Amendment 1.1.1, and then Amendment 1.1.2 and so on. There is no need to specify amendments as friendly or unfriendly.

[4] Security Council resolution 1718, Non-proliferation/Democratic People's Republic of Korea, S/RES/1718 (2006), available from undoc.org/S/RES/1718 (2006)