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Developing and Writing RESOLUTIONS


Resolutions represent the formal decisions of the UN bodies; they may simply register an opinion, or any recommend action to be taken by a UN organ or related agency.

Resolutions usually state a policy that the UN will undertake, but they also may be in the form of treaties, conventions and 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, and require action or sanctions on the part of the member states. The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council may only call for or suggest actions. 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.

There will be no advanced submission of draft resolutions. Resolutions are to be developed by delegates in committee.


Resolutions must pertain to one of the following issues. Please see Topics and Backgroud 


The following list includes important points to consider when writing a resolution, either in advance or for submission at the Conference. This is by no means an exclusive list, but should provide a good starting point to make your resolutions as realistic as possible. Points to consider include:

  •  In the preambulatory clauses, describe the recent history of the situation and the issue as it currently exists;
  • Reference past United Nations actions, when available;
  •  Reference previous United Nations resolutions passed on the topic, when available;
  • In the operative clauses, include actions which will solve the problem, not just make a statement;
  • Don’t be blatantly political in the content 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 “United Nations” perspective, not just from your country’s individual point of view;
  • Refer issues which need further discussion to appropriate, existing bodies;
  • Don’t create new Committees/Commissions/Working Groups/etc. without considering funding for these groups, or if other, similar bodies already exist;
  • Always consider previous UN resolutions on the topic — don’t duplicate what other resolutions have done without referencing the appropriate sources.



Each draft resolution should be written as a single sentence, with commas and semicolons separating the various parts (see “Sample Resolution” for specifics). In drafting the “heading” of resolutions, Representatives should state their country name, the name of the Committee/Council to which it will be presented, and the topic of the resolution at the top of the document. Please note that resolutions must use the names of the Committee/Council and topic exactly as stated above. Resolutions which do not utilize these names will not be processed.

Following the “heading” section, resolutions are split into preambulatory and operative (sometimes called “activating”) clauses. Preambulatory clauses are listed first, and they are used to justify action, denote past authorizations and precedents for action, and/or denote the purpose for an action. Operative clauses are the statement of policy in a resolution. They are numbered, begin with a verb to denote an action (or suggested action), and each clause usually addresses no more than one specific aspect of the action to be taken.




bullet Blank Draft Resolution Worksheet
bullet Single spaced throughout resolution, with double spacing between clauses,
bullet Clauses must begin with proper introductory words/phrases, in capital letters,
bullet Preambulatory clauses end with commas and operative clauses end with semi-colons,
bullet Each operative clause must be numbered and indented,
bullet The final operative clause ends with a period,
bullet Please do not number lines in the margin of the resolution.




Preambular Clauses tell the reader what has gone before, why or on what basis the resolution was written. A preambular clause on the topic of Peace in the Middle East might state the reasons why peace is beneficial to that region, or for what reason peace is even more crucial at this time. Preambular clauses in a resolution may have a number of specific purposes, including:



bullet Referring to previous UN actions, resolutions, reports, treaties or conventions which pertain to the topic,
bullet Setting the emotional tone of the resolution, and
bullet Defining terminology to be applied in the operative section of the resolution.


 Operative Clauses tell the reader how the resolution proposes to operate, or what the resolution proposes to do to address the topic area. If the topic area is Peace in the Middle East, the operative clauses might tell how the resolution plans to achieve peace in the Middle East. Alternatively, the operative clauses might simply recommend what policies seem most beneficial to peace. Operative clauses are most often associated with action, but they may also act as mere recommendations or non-active policies.

The following phrases/words are a partial list of the appropriate introductions in resolutions:




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




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



 Please note: the sample resolution presented below is shown for formatting purposes only. It is intentionally simplistic, and is not meant to represent the content of an actual draft resolution.

Blank Draft Resolution Worksheet

SUBJECT OF RESOLUTION: Refraining from the Use of Force in International Relations

SUBMITTED TO: The Fourth Committee

SUBMITTED BY: (Your Country)


RECOGNIZING that the use of force in international relations cannot be condoned,

AFFIRMING the principals of the UN Charter in regards to the non-usage of force in international relations,

SEEKING solutions to international problems without the use of force,

DEEPLY CONCERNED that some nations still consider the use of force acceptable,

1. REQUESTS all nations to refrain from the use of force in international relations;

2. SUPPORTS the use of the various United Nations bodies for the settlement of international disputes;

3. CONGRATULATES all nations which choose to resolve their disputes in a peaceful fashion.

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