Resolution Content: Decisions and Action
Ultimately, the goal of any committee is to write and adopt feasible and comprehensive substantive proposals—that is, resolutions and amendments. It is the process of drafting these proposals that unites speaking, caucusing, and diplomacy all into a single expression of the ideas of a group of member-states. In what will follow we will be examining the structure of resolutions and amendments and briefly discuss important strategies that you should know as a delegate in writing these substantive proposals.
For an annotated sample of a resolution, please visit Resolution Structure.
A resolution is a written proposal that deals with the issues being entertained by the committee. The committee votes on resolutions and those that pass are implemented.
Resolutions are divided into three parts (1) Header, (2) Pre-ambulatory clauses, and (3) Operative clauses.
The Header provides the basic information mainly for administrative purposes. It lists the title, topic, the committee, sponsors and the signatories at the beginning of the resolution, usually placed in the upper left corner of the document.
Every resolution should begin by listing the title, topic, committee, sponsors, and signatories of a resolution in that order in the top left corner of the resolution. If your resolution has a name, this is where that title is also listed. At BMUN, chairs will name resolutions by the topic they are on and the order they were submitted (e.g. Topic 1, resolutions 1 and 2: A/1, A/2; topic 2, resolutions 2 and 3: B/2 B/3).
SPONSORS & SIGNATORIES
Each resolution or amendment has sponsors. Sponsors of resolutions are the member-states who have contributed directly to the resolution in writing, ideas, discussion, etc. They are the creators and advocates of the substantive ideas presented within the document. Sponsorship can be withdrawn from the resolution up until amendments have been passed altering the resolution. Each resolution requires a minimum of one sponsor.
Each resolution or amendment also needs a certain number of signatories in order to be debated. A signatory is someone who is interested in seeing the resolution presented, but does not necessarily indicate support or opposition to any substantive ideas. If you are a signatory for a resolution, it just means you would like to see if presented in formal caucus and discuss it. BMUN requires 20% of the committee to be signatories on a resolution, but this will vary between conferences.
One may only be a signatory or a sponsor; signatories cannot be withdrawn after the resolution has been submitted.
Preambulatory clauses (PREAMBS)
These clauses introduce the problem at hand, provide some background information, and in general indicate the attitude of the resolution. Citing important documents or events as background knowledge can be impressive, but don’t overload with perambulatory clauses, as they can crash a good resolution before it gets off the ground. These cannot be changed by amendments. Begin preambulatory clauses with an underlined participle, such as Reminding, Reiterating or Emphasizing, and end each clause with a comma. If pressed for time, Operatives in a resolution should take priority because the Preambles provide background but do not actually call for any action.
Click the button below to explore our preambulatory clause dictionary, with a robust list of gerunds for you to use for your resolution!
The operative clauses are the meat of the resolution. They outline the ideas and proposed actions of the resolution. They should lay out a specific solution or set of solutions to the problem at hand. Good operative clauses are original, innovative, on policy, and both economically and politically feasible.
Cost considerations are also dealt with in the operative clauses. Each operative clause should be numbered. Begin each operative clause with an underlined action word, such as Recommends, Encourages, or Establishes, and end each clause with a semi-colon. The last operative should end with a period.
For more on what makes a good operative, visit SMART Operatives. For a comprehensive list of active verbs to use in your operatives click the button below!