The King’s College London Model United Nations Society is a group of graduate and undergraduatestudents from King’s Colleg...
!"   #       $                                   #"   %   $                                       %        The General Ass...
$                                                   !#   odel United Nations (MUN) simulates the diplomacy of the many for...
$                                          !%$t  is important to understand the role and structure of the United Nations (...
agreements. Known as ‘specialized agencies’, they include the International Monetary Fund(INF), the International Atomic E...
Organisations (such as the African Union and the League of Arab States), NGOs (like theInternational Committee of the Red ...
including development and HIV/AIDS means that its agenda is no less significant ordivorced from the influence of world pol...
If efforts at peaceful resolution have or are likely to fail, the Security Council may resort to amore robust approach. Un...
4                              "                              +                           "    United Nations             ...
Convention on Human Rights. Such agreements are often referred to as internationalconventions or covenants, although the n...
Additions or amendments may be made to a treaty through the drafting of a protocol. Oneprominent example is the Kyoto Prot...
climate change, Convinced that the extended use renewable energy sources provides an important tool in the protection of t...
Operative clauses – These clauses outline the action that has been agreed upon to       address the international issue. E...
()             !&  tudents participating in MUN conferences assume the role of a delegate - representing aMember State of ...
When it is a Member State’s turn to address the committee, the chair will formally recognisethe State. He or she will say,...
If diplomatic protocol is not followed and a delegate feels that a speech has impugned theirpersonal or national integrity...
moderated caucus’ or ‘motion to enter unmoderated caucus’. In the case of these motions,the delegate then proposes for how...
caucus and moderated caucus as already described. They are proposed in exactly the samemanner.A resolution follows a set r...
vote immediately on the motion, which passes with a simple majority. More than onecompeting resolutions are normally allow...
substantive question. On the substantive question, delegates may choose to abstain,meaning that they wish neither to vote ...
+                             !*+orking with other delegates to draft a resolution, debating it and shepherding it through...
intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, as emphasized also at the World   Conference against Racism, R...
facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts, of entities owned or controlled,        directly or indirec...
4.  Urges States that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the      Optional Protocols to...
When recommending the writing of new international law, it is important to think carefullyabout definitions. The discussio...
These clauses from a General Assembly resolution found the post of the High Commissionerfor Human Rights. Notice how they ...
i)   To coordinate the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United       Nations system;  j)   ...
.             ) "            !-  or many delegates, especially those attending large international conferences, an emailfr...
KCL MUN Blue Book
KCL MUN Blue Book
KCL MUN Blue Book
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KCL MUN Blue Book


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The KCLMUN Blue Book has been written as an intensive guide for beginners to MUN. Although it provides a good preparation for participating in any university-level MUN conference, it is designed to support the Society's weekly training sessions. Much of the MUN experience can only be understood when experienced at firsthand. Join your KCLMUN and experience it for yourself.

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KCL MUN Blue Book

  1. 1. The King’s College London Model United Nations Society is a group of graduate and undergraduatestudents from King’s College London who meet regularly to discuss international issues and representthe College at student international affairs conferences.The society attends MUN conferences all over the world, winning many awards for its contributions.They also loan staff and other support to the London International Model United Nations conference,the largest university-level MUN conference in the UK.Copyright © 2005King’s College London Model United Nations SocietyAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means, electronic ormechanical, including photocopying or recording, or stored in an information retrieval system, without thepermission in writing from King’s College London Model United Nations Society.
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  3. 3. !" # $ #" % $ % The General Assembly The International Court of Justice The Security Council The Economic and Social Council The International Court of Justice Other International Bodies An Introduction to International Law Resolution Basics" & () #% Formal Debate Informal Debate Points and Motions The Passage of a Resolution" * + #, Preambulatory Clauses Calling upon States A Legislative Approach An Organisational Approach" - . ) " %/ Research Public Speaking Negotiation and Consensus Building %,
  4. 4. $ !# odel United Nations (MUN) simulates the diplomacy of the many forums of internationalrelations. It aims to build an understanding of global challenges amongst young people thatcrosses borders of background, culture and nationality. Using both the knowledge and therelationships they form through MUN, it is hoped that that the next generation of worldleaders and thinkers will be able to work co-operatively to find solutions to future globalproblems that are compatible with the aims and principles of the United Nations.Taking on the role of an ambassador to the UN, participants can experience the complexitiesof international policy formation at first hand. Knowledge of global politics is not onlyimportant to students of international relations or other social sciences, but also to futureleaders and thinkers in academia, business, law, medicine, science and wider civil society.MUN also aims to develop transferable skills essential to all fields of study and employment.Delegates must demonstrate strong leadership, initiative and expertise in public speaking.Participants must be skilled at negotiation and consensus building, and be able to createrelationships rapidly with people of alternative backgrounds and viewpoints.MUN was established in the 1930s, when universities in the United States began to simulatethe discussion of the League of Nations. Today, MUN recreates the debate of anextraordinary range of diplomatic forums, including inter-governmental bodies such as theUN General Assembly, regional organisations such as the European Council and judicialbodies such as the International Criminal Court.Each participant or ‘delegate’ represents the viewpoint of a single Member State of theUnited Nations or non-governmental organisation (NGO), researching that country’s orNGO’s policy and advocating these views to other delegates. The debate is controlled usingconventions and rules based on those used at genuine international summits. The objective isalways to reach consensus and pass a statement of the international community’s response toa particular area of concern. These formal statements - called resolutions - contain collectiveaction that will be taken to address the issue.Hundreds of thousands of students in universities across the world participate in MUNdebate, but it is only when brought together at conferences that the recreation ofinternational diplomacy approaches realism. Most university societies visit one or two largeinternational conferences a year – attracting up to 3,000 students – and three or four nationalconferences – attracting about 300 students.Recreating around a dozen different international organisations or committees, conferencesoffer an intense schedule of debate and negotiation followed by social events during theevenings. Most conferences will be visited by senior figures from the international affairscommunity, who offer delegates an insider’s perspective on the issues being discussed andan important link to reality. Conferences often include tours and other events to exposedelegates to the culture of the host country and social events to offer the opportunity ofmeeting other multinational delegates informally. Some conferences also organise post-conference excursions to explore the wider natural and cultural beauty of the host countryonce debate has been closed.
  5. 5. $ !%$t is important to understand the role and structure of the United Nations (UN) beforeattempting to engage with its agenda. This chapter provides an introduction to the UN andoutlines the various forums that are commonly recreated at MUN conferences, their powers,composition and responsibilities. It also provides a basic guide to international law and theformal structure of a UN resolution.The United Nations was founded on 24th October 1945 with the hope that succeedinggenerations could be saved from the scourge of war and that common standards could beagreed on human rights, international law and social progress. The UN is based on theprinciple of collective security - that any breach of international peace by one State will bepunished jointly by the rest of the international community. Grounded on these ideals ofglobal governance, since 1945 the UN system has expanded to consider nearly all areas ofinternational relations - from its leadership in areas of development, security and humanrights to less well-publicised work in areas as diverse as road traffic standards and theprotection of cultural heritage.Following the end of the Second World War, its initial 51 Member States officially adoptedthe United Nations Charter - the treaty document that acts as the organisation’s constitution.Over the past 60 years, the United Nations has grown to a total of 191 Member States. Withthe recent admission of Switzerland and Timor-Leste, the Holy See is the only widelyrecognised State that is not a Member.According to Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, the purposes of the UN are: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.For 2004-2005, the UN budget was US$3.16 billion - five cents for every 100 people of theworld’s population. The organisation is funded by contributions from Member States, withthe funds that each State provides calculated mainly on the basis of Gross National Product.The four principal organs of the UN recreated at MUN conferences are the: General Assembly; Security Council; Economic and Social Council; and the International Court of Justice.Also at the UN’s centre, although not recreated by delegates at MUN conferences are: The Secretariat ; The Trusteeship Council.Most conferences are administered by Secretariats and headed by a Secretary General. TheseSecretariat positions tend to be filled by students with considerable MUN experience.In addition, the UN family embraces a much larger group of agencies and forums, someolder than the UN itself. Many of these organisations are independent from the UN withseparate governing bodies and budgets, but maintain strong links through co-operative
  6. 6. agreements. Known as ‘specialized agencies’, they include the International Monetary Fund(INF), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International LabourOrganization (ILO), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO). TheInternational Maritime Organization, the only member of the UN family to be hosted in theUK, is also a ‘specialized agency’.Also part of the UN system, a number of other UN programmes and funds come under thedirect authority of the General Assembly or Economic and Social Council. These include theOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).0 1 !Very few Model United Nations conferences lack the unique challenge provided bysimulating the debate of the General Assembly (GA). The UN’s ‘parliament’ is unparalleledin scale, both in terms of the number of countries and cultures represented, but also in termsof the number of topics that may reach the agenda.Every Member State, regardless of power or influence, political or social system, populationor wealth, has a single vote in the GA. It is the only UN body where every country hasrepresentation. A simple majority (that is 50% plus one) decides most matters, while whatthe Charter refers to as ‘important matters’ are decided by a two-thirds majority. It normallymeets between September and December at the United Nations Building in New York.The GA is responsible for the consideration and approval of the UN budget. It elects all non-permanent members of the Security Council, members of the Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC), and judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The GA also appoints theSecretary General, on the recommendations of the Security Council. It may also admit andexpel Member States. Although the GA has never expelled a member, it did suspend thevoting rights of South Africa between 1974 and 1994 during the apartheid era. All theseresponsibilities are considered ‘important matters’ to be decided by a two-thirds majority.The GA may consider and make recommendations on any matter of ‘international peace andsecurity’ or otherwise within the scope of the UN Charter, so long as the issue is not alreadyunder consideration by the Security Council. It may also initiate studies and makerecommendations that enhance ‘the realization of human rights and fundamental freedomsfor all, and international collaboration in economic, social, cultural, educational and healthfields’. Under this power, it has been responsible for the adoption of many instruments ofinternational law, including agreements on the law of war, human rights and theenvironment.The GA is not a legislative body. Its decisions do not have the standing of international law,although they do establish the will of the international community and can be referred to inthe decisions of the International Court of Justice, other international courts and domesticcourts. In certain circumstances, it can establish binding international law by adopting atreaty, but a Member State must both sign and ratify it to be legally bound by the treaty’smeasures.In addition to its 191 Member States, the GA may also be addressed by a number of formallyrecognised observers. These include one State (the Holy See), Intergovernmental
  7. 7. Organisations (such as the African Union and the League of Arab States), NGOs (like theInternational Committee of the Red Cross) and territories whose sovereignty is ill defined(such as Palestine and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta).The GA’s opening session is normally addressed by the Heads of Government of the worldand the Secretary General. Due to the size of the GA’s agenda, most items are referred tospecialist committees for consideration. There are six GA committees: First Committee: Disarmament and International Security Second Committee: Economic and Financial Third Committee: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Fourth Committee: Special, Political and Decolonization Fifth Committee: Administrative and Budgetary Sixth Committee: LegalLess controversial items may be discussed in what is called plenary session without referralto a committee. Such agenda items are often adopted by acclamation – there is no formalvote.Resolutions drafted in the six committees must be passed in committee before reaching thefloor of the General Assembly where it is voted on a second time to determine whether it willbe formally adopted.Model UN conferences tend to recreate the debate of the individual committees rather thanthe entire GA. The Economic and Financial Committee and the Administrative andBudgetary Committee are rarely recreated at Model UN conferences due to their technicalnature. The Legal Committee is occasionally recreated, but delegates are often required tohave studied international public law.0 $ (2 !The International Court of Justice (ICJ) offers MUN delegates a very different challenge tothe other organs of the UN. It is the only committee where delegates do not represent theviews of Member States, instead giving their own opinions based on legal knowledge.The ICJ settles legal disputes between States and offers advisory opinions on legal mattersrequested by other UN bodies. The General Assembly and the Security Council elect theCourt’s 15 Justices for terms of nine years. The ICJ can only hear cases that States havesubmitted to its jurisdiction – it cannot rule on cases brought by individuals or otherorganisations against States.To participate in the ICJ, it is normal for conferences to require delegates to have auniversity-level grounding in international public law.0 3 !With its relatively small size of 54 members and socio-economic focus, many delegates preferthe Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the break it offers from the squabble oflarger committees on matters of international security and armed conflict. Greater emphasisis placed on consensus building within ECOSOC, not only with Member States but also withthe attending NGOs. However, its responsibility for the UN’s work on important issues
  8. 8. including development and HIV/AIDS means that its agenda is no less significant ordivorced from the influence of world politics.Under the overall authority of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC) co-ordinates the UN’s work on economic, social, cultural, educational and healthrelated matters, supervising many of the specialized agencies and programs. The Council hasa membership of 54, elected by the GA for terms of three years.ECOSOC works more closely with NGOs than the General Assembly. Over 1,500 NGOs have‘consultative status’ giving them considerable access to the decision-making processes of theCouncil.0 !The Security Council offers MUN delegates the opportunity to debate the most significantcontemporary international security issues and crises in a very small and personal forum.Sometimes the agenda of a MUN Security Council is interrupted by a crisis situationinvolving a fictitious break to international peace and security created by the conferenceSecretariat. Such crisis situations can be particularly challenging simulation and demand abroad knowledge of international affairs from Council delegates.It is the duty of the Security Council to ‘ensure prompt and effective action by the UnitedNations’ and it has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace andsecurity. The Council may meet at any time to consider matters of concern. All decisions ofthe Security Council have the full authority of international law and must be obeyed by allStates.The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Five are permanent members (the so-called‘P5’) - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The remaining tenseats are for non-permanent members elected by the GA and limited to serving only oneterm consecutively. Decisions of the Council are made by nine affirmative votes. The P5 holdvetoes - no decision may pass the Council without the agreement of all five permanentmembers.Despite changes to the geopolitical landscape since the late 1940’s - decolonization, the endof East-West military confrontation and globalisation - the membership and operations of theSecurity Council have altered very little. It is seen by many as being undemocratic andunrepresentative of the current world power balance. Under consideration by the GeneralAssembly since 1992, reform of the Security Council is one of the most contentious items onthe UN agenda and is considered by some to be one of the most important issues faced bythe UN in its attempts to remain relevant. The changing nature of the threats to internationalpeace and security have only served to further highlight the need for reform as the threats ofthe Cold War give way to those of international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of massdestruction, intrastate conflict and genocide. The challenges presented by these new threatshave sometimes found the Security Council wanting and have intensified calls for reform.The Security Council may intervene in any dispute that is likely to endanger internationalpeace and security. It may recommend a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation,arbitration, by referral to the International Court of Justice or by other peaceful means.
  9. 9. If efforts at peaceful resolution have or are likely to fail, the Security Council may resort to amore robust approach. Under what are referred to as its Chapter VII powers, the Councilmay impose economic sanctions, an arms embargo, sever diplomatic relations or otheractions short of armed force. As a last resort, Chapter VII also authorises the Security Councilto use ‘all necessary means’ including military force against any threat to international peaceor security. Before the Gulf War in 1991, the Security Council had only use its Chapter VIIpowers to authorise military force once – during the Korean War of 1950. The Charter onlypermits States to use force in two circumstances - if acting under a Chapter VII mandate fromthe Security Council or if acting in self-defence (under Article 51 of the UN Charter, whichrecognises that States have the inherent right of self-defence against an armed attack). Noother acts of force are considered legal - although in practice many unlawful incidents of theuse of force have occurred throughout the 60 year lifetime of the Charter.The Security Council also recommends to the GA new Secretary-Generals and new MemberStates.4 $ 5 !In addition to the main organs of the UN, many other international and regional inter-governmental organisations and judicial bodies are occasionally recreated through MUN.Some conferences even recreate climatic events from diplomatic history such as a majorpeace conference, cabinet meeting or Security Council discussion. One MUN conference haseven included a simulation of the Versailles Peace Conference and the Congress of Vienna.The scope of forums that can be recreated through MUN is only limited by the imaginationof the conference organisers.Those most commonly simulated are listed in the table below. More information can befound on the organisations’ websites. 4 " + " African Union (AU) Promotes democracy, human 53 Member States rights and development across (all African States Africa. except Morocco) Association of South Accelerates South East Asian As of May 2005, East Asian Nations regional economic growth, 11 Member States (ASEAN) social progress, cultural development, and promotes peace and stability. European Council The main decision-making As of May 2005, body of the European Union 25 EU Member States GA Special Meets occasionally to discuss The 191 Member Session/Conference areas of special concern to States of the UN the UN General Assembly. International Criminal Conducts trials of As of March 2005, Court (ICC) individuals who are charged 98 State parties to with violations of the Rome Statute international humanitarian law. Organization of Decides issues of regional As of May 2005, American States co-operation in the 26 Member States (OAS) Americas.
  10. 10. 4 " + " United Nations Considers UN work on trade 192 Member Conference on Trade and development, States and Development monitoring issues and offering technical assistance. United Nations Promotes international co- 191 Member Educational, Scientific operation on ethical issues. States and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) United Nations Monitors, reports and As of May 2005, Human Rights debates on human rights 53 Member States Commission violations, either in specific (UNHRC) countries or generally. World Health Decides budget and major 192 Member Assembly (WHO A) policy issues of the World States of the Health Organization (WHO), WHO the UN’s specialised agency for health related issues. World Trade An international forum for As of February Organisation (WTO) the negotiation of trade and 2005, 148 the settling of international Member States commercial disputes. $ $ !Many of the ideas discussed during MUN debates are founded on the multiple treaties,customs and principles that make up international law. A basic understanding of the maintypes of international law, how it is drafted, adopted and enforced, is therefore helpful.A few committees at large conferences will require a more developed knowledge (such asthe International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice or the Sixth or LegalCommittee of the General Assembly), but the information contained in this guide should besufficient for most of the non-specialist committees.There are generally considered to be three main sources of international law: International Treaties; International Custom; and General Principles of Law accepted by Civilised Nations.$ 0Treaties are agreements between States committing each signatory to a set of certain actionsor forms of behaviour. The UN itself was set-up under the provisions of an internationaltreaty, the Charter of the United Nations.Many treaties are bilateral agreements between two States. For example, under their BilateralAgreement on the Prohibition of Attacks against Installations and Facilities, India and Pakistanhave agreed not to attack each other’s nuclear installations or facilities.Others are multilateral - often adopted at a meeting of an Intergovernmental Organisation(IGO) such as the UN. For example, in 1950 the European Council adopted the European
  11. 11. Convention on Human Rights. Such agreements are often referred to as internationalconventions or covenants, although the name is of less importance than the content of thetreaty. United Nations bodies have adopted a huge range of international treaties. Prominentexamples include the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocideadopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights adopted in 1966.IGOs can also make agreements called declarations, such as the Universal Declaration onHuman Rights. Declarations differ from conventions in that they are not legally binding.Nevertheless, they can establish a widely recognised standard. In some cases declarations areadopted because a convention proved too controversial to pass. In 2004, the UN GeneralAssembly reached deadlock discussing a proposed ‘International Convention against theReproductive Cloning of Human Beings’, but there were sufficient votes to pass the UNDeclaration on Human Cloning a year later in 2005.The drafting, adoption and entry into force of a UN convention follows a set route. Firstly, the UN General Assembly passes a resolution to establish a working group to conduct relevant research and study to produce a draft convention. Secondly, the draft is considered by the UN General Assembly, which must pass it with a two-thirds majority. Thirdly, States must sign the treaty (give agreement to its principles), and ratify it (agree to be legally bound by its measures). For the new convention to become legally binding for an individual State, that State must both sign and formally ratify the convention. The gap between signing and ratifying the treaty may be several years and in some cases a ratification is never achieved. For example, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly in 1989 has yet to be ratified by either the US or Somalia. States that have signed and ratified a treaty are often referred to as the ‘state parties to a treaty’ or simply the ‘state parties’. Finally, the treaty will enter into force. Some treaties will specify a specific date for entry into force, while others will detail conditions that have to be met before this can take place. Often these conditions will include ratification by a certain number of states.Once in force, a State party to a treaty must alter its domestic law to ensure compatibilitywith its provisions. However, States may choose not to apply certain elements of a treatythrough a derogation or reservation.Derogations allow a state party to suspend certain parts of an international treaty,particularly during times of national emergency. For example, in November 2001, the UKHome Secretary declared a ‘state of emergency’ to allow derogation from certain elements ofthe European Convention on Human Rights so that international terrorist suspects could bepursued and detained.Reservations allow the opting out of certain provisions of a treaty and may be made by aState when ratifying a treaty. For example, a number of Arab States maintain reservationsregarding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child due to incompatibility with IslamicShariah law. Reservations are not allowed if they are contrary to the object and principles ofthe treaty. For instance, a State cannot make a reservation to the UN Convention AgainstTorture that allows them to torture under certain circumstances.
  12. 12. Additions or amendments may be made to a treaty through the drafting of a protocol. Oneprominent example is the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Convention on Climate Change. Protocolsare drafted, adopted, signed and ratified in exactly the same way as other conventions.All resolutions passed by the Security Council also possess the standing of international lawand their provisions must be implemented under the provisions of the UN Charter, aninternational treaty.$International law can also be established through custom. These are near universal principlesof behaviour that are recognised by the majority of states. Under the custom known as pactasunt servanta, for example, it is convention for a state to be bound by the provisions of treatiesthey are party to.1 ) " ( " 6General Principles of Law are principles recognised by the majority of legal systems. Forexample, the rule of res judicata, that a case that has been through the full legal process of trialand appeals cannot be reopened, is widely accepted in many states. 5 !The aim of any meeting of the UN or other diplomatic forum is to reach consensus and passa statement of a multilateral response to a particular international issue. These formalstatements – or ‘resolutions’ – contain agreed collective action to be taken to address thespecific area of concern. UN resolutions are drafted according to very specific guidelines.The box below contains an example of a resolution taken from a university-level MUNconference. The Question of Renewable and Alternative Energy The General Assembly, Recalling the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, Recalling further the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation that affirmed the urgent need to substantially increase the global share of renewable energy sources with the objective of increasing its contribution to total energy supply, Aware that extended world production of renewable energy has important implications for international peace and security and the achievement of development goals set out in the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, Noting that possible solutions to address climate change must also include reducing emissions by other means, protecting and expanding forests, lifestyle changes to reduce energy consumption and adaptation, Deeply concerned by the findings of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that significant climate change will result if 21st century energy needs were met without a major reduction in carbon emissions, Fully aware of the urgency with which the international community must address the effects of
  13. 13. climate change, Convinced that the extended use renewable energy sources provides an important tool in the protection of the environment from the harmful effects of carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, 1. Calls upon all states to work co-operatively towards achieving the goals of the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation to endorse and encourage the increased production of renewable energy and its contribution to total energy supply; 2. Urges all states to work collectively towards achieving the ultimate objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and strongly urges States to ratify its Kyoto Protocol in a timely manner; 3. Requests that the Secretary General appoint for an initial period of two years a Special Representative of the Secretary General for Renewable Energy to gather information and co- ordinate approaches to renewable energy production and to this end the Special Representative shall: a) aid in the drawing up of national programmes for the introduction of renewable energy; b) support education, implement training, and disseminate information about renewable energy; c) establish regional centres of research, development and transfer; d) evaluate and process information on applied technology and best practice experience; e) advise on and arrange financing options for renewable energy; f) collect data and draw up statistics on renewable energy; 4. Decides to convene an Ad-hoc Working Group open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies to draft an international Code of Conduct on the production of renewable energy with particular attention to: a) extending market access for renewable energies; b) encouraging financial incentives for the extension of renewable energy production; c) extending research and development of renewable energy technology; d) the use of renewable energy as a tool of development; e) public education regarding the benefits of renewable energy; f) the sharing of information regarding best practice in renewable energy production and the prompt sharing of technological advances; g) the integration of renewable energy into other approaches to address climate change.As seen in the above example, a resolution is formed of one complete sentence beginningwith the name of the body that has passed it and ending in a full stop. Resolutions aredivided into individual clauses, each containing a specific statement or course of action.There are two types of clause: Preambulatory clauses – These introduce the issues under consideration. They list previous resolutions and items of international law that are relevant. Preambulatory clauses will also explain why international action is required and justify the approach taken in the resolution. The preambulatory clauses are collective referred to as the preamble and each one ends in a comma.
  14. 14. Operative clauses – These clauses outline the action that has been agreed upon to address the international issue. Each operative clause ends in a semicolon, with the exception of the final clauses, which ends in a full stop.Clauses begin with an opening phrase - displayed in Italics or underlined. Use of openingphrases is normally restricted to a set list. Those most commonly used are listed below. It isbest not to use phrases more than once in a resolution. ) ) ! " # !$ %& & "( ) * " ! # % + ! $ * " (" %, # & #( ,(- *# , ( ( ( "- ( # #( ,(- ( * " " - . ! #( ,( "(& ( - " # #) " #& ( #( &( )- #"" # (* ( ! #( ,( * # ! - * / " * " ( * " * (# # +" / " * " (-* "# ! 0 & & 1 ( )- (" * # ! $ 0 !. 1 ( *#!" )- * #"#" ! $ ) 0 ! ! 1 ( )- " * # ! $ 0 # . 1 ( )- # " * " + ! ( $ ) 0& 1 ( )- 2 " ) ( " *! $ (( 3 4 1 ( )- "! " # " 54 (# # ( ) " "!# * " - . 54 ( #" # (# # " ( / ( * 54 #( 6#!" / " * " ( * " * ( # 7 , ,( *- * (# 0 & " & / " * " ( "(& ( " " # 8 ! # 0 # " 1 !! )! & 0 (" 1! ! )$ ! 4" 6 ) 0 " 1! , )$ ! % *"( 02 " ) (" 1! * )$ ! ! # %&" & 3 ! ! & " # $ & 1! )$ ! !! % *# " * 3! ! # " # $ 9) +$ % (# ." )- 3 * #( )* " #( * ! ! " 5 4" # # ( & #" !* ! # ) 5 " " ( #" &( )- # " 5)( " " # ( ( ( ( # # &" " / # (! " )( - #" "As with many ‘legislative’ processes, the final resolution may bear only mild resemblance tothe original as a resolution will undergo considerable redrafting and amendment both ininformal lobbying sessions as well as in formal debate before it is successfully passed. Moreinformation is provided about the process of debating resolutions and how to draft one inlater chapters.
  15. 15. () !& tudents participating in MUN conferences assume the role of a delegate - representing aMember State of the UN, an observer or a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Eachdelegate will be allocated either individually or in groups of two to a committee specialisingin a particular area of international policy to represent the views of the larger delegation.Head Delegates lead the delegations, co-ordinating everything from policy research to travelarrangements.The debate at Model United Nations conferences is controlled by the Rules of Procedure.Each conference’s Rules of Procedure will differ slightly, so it is important to check these onthe Web before attending a conference. The Rules of Procedure will often be tens of pageslong and can seem quite intimidating for the inexperienced. However, they are very easy topick up through participation and practice with other members of your delegation. . !Model United Nations debate is co-ordinated by a chairperson, variously referred todepending on the conference as the President, the Chairman or the Committee Director. Thechairperson will often be supported by one or more deputies, called the Vice President, Co-chair or Assistant Director (known as ‘AD’). The chairperson and his or her deputychairpersons are collectively known as ‘the dais’. At larger conferences, the dais is aided by astaff to pass notes between delegates and a secretarial group to type committee documents.The chairperson is likely to have several years of experience as a delegate, often runningtheir own university society, and will be appointed by the conference organisers orSecretariat. They will normally be responsible for writing the study guides circulated todelegates before the conference. It is the chairperson’s main task to ensure that debatefollows the Rules of Procedure. They also advise delegates on policy and on the writing ofresolutions and other documents.The chairperson normally begins by calling a Roll Call: a list of the Member States attending.Delegates respond either present or present and voting. A Member that is ‘present andvoting’ cannot abstain (that is, vote neither in favour nor against) on the final vote, while aMember merely ‘present’ can. Delegates declare themselves as ‘present and voting’ to signalto other delegates that they consider the topics under consideration as important and seriousenough not to abstain.There are three styles of debate at MUN conferences: formal debate (following the Speaker’sList), moderated caucus and unmoderated caucus.Following a Speakers’ List is a very formal style of debate and does not allow for discussionof issues between delegates or the quick exchange of ideas (see Diagram 1). The speakers’ listis a list of all those delegates who wish to address the committee.Each delegate possesses a placard printed with the name of the Member State they arerepresenting. Placards are used to request the attention of the chair or for voting. On openinga speakers’ list, the chairperson normally asks delegates to raise their placards if they wish tobe added to the list. Once the chairperson has completed this stage, delegates wanting to beadded to the list normally have to pass a note to the chairperson.
  16. 16. When it is a Member State’s turn to address the committee, the chair will formally recognisethe State. He or she will say, for example, ‘The United Kingdom, you have been recognised’.The chairperson then gives the speaker a speaking time indicating for how long they mayspeak. Speeches are strictly timed and speakers will be interrupted if they exceed this limit.The chairperson will normally lightly tap the table or otherwise signal if a speaker is within10 seconds of their time limit to give them chance to conclude their arguments.The main speakers’ list is known as the General Speakers’ List for those wishing to speak onthe topic generally. This is opened once the agenda has been set and remains open until theclosure of debate and the resolution is voted upon. Separate additional lists will be openedfor debate on other matters as they arise.Normally, the speakers’ list is described as ‘open’ meaning that delegates may expressopinions both for and against the item under discussion. However, a speakers’ list issometimes divided into two sections: ‘for’ and ‘against’. In this case, the speakers alternatebetween those ‘for’ the item under discussion and those ‘against’. . # 5 &, - !# !" (" - !( ) ( # " # +( , ) & - &!, ## ! 5 - * " - # # "" - / " 4 # ( (* " 4 "!( * :" ; ( 3 4" " - * : ( ! (" " 4 ( ! # * 3 4 * " "- # " ( ( ) ( ( ! 3 4 * ( $! - # ) #( & ) #( ( ! "" * 3 4 $! ( * "# 3 4 $! (* ( * "# # " 3 4 $! * " #- ( ! ( # & ( & # # (( #- - * " # ! (" $ " 2 "# " #( " 4 ) ( " 4 ( 4) ( ( - * !* ! "" ) ( ( " 4 * # !- * " #$ ! ( ( - * " ( #- #Diplomats are required to observe certain formal conventions of language when addressinga diplomatic forum. Delegates must remain standing while addressing the committee and itis polite to begin by thanking the dais for being allowed the opportunity to speak: ‘Thankyou Mister/Madam President/Chairman/Director’. The delegate addresses their speech tothe dais and then the delegates: ‘Mister/Madam President/Chairman/Director, HonourableDelegates’. Delegates always refer to each other as ‘Honourable Delegates. To add emphasisto a new part of a speech a delegate may occasionally re-address their speech to the dais bybeginning the new section ‘Mister/Madam President/Chairman/Director’.It is also diplomatic convention never to refer to your own views with ‘I’ or refer to otherswith ‘He’ or ‘She’. Instead, delegates use the names of their Member States: for example, ‘TheUnited Kingdom believes’. ‘My’, ‘His’ or ‘Her’ are similarly not allowed. Most MUNconferences also require that delegates wear business attire – business suits and ties orfemale equivalent.
  17. 17. If diplomatic protocol is not followed and a delegate feels that a speech has impugned theirpersonal or national integrity, the offended delegate may request a Right of Reply at theconclusion of the offending speech (a Right of Reply cannot interrupt a speaker). Rights ofReply may only address lapses of courtesy, they cannot be used to challenge false orinaccurate claims regarding policy. Rights of Reply are granted only at the discretion of thechair and responses to Rights of Reply are not allowed.If a delegate has broken the Rules of Procedure, the chairperson declares their actions as outof order.Once a delegate has finished addressing a committee, they must choose how to hand overthe right to speak, called yielding. A delegate may: Yield to the dais, where the right to speak normally passes to the next delegation on the speakers’ list; Yield to points of information, where the delegate accepts questions from other delegations on what they have said; or Yield to another delegate, where the delegate yields remaining time to a speaker from another Member State.To yield to points of information or to another delegation, there must be enough timeremaining.A point of information is made to elicit information from a speaker. Normally this will be toclarify a specific area of their stated policy. Points of information must be addressed in aquestion and must be kept relatively short. The delegate asking the question must remainstanding during both their question and the answer given by the speaker as a sign ofcourtesy. Only the speaker’s answers to questions count against the speaking time.The course of debate when following a speakers’ list is summarised in diagram 1.$ ( . !The Speakers’ List is the most formal style of debate and can be restricting. Less formal stylesare the moderated caucus and the unmoderated caucus. In unmoderated caucus, delegatesmay leave their seats and address other delegates in an informal manner. Its purpose is toallow informal discussion of issues causing deadlock. The purpose of moderated caucus is tofacilitate debate at critical moments in the discussion. In a moderated caucus, the committeeremains in formal debate, but temporarily departs from the Speakers’ List and the Chair callsupon delegates to speak at their discretion. Delegates raise their placards to signal their wishto speak.) !To enter either type of caucus, the committee must formally decide to do so during formaldebate. The committee does this by passing a motion to enter moderated caucus or a motionto enter unmoderated caucus (see Diagram 2). These are examples of procedural motions.To propose a procedural motion, delegates raise their placard while the floor is open andwait for the chair to recognise them (proposing a motion cannot interrupt a speaker). Oncerecognised, the delegate tells the chairperson the motion they are proposing: ‘motion to enter
  18. 18. moderated caucus’ or ‘motion to enter unmoderated caucus’. In the case of these motions,the delegate then proposes for how long they wish the caucus to last for and its purpose. Thecommittee then votes on the motion by raising their placards either in favour or against themotion (there are no abstentions on procedural motions). A simple majority (50% plus one) isrequired for a motion to enter either type of caucus to pass. In some cases, the chairpersonmay consider a motion as not constructive to the conduct of debate and decide to not put thematter to a vote – this as known as the chairperson ruling the motion as dilatory.Once time has elapsed for either moderated or unmoderated caucus, debate automaticallyreturns to the speakers list.In addition to motions, a number of points can be made. These are separate from motions inthat they do not effect the course of debate, but ask for clarification or information.The purpose of a point of information has already been described. In addition, delegates maymake points of personal privilege. A point of personal privilege is the only motion or pointthat may interrupt a speaker. These are made to draw the speaker or chairperson’s attentionto something that is impairing a delegate’s ability to participate in the proceedings. Forexample, the delegate cannot hear the speaker.Points of order draw the attention of the chairperson to an instance where the Rules ofProcedure have been broken, while points of parliamentary inquiry allow delegates to askquestions to the chairperson regarding the Rules. Although most chairpersons are happy toaddress simple questions through answers to points of parliamentary inquiry, significantquestions are best discussed outside formal sessions.Diagram 2 illustrates the course of various points and motions. 5 - * " "" # - # 4& $ ( )*( $"* 4 $* ( # # # " # " ( ) ( ) (4 7 ) ( #* (" # # ) % ! ( ," " - ) # # " ( ) 6 7 # ,( ( - $8 7% ! ( " ( ( #( ( # &- % ! ( - "* & # - * " ( # # 2 "( # + ) ) #( +(* ( *( *# ) ! # (- 0 ! " # ) & # ( ) " ,(- #(( # " # # # ( ( +( ) ( # 6# ) (- / "* 4 (" "# #(# & # (- 3 4 ": * "( #( * "" " # #( #. % # ( ( (" ) )" & !"5- &!#, !!)"( (" ( #) " -#& #)" *# ( " #( " # 5 &# ) )" ! *" " < # ( ( ( " ( &# ! ) # +(0 ) ( !This section describes the passage of a resolution through a committee (see Diagram 3). Itintroduces a number of procedural motions in addition to the motions to enter moderated
  19. 19. caucus and moderated caucus as already described. They are proposed in exactly the samemanner.A resolution follows a set route through a committee:1. Setting the agenda;2. Introducing working papers and resolutions;3. Amending a resolution;4. Passing a resolution.#Once the roll call has finished at the beginning of the committee session, it is in order topropose a motion to set the agenda. Most committees have a list of topics on their agendasof between two and three issues. The first duty of the committee is to decide which topic todiscuss first. The delegate proposing the motion to set the agenda states which issue theywish to discuss initially and the chairperson will then draw up a speakers’ list divided intofor and against. Delegates are then allowed to debate the motion. In most circumstances,there is insufficient time to discuss more than one item during a conference. Normally, thecommittee is not allowed to enter either unmoderated or moderated caucus while setting theagenda.Under normal circumstances, the main arguments for and against will be clearly arguedbefore everyone on the speakers’ list has had the chance to speak. So as not to waste thecommittee’s time rehearing the same arguments, a motion to close debate may be proposedand requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Motions to close debate are also in order whilediscussing any other matter. A motion to close debate ends all further speeches to thecommittee and moves the matter under consideration directly to a vote – in this case themotion to set the agenda.Once debate is closed, the motion to set the agenda will be voted on and passed by simplemajority. The chairperson will then open the General Speakers’ List.% $ ""Having heard the views expressed during speeches to the committee and during lobbying, agroup of countries may work together to write a working paper or resolution. While aresolution follows set guidelines, a working paper is more of a work in progress and doesnot have to follow any particular style. Working papers must be approved by the dais beforedistribution, which allocates them a number for ease of referral (working paper 1.1, 2.1 andso on). Working papers do not have to be formally introduced for discussion, but the ideasthey contain can be referred to by delegates during speeches.If a working paper seems to be producing a consensus during debate, delegates may chooseto make alterations so that it follows the strict style of a resolution. Resolutions require anumber of Member States to sign them (normally about 20% of those present) before theycan be formally introduced for consideration by the committee.Once it has the approval of the dais and numbered, a resolution may be formally introducedfor debate. This requires a motion to introduce a resolution. The delegate will also recite itsdraft number (for example, ‘ Motion to introduce Draft Resolution 1.1’). The committee will
  20. 20. vote immediately on the motion, which passes with a simple majority. More than onecompeting resolutions are normally allowed under consideration at the same time. Onceadopted by the committee, one of the signatories reads the operative clauses to thecommittee and accepts questions relating to meaning or errors of spelling and grammar.Debate then returns with the next speaker on the Speakers’ List.&Resolutions can be amended, adding new clauses, removing clauses or altering the wordingof existing clauses. They normally require the approval of about 10% of States to beintroduced and must be proposed with a motion to introduce an amendment. Anamendment is debated with a separate and new SpeakersList. If passed by a simplemajority in committee, the changes are made to the original resolution. Amendments toamendments are not allowed, although an amendment can be made to an amended part of aresolution.Depending on the rules, the resolution sponsors may accept amendments as friendlyamendments. This means that they consider a submitted amendment to be constructive andcompatible with the spirit of the resolution and so are willing to accept the amendmentwithout debate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o end discussion of the resolutions and the topic, a motion to close debate is required. Ifpassed, the committee enters voting procedures. Voting on resolutions is called the
  21. 21. substantive question. On the substantive question, delegates may choose to abstain,meaning that they wish neither to vote for or against the resolution. On most topics, a simplemajority is sufficient for a resolution to pass a committee.On any vote, but particularly given a close vote on the substantive question, the chairpersonmay call a roll call vote. This means that a list of the Member States present will be read outloud and delegates must state ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘Abstain’ once their delegation name has beencalled.Occasionally a vote may also be decided by acclamation. The vote is taken by saying ‘Aye’when the chair indicates.
  22. 22. + !*+orking with other delegates to draft a resolution, debating it and shepherding it throughthe committee can be one of the most rewarding experiences of MUN. However, it can be adifficult task to transfer good ideas about how an international issue could be solved to theformal structure and conventions of a resolution. Drawing from examples from real UNresolutions, this chapter explains some of the common approaches used.) !The preamble forms a significant part of the resolution, outlining the background principlesthat inform the action proposed in the operative clauses. Sometimes there is a temptation tobegin by working on the operative clauses and to use preambulatory clauses to ‘show off’research, featuring extensive lists of past UN resolutions or the items of international lawoutlined in the committee study guide.A well-written preamble should persuasively justify the need to address the issue in the waythat the operative clauses suggest. It should also outline the context of the draft resolution interms of past resolutions and international law. The preambulatory clauses should allowother delegates to understand the principles that have informed the operative clauses.Beginning the drafting process by writing the preambulatory clauses provides a goodopportunity to think carefully about what the resolution is attempting to achieve and mayhelp produce better operative clauses.The best preambles will build a sense of expectation in the opening words that they employ,using steadily more urgent language before the climax of the operative clauses. Notice howthese clauses from a resolution on the subject of religious persecution steadily build up in theurgency and power of the opening words. This is sometimes referred to as a preamble‘crescendo’. Underlining the important role of education in the promotion of tolerance, which involves the acceptance of and respect for diversity, and underlining also that education, in particular at school, should contribute in a meaningful way to the promotion of tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief, Alarmed that serious instances of intolerance and discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, including acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious intolerance, continue to occur in many parts of the world and threaten the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, Profoundly concerned at acts and situations of violence and discrimination resulting from religious intolerance that affect many women, Deeply concerned at the overall rise in intolerance and discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, including restrictive legislation, administrative regulations and discriminatory registration and the arbitrary application of these and other measures, Seriously concerned at all attacks upon religious places, sites and shrines, including any deliberate destruction of relics and monuments, Believing that further intensified efforts are therefore required to promote and protect the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief and to eliminate all forms of hatred,
  23. 23. intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, as emphasized also at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, 9 ! " + 0 "! # %" ! $ #() B > @ ! A ( # ! #" & ! # " (! # &!1 #0 )=# " !The basic resolution will call upon States or other entities to carry out individual or collectiveaction. These clauses give an example from a resolution considering terrorism and humanrights. It calls upon States to enhance regional and international co-operation, to strengthenlegislation and policy to combat terrorism and to ensure that the territory does not provide asafe haven for terrorist groups. 7. Urges the international community to enhance cooperation at the regional and international levels in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in accordance with relevant international instruments, including those relating to human rights, with the aim of its eradication; 8. Calls upon States to take all necessary and effective measures, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international human rights standards, to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever it is committed, and also calls upon States to strengthen, where appropriate, their legislation to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; 9. Urges all States to deny safe haven to terrorists; 9 ! " + 0 "! # %" ! $ #() B > @ ) A 0 -" ( 5 #" Selecting appropriate language is important. Article 2 of the UN Charter prevents the UNfrom intervening in matters ‘essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State’.Although almost any action by the UN can be attacked as erosion of State sovereignty, it isimportant to respect the boundaries of what is and what is not appropriate. Remember thatonly UN Security Council resolutions have the force of international law under Chapter VIIand so can ‘demand’ action. Other bodies must pay greater respect to sovereignty, usinglanguage that conforms to the status of their resolutions as recommendations. Sometimes,calls for action from States will be watered down during negotiation using well-used termssuch as ‘all feasible measures’ to create more freedom in implementation.These clauses are from a Security Council resolution passed just after the terrorist attacks onthe World Trade Center in September 2001. Note how the language is less consensual thanthe example from the General Assembly resolution on a similar topic – using the phrase‘decides that all States’ rather than ‘Urges States’ or ‘Calls upon States’. 1. Decides that all States shall: a) Prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts; b) Criminalize the wilful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to carry out terrorist acts; c) Freeze without delay funds and other financial assets or economic resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts; of entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons; and of persons and entities acting on behalf of, or at the direction of such persons and entities, including funds derived or generated from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons and associated persons and entities; d) Prohibit their nationals or any persons and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources or financial or other related services available, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of persons who commit or attempt to commit or
  24. 24. facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts, of entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such persons and of persons and entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of such persons; 3 ) ( # ! "! # $ ) 0 #( ) > @Here are more clauses taken from Security Council resolutions. These examples demonstratethe Council’s reactions to two international crises – the first from a resolution passed justafter the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and the second passed following the Iraqiinvasion of Kuwait in 1990. Notice the use of the words ‘condemns’ and ‘demands’ – phrasesthat only the Security Council can employ in a resolution. 1. Condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998; 2. Endorses the Joint Communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America at their meeting in Geneva on 4 June 1998 (S/1998/473); 3. Demands that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and in this context calls upon all States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; 3 ) ( # ! "! # $ ) 0 #( ) > @ 1. Condemns the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait; 2. Demands that Iraq withdraw immediately and unconditionally all its forces to the positions in which they were located on 1 August 1990; 3 ) ( # ! "! # $ ) 0 #( ) > @A call upon states to formally ratify existing international treaties provides a good openingto a resolution. Most topic areas will be of direct or indirect relevance to one or a number ofinternational agreements (these will probably be outlined in the conference’s study guide).Very few international treaties have been ratified by all States and in some cases treaties donot come into force until they have received the ratification of a certain number. Most majorinternational agreements have a website maintained by their Secretariats showing whichStates have yet to ratify and the conditions that have to be met before the treaty enters force.In addition, implementation of international standards may be poor due to reservations orderogations (see earlier section on international law) or simply due to inaction on the part ofnational governments.These clauses give an example of a request for States to ratify international standardsconcerned with the human rights of children. It calls upon States to ratify three importantinternational treaties: the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two optional protocols. Italso urges States to withdraw their treaty reservations and implement the treaties througheffective national policy. 2. Urges States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify or accede to the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a matter of priority, and urges States parties to implement it fully, while stressing that the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of the goals of the World Summit for Children and the special session of the General Assembly on children are mutually reinforcing; 3. Expresses its concern about the great number of reservations to the Convention, and urges States parties to withdraw reservations that are incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention and to consider reviewing other reservations with a view to withdrawing them;
  25. 25. 4. Urges States that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and urges States parties to implement them fully; ; Urges States parties to take all appropriate measures for the implementation of the rights recognised in the Convention by, inter alia, putting in place effective national legislation, policies and action plans, by strengthening relevant governmental structures for children and by ensuring adequate and systematic training in the rights of the child for professional groups working with and for children; 9 ! " + 0 "! # %" ! $ #() B > @0 -" &- -! A (# ( 6 "" !MUN resolutions sometimes adopt an international legislative approach, strengthening orextending international law.If there is no relevant international agreement in the area or events and circumstances havesuperseded the current agreement, there may be a case for proposing the drafting of a newtreaty. Creating new international law is a significant measure, so it is important to questionwhether the issue cannot be more easily dealt with in other ways. Remember that ratificationof and compliance with international law can sometimes be poor and that creating anadditional treaty may not be productive. Also consider the increased difficulty in findingconsensus on the content of new international legal measures.UN bodies begin the treaty adoption process by passing a resolution to set up a WorkingGroup to conduct the work of legal drafting. The resolution will also summarise the keycoverage of the proposed convention, stating which behaviours it wants to limit or exactlywhat constraints are to be created.These clauses taken from a MUN resolution set up a Working Group to consider aconvention the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists: 6. Decides to convene an Ad-hoc Working Group open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies to consider the drafting of an international convention on the prevention of non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; 7. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group, in developing the draft convention, to include an obligation on all contracting parties to refrain from providing any form of support to non- State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery with no possibility of making any reservations and to introduce domestic controls to prevent any such operations by non-State actors; 0 "! # #( )In the case of some issues, it may be easier to achieve greater consensus on the drafting of adeclaration rather than a convention. Declarations do not bind parties legally to followingtheir provisions. However, they do provide a clear statement of international opinion with agreater force than basic resolutions. Declarations can be referred to in the decisions ofinternational or domestic courts. Another approach may be to draft some other documentlacking the full authority of international law such as an International Code of Ethics or Codeof Conduct.
  26. 26. When recommending the writing of new international law, it is important to think carefullyabout definitions. The discussion of a number of international issues is sometimesconstrained by a lack of a workable definition. For example, there is no single internationallyrecognised definition of ‘international terrorism’ or ‘humanitarian intervention’. Debate onsuch issues could benefit from definition of the terms early on in a resolution. 4 "" !Many international issues lack an ‘international home’ – a dedicated agency withresponsibility for monitoring developments in the area, co-ordinating action and advocatingthe issue to the international community.However, founding a new agency may not be the best course of action, especially if there is asimilar body already in existence with relevant expertise, but is perhaps not fully active inthe area. Extending an existing body’s funding or mandate may be more productive thansetting up a brand new agency.Think carefully about the nature of the organisation you want to set-up. The UN systemcontains many different types of organisational structure than provide homes for variousissues. Some prominent examples include: 39 " Special Representatives, Envoys, Messengers and Special Representative of the Secretary Special Advisors of the UN Secretary General General for Children and Armed Conflict Departments or Offices of the Secretariat Department of Peacekeeping Operations Specialized Agencies United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Commissions Commission on Human Rights Funds United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Programs United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Research and Training Institutes United Nations Research Institute for Social Development based in Geneva Committees of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Inter-agency networks UN Oceans and Coastal Areas Network (UN-OCEANS)It is important to fully explain the responsibilities of any new organisation, its structure andhow it is to be integrated into the wider UN system. Important questions to consider are: Who will staff the new organisation? Who will appoint new staff and on what criteria will they be selected? What aims and principles should guide the work of the new organisation? What will the new organisation do to achieve its aims and principles? Which organisation will take the lead if there are areas of overlapping responsibility? Where will the new organisation be based? How will the new organisation be funded? Will a new fund be needed or can the existing UN budget afford the additional costs?
  27. 27. These clauses from a General Assembly resolution found the post of the High Commissionerfor Human Rights. Notice how they address each of the questions listed above. 1. Decides to create the post of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2. Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall: a) Be a person of high moral standing and personal integrity and shall possess expertise, including in the field of human rights, and the general knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures necessary for impartial, objective, non-selective and effective performance of the duties of the High Commissioner; b) Be appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation, and have a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years; c) Be of the rank of Under-Secretary-General; 3. Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall: a) Function within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other international instruments of human rights and international law, including the obligations, within this framework, to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and domestic jurisdiction of States and to promote the universal respect for and observance of all human rights, in the recognition that, in the framework of the purposes and principles of the Charter, the promotion and protection of all human rights is a legitimate concern of the international community; b) Be guided by the recognition that all human rights - civil, cultural, economic, political and social - are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms; c) Recognize the importance of promoting a balanced and sustainable development for all people and of ensuring realization of the right to development, as established in the Declaration on the Right to Development; 4. Decides that the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall be the United Nations official with principal responsibility for United Nations human rights activities under the direction and authority of the Secretary-General; within the framework of the overall competence, authority and decisions of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights, the High Commissioner responsibilities shall be: s a) To promote and protect the effective enjoyment by all of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; b) To carry out the tasks assigned to him/her by the competent bodies of the United Nations system in the field of human rights and to make recommendations to them with a view to improving the promotion and protection of all human rights; c) To promote and protect the realization of the right to development and to enhance support from relevant bodies of the United Nations system for this purpose; d) To provide, through the Centre for Human Rights of the Secretariat and other appropriate institutions, advisory services and technical and financial assistance, at the request of the State concerned and, where appropriate, the regional human rights organizations, with a view to supporting actions and programmes in the field of human rights; e) To coordinate relevant United Nations education and public information programmes in the field of human rights; f) To play an active role in removing the current obstacles and in meeting the challenges to the full realization of all human rights and in preventing the continuation of human rights violations throughout the world, as reflected in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action; g) To engage in a dialogue with all Governments in the implementation of his/her mandate with a view to securing respect for all human rights; h) To enhance international cooperation for the promotion and protection of all human rights;
  28. 28. i) To coordinate the human rights promotion and protection activities throughout the United Nations system; j) To rationalize, adapt, strengthen and streamline the United Nations machinery in the field of human rights with a view to improving its efficiency and effectiveness; k) To carry out overall supervision of the Centre for Human Rights; 5. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report annually on his/her activities, in accordance with his/her mandate, to the Commission on Human Rights and, through the Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly; 6. Decides that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall be located at Geneva and shall have a liaison office in New York; 7. Requests the Secretary-General to provide appropriate staff and resources, within the existing and future regular budgets of the United Nations, to enable the High Commissioner to fulfil his/her mandate, without diverting resources from the development programmes and activities of the United Nations; 9 ! " + 0 "! # %" ! $ #() B > @These clauses create the role of UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders.Notice that it requires the new Special Representative to report to the General Assembly andCommission on Human Rights on their activities. 3. Requests the Secretary-General to appoint, for a period of three years, a special representative who shall report on the situation of human rights defenders in all parts of the world and on possible means to enhance their protection in full compliance with the Declaration; the main activities of the special representative shall be: a) To seek, receive, examine and respond to information on the situation and the rights of anyone, acting individually or in association with others, to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms; b) To establish cooperation and conduct dialogue with Governments and other interested actors on the promotion and effective implementation of the Declaration; c) To recommend effective strategies better to protect human rights defenders and follow up on these recommendations; 4. Urges all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the performance of his or her tasks and to furnish all information in the fulfilment of his or her mandate upon request; 5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Representative with all necessary assistance, in particular the staff and resources deemed necessary to fulfil his or her mandate; 6. Requests the Special Representative to submit annual reports on his/her activities to the Commission and to the General Assembly and to make any suggestions and recommendations enabling him or her better to carry out his or her tasks and activities; #" # # " ) 0 -" "! # (0 # ( ) B
  29. 29. . ) " !- or many delegates, especially those attending large international conferences, an emailfrom the conference organisers giving Member State allocations will result in a scramble foran Atlas or the Internet in ignorance that the State or NGO even existed. There is atemptation to feel dispirited if you are not representing a powerful country. However, itreally does not matter what Member State you represent – a delegate’s level of preparationand ability to form personal relationships with other delegates often counts for more than thediplomatic prestige that the name of their Member State is supposed to represent.The ‘floating votes’ of those States undecided on an issue are likely to attract for moreattention from those wishing to build consensus than countries whose policy is clearlyknown to be at an extreme. Member States hold equal voting and speaking rights in mostcommittees, so, for a resolution to pass, a country with a particular interest in an issue cannotafford to ignore the vast majority of delegates with no direct interest.Furthermore, representing a Member State that perhaps lacks either the ‘headline grabbing’power or instability to feature regularly in the media gives the advantage that very few willbe able to spot if there is slight deviation from the country’s stated policy. Those representingdiplomatic powerhouses have to be far better prepared. !The opportunity to explore the alternative worldview of another country is one of the greatattractions of MUN. There are countless sources providing information of relevance to MUNresearch. However, there are a number of easily accessible Internet-based sources ofinformation that any MUN research project must include.1. Study Guides. Nearly all conferences produce study guides downloadable from the Internet for each of the topics on their agenda. They provide an excellent introduction to the issues and the major areas of contention. Most study guides also give policy positions according to regional blocs and suggest approaches that a resolution might adopt.2. CIA World Fact Book. The World Fact Book is maintained by the US Central Intelligence Agency and contains factual summaries on every country in the world, listing details of population, government, economy, language, religion and so on (access it on the web at Check facts like land area, population and GDP against a State you are familiar with such as the UK to provide a comparison.3. BBC News. The BBC News web site ( maintains a search function which can be checked for stories relating to your Member State or topic area.4. Homepages of the Permanent Missions to the UN. Most missions to the UN have their own web sites containing policy statements and the text of speeches to UN bodies made by diplomats (go to for lists). They normally provide excellent summaries of that State’s policy towards most items on the UN’s agenda. Similar speeches and statements can also be found on the web sites of many national foreign affairs ministries.5. United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBIS). The text of speeches made to the UN can also be accessed through the database on the UNBIS web site ( Other important tools on the