“Affirming” and “Noting” – UNITAR Course on: Drafting, Adoption and Structuring of UN Resolutions

2-3 October 2012, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

Nearly 50 delegates from permanent missions and from a few foreign ministries honed their diplomatic skills during a UNITAR workshop on Structure, Drafting and Adoption of United Nations Resolutions. During the two-day training course, delegates learned how UN resolutions have developed over the years their own distinctive form and style.
Experienced trainers further taught delegates how to structure the preamble and the operational texts as well how to propose and get a resolution adopted.

Participants of UNITAR workhop studying how to draft effective UN Resolutions

With instruction from senior UN officials, delegates received both class room presentations and exercises on the practice of reviewing and amending resolutions.  They also learned about the role of the General Assembly Secretariat staff in supporting some of the technical aspects of resolution drafting and dissemination.  For these topics, participants benefited from high quality UN trainers, including Mr. Larry D. Johnson, a former Legal Affairs Assistant Secretary-General, and Ms. Maria Maldonado, a former Deputy Director of the General Assembly.  They provided both a tutorial and hands on assignments so that participants could actually draft resolutions in simulation style working groups. The delegates’ draft texts were reviewed by Mr. Kenji Nakano, a Senior Political Affairs officer with the Division of General Assembly Affairs.  Thereafter, Ms. Philippa Burgess-Arcos, Chief, Editorial Control Section, Department for General Assembly and Conference Management provided expert presentation on the editing of resolutions.

The young delegates also received perspective from a delegate’s experience in drafting resolutions, and perhaps more importantly getting them adopted. From the Permanent Mission of Egypt, the Councellor, Mr. Amr Aljowaily, advised delegates on the importance of the Committee chair in getting a resolution adopted in his presentation: “Situating Resolutions on the Ladder of Negotiated Outcomes.”

"I found the workshop to be a big eye opener" said one participant. "By the end of the course, I had the impression that I really understood what the basic components of a resolution were and how I could make a first draft on my own."