UNITAR and the Permanent Mission of Indonesia Joint Training: Enhancing Knowledge and Skills in UN Resolutions
10 December 2012, New York, USA - In cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Indonesia, UNITAR New York Office jointly organized a one-day workshop for delegates from ASEAN member states, Pacific Island Developing States, of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Marshall Islandsand Timor-Leste, on how to draft, co-sponsor and submit a resolution in the United Nations. Ms Yvonne Lodico, Head of the UNITAR New York Office, opened the workshop by underscoring the importance of understanding the process and the nuance of getting a resolution adopted, and to this end this specially designed workshop provided an ideal opportunity for delegates. Ambassador Yusra Khan, the Indonesian Deputy Permanent Representative, welcomed the participants to the Indonesian mission, and emphasized the training goals: to provide new delegates with the right information to effectively and efficiently develop an essential skill in diplomacy in the UN. A manual including key guides, documents and language lists commonly used in resolution writing are provided to the participants.
A series of eminent international panellists discussed the fine distinctions in the drafting and adoption of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. H.E. Mr. Ahmed Fathalla, Ambassador of the Observer Mission of the League of Arab States, discussed the configuration of political negotiations on sensitive resolutions in the General Assembly, which if passed overwhelmingly and repeatedly, potentially have the effect of customary international law. Also, he stressed the subtle process of determining the outcome of any Security Council debate whether a resolution, presidential statement or press release. Ms. Isaura Duarte Minister Counsellor and UN Security Council Political Coordinator from the Permanent Mission of Colombia shared her experiences from the Security Council and in working in the General Assembly with drafting resolutions, consensus building and networking within and outside one’s geographic group. She stressed the need to find already agreed language from previous resolutions that would ensure speedier co-sponsoring arrangements. Mr. Amr Fathi Aljowaily, Councellor from the Permanent Mission of Egypt talked about pre-drafting consensus-building and working through a political strategy to get co-sponsors.
Mr. Larry D. Johnson, a former Legal Affairs Assistant Secretary-General, concentrated on the legal aspects and how to arrange states obligations within a resolution and a summary of the UN guidelines and procedures governing the drafting, negotiation and submission of resolutions to the General Assembly. Mr. Kenji Nakano, Senior Political Affairs Officer in the UN General Assembly Affairs Branch and Mr. Larry Johnson lead simulation exercises, which required delegates to work in three teams to draft their own resolutions. With a lively debate throughout the day and active coaching by UNITAR, delegations were enthusiastic with participants stating “I feel more prepared to serve as a facilitator next year”, and that “this has been so useful because now I have the basic tools and skills to draft my own third committee resolution.”