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Drafting and Adopting United Nations Resolutions

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Drafting and Adopting United Nations Resolutions

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Web Based
22 Oct 2013 to 17 Nov 2013
Duration of event:
4 Weeks
Programme Area:
Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy
Specific Target Audience:
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Resolutions constitute a fundamental outcome of meetings within the United Nations principal organs. The diplomat or representative in any multilateral posting must be able to manage the specialized nature and volume of work involved in such UN meetings, including the processes of drafting, negotiating and adopting resolutions.
This course is essentially about communication within the UN principal organs. It focuses on communication through written means as well as, to a lesser degree, how delegates conduct consultations in preparing resolutions. Meetings within the UN principal organs have a particular “culture”: the way people behave is strongly influenced by generally accepted rules, tradition and expectations. The same is true about the way delegates and other participants draft texts for consideration and adoption. As an individual, and as the representative of a sovereign State, the costs of ignoring or not knowing these rules, traditions and expectations are potentially high.

This course will allow participants to build the requisite knowledge and skills to draft and adopt UN resolutions. A detailed study of the content, structure and processes involved in passing resolutions will reinforce an understanding of decision-making at the UN. Drafting assignments will demand an application of the learned material enabling the participant to more effectively articulate and communicate his/her governmental or organisational interests within UN processes.

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Draft the preamble and operative parts of a resolution;
  • Explain the structure of UN resolutions and the functions specific to its constituent parts;
  • Identify and describe the various phases and evolution of a resolution text before adoption, including consultations, drafting, and voting;
  • Recognize the status and category of any UN document based on the numbering system.

The course's content will include, inter alia:

  • Structure and numbering of resolutions;
  • Drafting the preamble and operative parts;
  • Adopting resolutions of the UN principal organs (including consultations, voting, and debate);
  • Individual drafting exercises.

e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by a senior international expert, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the four-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:

  • Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
  • External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
  • Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;
  • A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;
  • Estimated learning time: minimum of 60 hours;
  • Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.

The course targets mid to senior-level government officers in line ministries preparing for and/or taking part in conferences as well as staff of intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.

The course participation fee is 600 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration. You will receive an invoice by email after registration.

Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Please click here for more details. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

General Requirements

  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Be computer literate

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:

  • Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software:
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader (click here to download for free)
    • Adobe Flash Player (click here to download for free)
    • Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office (click here to download for free)
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (click here to download for free); it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (click here to download for free) 
  • Note that JavaScript, Cookies and Pop-ups must be enabled


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