NationStates Jolt Archive

Guide to writing a formal, proper UN proposal

08-12-2003, 22:48
Most people in NationStates have never seen a real UN resolution, and therefore they don't know how a proper proposal should be organized. This is fine, but it often leads to poorly worded proposals and unclear plans of action, and people seem to think that "WHEREAS" is a necessary word. So I have deciced to provide a guide to how a proper, formal UN resolution should look:

Start with the simple words, "The United Nations,"

The first part of a real proposal is called the PREAMBULATORY CLAUSES. These sentences should state the issue at hand and any previous legislation that is relevant. Theoretically, these should state things that are not disputed and are simply factual. The first word or two should be emphasized by italics, underlining, or ALL CAPS, if this is easier. The emphasized words should be words such as "ALARMED BY," "RECOGNIZING," or "OBSERVING." For proper UN grammar, commas should be used to separate preambulatory clauses instead of periods, and there should be line breaks between each clause. Technically, most UN resolutions are only one huge sentence.
Example of a preambulatory clause:
EMPHASIZING that landmines kill innocent people every day,

The next part of resolution makes up the meat of what is actually being done, and is called the OPERATIVE CLAUSES. These sentences should explain what the plan of action is, and unlike the preambulatory clauses, they can be as controversial as you like. As with the preambulatory clauses, the first word or two of each operative clause is emphasized. Here, the words should be things like "PROCLAIMS," "ENCOURAGES," or "AFFIRMS." For proper grammar, the operative clauses should be numbered for easy reference, with semicolons and line breaks separating them. The last operative clause should end with a period. This marks the end of the resolution.
Example of an operative clause:
1. CALLS UPON the members of the United Nations to bring a complete halt to the production and proliferation of landmines;

Not only will these guidelines make your proposal look more official, but they make it easier to understand what the problem is and what you plan to do about it, as well as making it easier to debate specific clauses in a forum without having to quote.