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How to Amend Draft Resolutions

How to Amend Draft Resolutions

Upon introduction to the committee, no draft resolution is complete. After mergers and lobbying, a document goes through an amendment process. Remember, once a draft resolution is formally introduced, it belongs to the committee. This is important to note because of the ways that draft resolutions can be changed by delegates who are not sponsors.

Non-substantive Amendments

Nonsubstantive amendments deal only with issues of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Nonsubstantive amendments have no bearing or impact on the meaning of the text and are automatically accepted or rejected by the dais without a vote from the body.

Friendly Amendments

Friendly amendments exist only at conferences that allow for Sponsors on Draft Resolutions. A friendly amendment can add, alter, or delete substantive clauses in a draft resolution. After all of the sponsors agree to the change, the amendment should be presented to the chair with the signature of each sponsor. Upon receiving a friendly amendment, the chairperson should move for a voice confirmation from each sponsor to verify each signature.

Remember, only substantive, or operative, clauses can be changed. Preambulatory clauses cannot be changed through the amendment process.

Unfriendly Amendments

Unfriendly amendments can be introduced when there is not consensus by the sponsors of a draft resolutions. They can be authored and introduced by any delegate, including sponsors, signatories, and other delegates not associated with a document.

An unfriendly amendment can add, alter, or delete operative clauses. After being drafted, unfriendly amendments need the same number of signatories as a draft resolution, usually 20%. If the conference allows, unfriendly amendments may have sponsors.

After being accepted by the dais, a motion is then made to introduce the unfriendly amendment, much as a draft resolution is introduced to a body. The committee would proceed to take a procedural vote as to whether an unfriendly amendment should be added to a document.


Continue to Lesson 7: Model UN Voting Procedure