With the countries announced and students frantically searching for resolution ideas, The Update reached out to one of students who had their resolution selected last year for some advice:
This process may be daunting, but the fact that your pair was chosen to represent a country is an achievement in itself! Whether your resolution is chosen or not, I encourage you all to get the most out of this opportunity. SLN is a hugely rewarding experience; it forces you to research into global issues and potential solutions, and improves your ability to thoroughly develop and communicate your thoughts in a clear, direct manner.
What is a resolution?
The resolution you are required to submit consists of an A4 page, ideally on word, that addresses an issue within the themes of International Security, Environmental Sustainability, Human Rights , and North/South Relations or Development.
You should start your proposal by opening with “The General Assembly,” stating the foundations of where your decides originate from. You are required to use a formal register, and end your resolution by clearly defining your various decides and any key details.
Here are my top tips to get you through this first step:
Make sure your topic is broad! You want there to be enough room for controversy in order to have an actual debate, with many arguments on both sides, as too narrow a topic will rapidly limit the number of countries that can participate. At the same time, the topic needs to relate to a current, worldwide issue. While your country still needs to somehow be involved, the issue should not be enclosed to one continent. Therefore, make sure you research thoroughly around your country! With that being said, ensure your chosen problem has an actual, viable solution, and be flexible enough to bounce between different ideas.
Use your resources! Our final resolution came from my partner’s discussion with her parents, so don’t be shy to talk to any teachers and students. I remember having a mountain of meetings with teachers I had never even met before (Mr Wingate is a Saint), and they were a key role in strengthening our resolution’s core arguments. [Editor’s note: Ms. Jacobson has also shared a google folder with you with lots of useful material, including sample resolutions and more advice].
Get out of your comfort zone! Don’t pick an ‘easy’ topic or one you know will get passed. The ultimate goal isn’t to have a resolution that passes, but to have an interesting and lively debate. Our resolution was not even close to passing, as we didn’t want to give in to demands that undermined our pitch, but I personally believe (with probable bias) that it was the best resolution presented as it had the most engagement and debate.
Don’t try and come up with the ‘perfect’ resolution – it doesn’t exist! Your aim is to research into your country and hopefully discover an intriguing problem – if your resolution does happen to be picked, you will likely be forced to change certain decides to create opportunities for amendments. Remember, quality over quantity; don’t feel as though you need to have many decides (I had 4), as it’s the content that truly matters.
Always relate your resolution to (ideally multiple) sustainable development goals and the UN Charter! This not only makes it much more likely to be chosen and passed, but also facilitates your defense of your argument by directly linking it to the UN’s own goals.
Do not self sabotage! Although perhaps counter-intuitive, I cannot stress this enough; don’t start writing your resolution by making sure you don’t get picked. You don’t want to regret not giving it your all. Initially, the idea of speaking in front of～300 people was insanely scary, but it turned out to be an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to have received. It forced me to push myself and you learn to be comfortable in the role. If your resolution is not chosen, sign up for as many speeches as you can. You will likely take some time to adjust to the room and process, but feel free to challenge and respond to other countries. Getting involved can ultimately make or break your experience.
It doesn’t matter which country you’re allocated! When I found out I was allocated Zimbabwe, I immediately thought our resolution had no hope of even being considered. That assumption was wrong. Just because you don’t have the US or Germany doesn’t mean you are in any way disadvantaged. At the end of the day, if your resolution addresses a controversial global issue, then the size of your nation has no influence at all.
Don’t stress out about the formal language! While it’s important to not use an informal register in your resolution, the most important part is your content, so focus on the clarification and specifics – worry about language after it’s chosen!
Finally, though this may be obvious, don’t leave it to the last minute! This is a lengthy process, and your resolution will take various drafts before you’re pleased with it. Considering only four resolutions are chosen across the three campuses, the odds are against you. However, if you are truly confident in your topic and proposed solution, then you have a higher chance than most. Even if your resolution doesn’t get chosen, you still have the passing of notes to look forward to (a true highlight of the experience).
If your resolution does get chosen, congratulations! You are among the lucky few, however don’t slack off. Having frequent meetings with teachers will really benefit you in the long-run, so don’t hold off on persistent emailing. Also, try not to leave your speech to the night before…although you probably will. It can be a stressful environment up on the front desk, but try to enjoy yourself. Remind yourself to breathe, be calm, and add a few sassy remarks now and again to assert your authority.
Best of luck to you all!