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Informal-Informal Negotiations – “Informal-Informals”

March 22, 2012

by David Stillman, PhD, UNA-SNY Board member

Within complex decision-making bodies like the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and other major commissions and committees,  the term “informal-informals” is well known as a basic building block of the negotiations process.

The process begins when the chair of the decision-making body  recognizes that delegations from some countries want to develop a resolution that could ultimately be agreed upon, and appoints a person  to chair and convene what are called “informal–informals” for discussions among interested delegations to develop the draft.

After these consultations (the informal-informals) have matured, the chair of the informal-informals will propose to the chair of the decision-making body to convene an Informal Meeting of that body. A draft resolution is then published and placed before that body for any further negotiation and modifications by the full membership.  The draft resolution in its semi-final form will then be published and the chair of the decision-making body will convene a meeting of that body  (for example, the General Assembly or ECOSOC) to consider and adopt that resolution and any others that have matured and are available at the same time.

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