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Lesson 8:

Rules & Decision Making

This lesson connects you to the “rules of procedures” for the 3 main deliberative bodies and then reviews, very briefly, the “shift” in the decision making process that has taken place at the UN in two of these. The Security Council stays close to its original procedures in its process. (A later lesson will review some of the unique ways the SC has evolved and some of the implications of that.)

Here we take a little time to look at consensus as a decision making process and some of what it can mean to NGOs working at the UN.


General Assembly Rules of Procedure

Security Council Rules of Procedure


ECOSOC’s Committee on NGOs


What might be different when you plan how to get your NGO approved by ECOSOC’s Committee on NGOs if…
You knew you had to get a simple majority vote to succeed, or
You needed to make sure there was no-one that would stand up definitively to oppose your NGO (and table your progress, possibly indeterminately—effectively denial of status.)

Possible action steps:

Find out who is on the committee
Consider which nations may be supportive, which not.
What are the relations like between those who are supportive and those who are not?
Why don’t they support you? Perception or substantive issues?

Additional Reading and References

—Sidhu, Gretchen. Intergovernmental Negotiations and Decisions Making at the United Nations: A Guide. New York: United Nations, 2007. Internet resource.
—Drucker, Peter F. Managing in the Next Society. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002. Print.
—Kreitner, Robert, and Angelo Kinicki. Organizational Behavior. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008. Print.
—Daft, Richard L. The Leadership Experience – Fourth Edition. Sos Free Stock, 2004. Print.
—For some additional perspectives on consensus as a decision-making process there are quite extensive resources on the US National Defense University website such as: Consensus Decision Making and NGLS Handbook on Decision Making

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