Manual for UN Delegates

Conference Process, Procedure and Negotiation

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This manual intends to help newcomers to conference diplomacy to overcome obstacles, familiarize themselves with conference processes and procedures, and become effective more quickly. It also aims to serve as a reference work for more experienced conference delegates. This book will deepen their understanding of both the rules and the dynamics of conferences, and help them take their skills to a higher level. Also, those who give instructions to conference delegates or are affected by conference outcomes can find support here to understand how conferences reach their outcomes. The manual is written from the perspective of practitioners and draws on the experience of conference diplomats from many nations, developed and developing. It also introduces the reader to widely used strategies and tactics, and gives tips as to practices which have proved effective over the years.

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The basic rules of procedure are fairly uniform across international conferences to the point that they have been said to constitute customary international law. However, many organizations and conferences also have some rules and traditions that are specific and distinctive. These reflect their history, their purpose and the people who have shaped them. Participants in these conferences need to know about their special characteristics. But the differences from other organizations are also instructive as to the meaning and reasons for particular rules and processes in all conferences.

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