to get prepared for a model UN?
In a Model UN you represent a country or an
organization. You are their ambassador to the UN
and your goal is to incorporate as much of their
policy into a resolution as possible. To achieve
this you need to become an expert, not only on the
foreign policy of your country, but also on the
topics. Your input is invaluable to the
functioning and the outcome of the committee.
What to do step-by-step?
Your first task is to write a position paper. This
paper contains some short general information on
your country and their foreign policy. The larger
part of the paper is the specific policy of your
country on the topics on the agenda of your
committee. Besides this it is also good to
research in-depth the topics and other countries'
positions. This will give you an advantage in the
debates during the conference.
It is during these debates that a resolution will
take shape, so an active attitude in debating and
good lobbying is essential. You wouldn't want a
resolution to contain anything that conflicts with
your country's policy.
What information do I need?
As becomes clear from the above you need two types
of information: that on your country's position
regarding the topics, and specific information on
the matters themselves. The country's position can
vary in specificity from "we (don't) want military
intervention in country x" to "we can agree with
military intervention in country x on specific
terms like a and b, and with a limited mandate,
containing at least c, d and e." As you can see
the country's policy and the topical information
can overlap, depending on your country's
involvement in the matter.
From where to gather information?
For these two types of information you can use a
variety of sources. For information on a country's
policy the start of your search will usually be
the website of their Ministry of Foreign Affairs
or of their Permanent Mission to the UN. Another
source is the website of the UN itself, where you
can find other resolutions your country supported
or voted against and speeches that have previously
been held on the topic.
The substantive information on the topics can be
found anywhere on the internet. Reports from NGO's
or other bodies, academic sources, journalistic
sources and topical websites are always good
sources, but you are only limited by your
What is a position paper and how to right it?
The position paper, as stated above, contains a
short background on your country and their general
foreign policy. This should be no more than 2 or 3
paragraphs. The specific policy should be at least
half a page for each topic. This consists of
recognizing the problem (or not!), noting what has
been done in the past to resolve it, stating what
it is your country wants to focus on and giving
possible solutions your country will pursue in the
debates. This should add up to a paper of about
2-3 pages, which is to be submitted to our
chairpersons by email. In the download section on
the right you will find an example of what a
position paper should look like.
Why do I need an opening speech?
An opening speech in front of your committee is
the start of the debates. This is the opportunity
for you to tell your fellow delegates what your
position is and what you will be focusing on
during the conference. This way every delegate
gets a quick but complete overview of all the
positions in the committee. An opening speech is
usually no longer than 2 minutes and will only
consist of the major points of your policy.
Details will be worked out during the debates and
For more detailed information on preparation,
speeches and resolutions will soon be available in
the Rules of Procedure section, where we will post
a complete delegate guide.