Preparing for an MUN conference is hard work, especially when you don't have much experience. In this section, you will find our Rules of Procedure (ROP), study guides prepared by our team to understand the topics you will be debating better, and resources that you might find useful for the debates.
The first step, however, should be to read the UN Charter.
Then, here are four important areas for delegates to research as part of their preparation for a conference:
The UN system. Delegates should be aware of the 6 main organs of the UN plus the UN family and how it relates to the General Assembly. The history, culture, political structure, and current political affairs of the countries that have been assigned for a simulation. In addition to resources on these topics, it may be useful to read fiction and non-fiction books (e.g., biographies) written by authors who live in the country you have been assigned. They may offer insights into the culture of the country delegates will be representing.
Government positions on the topics will be discussed at a Model UN conference. In order to adequately represent a country during the conference, a delegate will need to interact with delegates representing other countries. Knowing the viewpoints and policies of "their" country as well as those positions of other countries that will be represented will help delegates predict what will be said during the debate phase of the conference. This will be very useful in helping delegates identify which countries will be in agreement with their position and which ones will be opposed. In addition, it will help them decide in advance where it might be useful to seek cooperation or compromise.
Positions of the main political groups, such as the Group of 77 and China, Non-Aligned Movement, European Union, African Union, etc. (see list of Groups of Member States) are equally important since many negotiations at the UN often take place between political groups.
Current statistical data on assigned countries and topics.
When preparing for a conference, it is useful for delegates to divide the research into four categories:
General research on the assigned topic. A delegate should be well-versed on the topic they will be debating.
General research on the background and culture of the country they have been assigned.
Research on the policies of "their" country on the topics they will be debating.
Research on the policies of other countries that will be represented at the conference so that they can anticipate the arguments that might be put forward by other delegates.
Researching country policies on an assigned topic
Delegates should look for books and websites that give a general overview of the topic as well as information on more specific aspects of your topic. It is important to get an idea of how complex the subject is and how many different aspects of the topic might be discussed during the conference.
It is also important for them to keep in mind that web resources must be selected carefully. Not all web sites are reliable sources and many of the sources may be biased. If possible, delegates should try to find independent confirmation of the information they have obtained from more than one source.
Moreover, when gathering information it is important to distinguish between opinions and facts. Facts are used to support opinions. Whenever possible, delegates should use facts to support their arguments. Whenever possible, delegates should use facts to support their arguments. Sometimes, however, there are instances when facts are not available. Ultimately, delegates will be presenting an opinion and must defend it against other opinions. Therefore, it is crucial for them to be familiar with different viewpoints and opinions on the topics they are assigned. Delegates should study arguments that are different from the one their assigned country is likely to take on a topic. They need to analyse the facts that are used to support opposing arguments. Sometimes the same facts can be used to support two different positions on a topic. Delegates will need to decide which particular points they want to focus on in their arguments and this decision needs to be guided by their country’s policies on the topic they are debating.
When searching the Internet for information it is usually a good idea to vary the keywords used to research an assigned topic. This will sometimes lead you to additional sources of information which you might not have found if the keyword search is too narrow.
Don't hesitate to contact us or any of our staff if you need further assistance!