Nowadays Model United Nations have become very popular along with a bunch of other beneficial extracurriculars. After my friends and I have struggled with being delegates and dealing with delegates, I’m here to give you some pointers to make it easier on you and the ACs in your council.
To start off, let me give you a brief of what an MUN is. Basically, a Model UN is an educational simulation of the United Nations that is usually held in schools or universities (at least here in Egypt). You get to pick a council you’re interested in and then you attend sessions in which you discuss certain topics related to your council. After a week of sessions, you are assigned a country which you have to represent during the conference. Now let’s move on to the pointers.
1. Good research skills
During the sessions you’ll be attending all week you will be introduced to new and foreign situations, and for you to be knowledgeable about all these topics you’ll have to invest your time in some research, you will also have to research your country’s situation in relation to the topic you’re discussing. You should focus on the main topic first and then start flowing into other similar topics that may help your case during the debate. Just make sure to focus on the quality of information you’re gathering rather than quantity since you’d much rather have two strong points than six weak points since lacking points will do nothing but give other delegations the opportunity to argue against your case. Another thing to focus on is to gather as much evidence, facts and statistics as you can since these are crucial to help you make a reliable and strong statement, and this will have other delegations thinking twice before stating a weak argument against you since you will be prepared with evidence to back your point up, making their argument unnecessary.
2. Look out for informational bias
I can’t stress enough on the fact that you have to state real information with real statistics because let’s face it, secretariats are not dumb, nor are the other delegates who probably researched the correct information that you are falsely stating. Stating false information will do nothing but spiral strong arguments against you, ones that you will most probably not be able to reply to, so just put effort into finding true and reliable information from reliable sources. You should also look out for any false information that has been stated by other delegations as you will be gathering strong arguments therefore, you’ll be able to support your case.
3. Make the most out of your sessions
Sessions and presentations are there to help you grasp the topics better, therefore having questions and actually asking them will not be of any harm, I bet other delegates will have the same questions crossing their minds. Any AC in your council is there to help you, so you should feel free to ask them any question whether it’s during the presentation or during breaks. You should also take notes and jot down the points you feel like you want to research more, you’ll want to remember what was being said, trust me.
While simply sitting and listening will load you with a bunch of useful information, you’ll still benefit way more if you actually participate during the conference and the sessions. Ask questions, express your point of view and state arguments. Not only will you realize how fun participating is, you’ll also boost your experience to a whole other level. Your participation and eagerness will be taken into consideration and who knows, you might end up wining best delegate, ehh?
5. Look out for diplomatic warnings
Make sure to maintain diplomatic decorum as getting a warning will not do you any justice. If you reach 3 warnings, you will have to deal with expulsion from the caucus or general assembly and there goes a huge part of the experience along with what you’ve been working on during the past week. So, I suggest you listen to all the actions that may lead to a warning and just refrain from doing them. It’s for your own good.
6. Hmm, how can I say this? How about, balash sha2t
If you are attending the model for the purposes of sha2t, let me tell you a couple of things. To begin with, you will not have the chance to do so nor will any of the delegates who are actually interested in what’s going on will have the time to go with it. Just focus on maintaining good social connections and make friends as you all have something in common which is attending the model and being interested in it. Some of the best people I know now were with me in an MUN before, so focus on building connections and making friends rather than focusing on your devilish intentions since ACs in your council will probably figure it out by the first session.
7. Focus on the foreign policy and resolution writing
Make sure to spend a good amount of time researching your country’s foreign policy as it is of extreme importance. The more you know about your country’s self-interest strategies the more you’ll be able to reply and argue for your case, it’s basically the core of your arguments and statements during the conference. Moving on to resolution writing, I have one main and major tip for you. Do not plagiarize. This is of extreme importance; you should put good effort into writing a resolution that you figured out without bluntly googling ‘Resolution for XYZ’ as it will be figured out and you don’t want to deal with what happens next.
Well, this is all I have for you. Just make the best out of this experience even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone just a bit because you can make it life changing. This can help in boosting your confidence, widen your circle of connections and improve your public speaking skills. Good luck, delegates!