STEP ONE – GETTING STARTED
Register your school as a participant with MUN, if you haven’t done so already. There is a fee for the school to participate. (New School Registration is located at the bottom of the home page.
Review the countries that are available for representation. Since there is only one delegate per committee per country, and there are 21 committees, you will need to estimate the number of students participating in your program to know how many countries to request. Symbols by each country’s name will indicate if they are serving on the Security Council and the International Court of Justice. There is a fee for every country chosen (See Country Choices on the web page.)
Within each of the committees there are topics to be researched by the delegates. Delegates should select their committees and research all of the topics within that committee. Delegates who choose one of the General Assemblies will have a main topic of their own and will be required to learn the topics of one of the other committees. They may choose which topic. Again, there should only be one delegate per country for each committee, council or assembly. If your school has more than one country, you may have one delegate from each country on a committee – this might be helpful in that students can support each other for researching information. (See Agenda Topics on the Web Page)
Once delegates have chosen which committee they would like, the delegates should be registered. One or two delegates per country should be chosen to act as the ambassadors. Although those who serve in the General Assemblies are usually the ambassadors, you don’t have to do that. There really aren’t any additional official duties added to ambassadors, but they can be very helpful to you. My ambassadors are students who have participated in MUN before and who know the program. They help new delegates find research sources, help me edit the first draft of papers of other delegates, collect and organize those papers, etc. If you are advising a club, ambassadors are often the ones who arrange when delegates will meet and check on everyone’s progress.
STEP TWO – RESEARCH AND TESTING
If you are planning to attend the conference in Eugene with a large group, remember to give yourself plenty of time to make hotel reservations. There is a list of hotels/motels on the website.
Research on your school’s country is important because delegates should be representing their country’s viewpoints as much as possible – even if those viewpoints may be in conflict with their personal ideas. This helps the delegates clarify their positions, as well as creating a better simulation at the conference. There are many resources for country research, and a very helpful one is the CIA World Fact Book. Just remember, don’t get so caught up in researching your country that you don’t have enough time to research the topics themselves.
Research and writing on topics should take the bulk of a delegate’s time. For each topic, delegates should be able to DEFINE the problem is and its history, WHERE the problem is taking place, WHO is doing something about it (especially if UN organizations are involved) as well as WHAT they are doing (including any treaties, protocols, etc.) and SUGGESTIONS on how to solve the problem from their representative country’s point of view that would reduce the problem on a global basis. A position paper should be written on two of the delegate’s (See the credentials process for criteria for the agenda topic/position papers) These papers need to be submitted when attending oral credentialing. (See Credentials Process-sample of position papers.)
Oral credentialing is a REQUIRED step on the way to the conference. These usually take place in late February through March, and are offered around the state. Not all delegates have to attend the same credentials. If there is not a scheduled time or location for credentialing that works for you and your delegates, other arrangements can be made. Delegates will submit their written work and then be asked questions about their knowledge of the topics.
If your delegates have not done this type of oral testing before, or are very nervous about it, it would be a good idea to attend an early session so that any delegates who do not pass will have the opportunity to try again at a later session. (See credentials process on the web) If you are in the Portland Metro area, you may register your delegates to attend an oral credentialing session to ensure enough time, space, and people. (See registration process on the web)
STEP THREE – FINAL PREPARATIONS
Often during oral credentialing, a delegate may pass but be asked to research further on certain points of the topics, or the delegates themselves know that they need a better understanding of the information. This is the time to do that!
Writing resolutions. Resolutions are the documents used during the conference to initiate debate within the committees. The document consists of two parts: Initiating and Operating. The Initiating section states the main points of the problem that need to be addressed, and is also a place for the country to make a public statement about their position on the problem. The Operating section is the place for the delegate to suggest solutions to the problem. This should be concise as possible, including any organizations that should get involved to help fix the problem, how much improvement should be seen and the deadline for that improvement, and possible consequences for those countries who do not participate in the solution. There are fairly rigid guidelines for format and phrasing for resolutions, so be sure to look at several examples. (See sample resolutions on web)
Delegates do not have to submit a resolution for every topic. Any resolutions submitted will be included in committee packets at the conference as possible items for debate. You will be notified when resolution submissions will be accepted, usually some time in March and up to a week before the conference.
Nametags will be provided at the conference, but they are just basic white nametags. If your delegates wish to create their own nametags for their country, they may do so.
STEP FOUR – THE CONFERENCE
When you first arrive at the conference, you will need to find OPI. There you will pay registration fees, collect packets, nametags, and country placards for each delegate. The packets will let delegates know when and where events are happening, and the room assignments for each committee. Preliminary schedules for the conference are usually available online prior to the conference.
Delegates attending the conference will be asked to follow a dress code, a behavior code, and a curfew. You may use the guidelines that will be provided online, or write your own to add any additional guidelines you would like.
Cell phones are acceptable at the conference, so long as they are turned off while delegates are in session. Cell phones are a great way to have delegates check in with you, especially since their meetings may be in different buildings on campus.
Big Five – The countries of United States, France, Great Britain, China and Russia. These countries are allowed two delegates per committee, and are permanent members of the Security Council. To represent one of the Big Five, there is a lottery held at the end of the conference for the next year’s delegation. Schools who try for a Big Five country must have enough delegates to staff each committee, have advisor permission, and do additional work beyond other country options.
Committee Chairs – The Chairs are students who have volunteered to help run the committees during the conference. They receive training during the year on how to keep committees in order, and do not represent any one country.
General Assembly – There are two General Assemblies. All of the other MUN committees are divided in a hierarchy below the Assemblies. When a resolution is passed in a committee, it is then brought to the appropriate General Assembly accompanied by selected members of the committee who will present it. The General Assembly will then debate the resolution and choose to accept it, reject it, or send it back to the committee for more work. Since the General Assembly delegates will constantly be presented with resolutions from other committees, the GA delegates themselves usually have only one or two of their own topics to debate. How other country options. ever, to make sure that GA delegates have some knowledge about the topics in other committees, MUN will assign one committee that they need to research in addition to their own GA topics.
Pages – At the conference there are pages to help pass messages between delegates within a committee, as well as sending messages to delegates in other committees. This is especially helpful when a delegate in a committee wants to get information to their ambassador in the General Assembly regarding a resolution that is being sent to the Assembly for discussion.
Placards – Placards show the name of your representative country. These will be placed in front of each delegate in committee so that other delegates know which country they represent.