Preparing for the Conference
A good experience during the formal sessions of an MUN starts with three important things, namely: preparation, preparation and preparation.
Step 1: Country
First things first of course, you start off by doing research on your assigned country. A good starting point is looking up your country’s history, internal structure, economy, military and foreign policy.
This information is important because it will help you understand why your country adopts certain positions and policies. Being aware of your country’s historical developments as well as its political and social background will help you understand its people and the arguments they would use to support or oppose different policies. At an MUN, you need to defend your country’s general position and preferences. Therefor, knowing your country by heart is the first step towards victory.
Step 2: Committee
Secondly, get to know what your assigned committee talks about and what it can and cannot do. Whether this is the UNSC, NATO, ECLAC or another one; it doesn’t matter. Start by looking up the history of the committee and make sure to fall in love with it because you’ll spend several days being part of it. Study guides, which will assist in your preparation, will be made available around the beginning of February.
Step 3: Topics
This is when things get real. Your topics. During our MUN you’ll be given two topics that you’ll discuss intensely during the committee sessions. A complete understanding of the topics, its causes and effects will put you in a position to fully defend your country’s position and debate confidently at the conference. Intensive research on the topics leads to a very rewarding MUN experience.
Following the international news on hot topics can always be a first and easy step to start preparing. However, for some topics you’ll need a lot more than the mainstream news. Read the study guides, start looking up academic papers, books, blogs, etc.
When you think you know your topic, the fun part begins: linking your countries policy and interests to both topics.
Step 4: Position Paper
When you have completed all of the steps mentioned above, the last step is to put your knowledge into a position paper.
The position paper is a one (or two) page document that is a concrete and detailed overview of your knowledge on the topic and the position your country plans to take on during the debates. It typically includes three main points: background of the topic, past national and international actions and your country’s current policy and possible solutions.
The deadline for this position paper is usually set before the start of the conference. We will update this when a date is finally set.