Research and pre-conference preparation is essential to having an educational and fulfilling experience as a delegate. The more research and reading you do, the more you learn, and the more engaged you will be during the conference weekend. If you go into the conference without preliminary work, you are decreasing the productivity of debate in your committee. Take your research seriously, but have fun with it! You may surprise yourself with all the new things you are able to learn!
Step 1: Read the Background Guide
Each committee has a background guide published on Committees page. The Chairs of your committee have worked hard to publish these guides as a resource and aide in your research process. The guides provide an outline of the topic(s), past actions taken to address the issues, bloc positions, and questions to consider in your research. You should read the guides closely, and underline/highlight portions of the guide that you want to research further. The guides serve as the perfect starting point in the preparation process and can help direct your future research.
Step 2: Research Country Assignment
Understanding foundational elements of your country will help you to better understand the type of policy that you will favor in committee. Research should include general background on the political, geographical, economic, and social elements of your country, as well as any relevant policy your country has taken in the past that relates to your topic(s).
- CIA World Factbook
- IMUNA Country Profiles
- Your country's foreign ministry website
- Your school library's research database
Step 3: Research Topic
Although the background guide provides valuable information on your topic(s), it is important to research beyond this guide. Delegates should focus research on past international actions taken, and any current events that relate to the topic(s) set for debate. Knowing relevant statistics and facts will help to make your speeches and resolutions stronger in committee. In addition, look at the works cited in your background guides, and read some of the resources your chair used to develop their research. Additionally, research the purview and powers of your committee as it relates to the topic.
- UN Website
- The website of your committee
- NGO websites (ex: Red Cross, CARE International, Human Rights Watch)
- Think Tank websites (ex: Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations)
- Your school library's research database
- News Sites (ex: New York Times, The Economist, BBC, Foreign Policy)
Step 4: Brainstorm Potential Solutions
Once you’ve collected research on past solutions and your country’s position, it’s important to brainstorm solutions that you wish to see implemented in committee. What has been done? Can we improve on these past actions? What new actions should be introduced? What is the role of my country in solving these issues? Be sure to read past UN resolutions, as well as recommendations published by NGOs or think tanks.
Step 5: Write Position Paper
The position paper serves as a summary of your research and the position your country plans to take in committee. The paper should be a clear, concise summary of your country’s goals and aims, and should highlight previous actions taken by the country you are representing. If you’ve successfully and thoroughly completed the previous steps, writing your position paper should come easily. More detailed guidelines for the position papers at AmeriMUNC can be found in the section below.
Step 6: Write an Opening Speech and Develop Talking Points
Delegates should prepare an opening speech and a list of talking points based on their research. Opening speeches are typically delivered within the first two hours of committee and last approximately one minute. The opening speech should summarize your country’s policy and the portions of the topic that you want the committee to focus on. The opening speeches allow you to gauge other countries that you may be interested in working with. In addition to having an opening speech prepared, be sure to organize your research into talking points that can be used throughout the committee sessions. It is key that you’re able to express your ideas to others easily and ensure that your research is heard in committee. If you’re nervous about speaking, be sure to practice your opening speech or speaking points a few times over with a friend!
Unless otherwise specified in your committee background guide, position papers are required for all delegates. Double delegations need only submit one position paper together. If a delegate fails to submit a position paper, they are automatically disqualified for any awards consideration.
Position papers are a crucial part in the research and preparation portion of a Model UN conference. Ideally, they should be the culmination of your research and provide a roadmap for what you would like to achieve and pursue in committee. The paper should be a clear, concise summary of your country’s goals and aims, and should highlight previous actions taken by the country you are representing.
At AmeriMUNC, position papers must be:
- Minimum of one full page, typed, double spaced
- Times New Roman, size 12 font
At the top, all position papers must include the delegate’s:
You will produce a position papers for each topic, for which you must show a clear, high level of research and thought. If you have two topics, you are expected to write a paper on each. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden, and will disqualify you from receiving an award.
Your position paper should follow a relatively simple format. Your first paragraph should provide a brief history of the problem. Your second paragraph should discuss your country’s involvement with the issue, its position, and any past actions taken in your country to address the issue. Your final paragraph should describe possible solutions and what you would like to see in terms of a resolution in committee.
In terms of how you approach writing a position paper, view it almost as a short, concise paper for school. The position paper should be written in third person from the perspective of your country. Avoid language that means nothing, and show your research. Make it clear that you have extensively researched the topic and are ready to debate it once committee starts.
The deadline for all position paper submissions will be Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST. Failure to submit a position paper by this date will disqualify you from receiving an individual committee award. In addition, general assembly chairs will take the quality of position papers into account when deciding awards.
Parliamentary Procedure are the basic rules and guidelines that dictate how committees operate in Model UN simulations. The guide below outlines the specifies rules that will be used at AmeriMUNC V.
Here at AmeriMUNC we value diplomacy, cooperation, collaboration, and creativity. We look for delegates that are able to lead in a positive manner through inclusivity and valuing others' contributions. We look for innovative and out-of-the-box yet realistic solutions. We look for in depth knowledge and research regarding the historical, cultural, political, economic, and social circumstances of the issue. We look for delegates that are able to take criticism, adapt, and change with the evolving circumstances of the committee. A great delegate will lead the committee by working with others in a confident, diplomatic, and respectable way.