You see it everywhere at MUN conferences. You’ve made your own — or, more likely, your advisor told you to make one. And you probably didn’t want to. It’s confusing to create and cumbersome to carry. You might even be embarrassed to bring one to committee — maybe you poke fun at others for bringing theirs.
What am I referring to? I am describing the bane of many a Model UNer. I am talking about putting together a research binder.
When I started doing Model UN, research was a chore. I wrote position papers at the last minute, printed out a bunch of random websites the night before conferences, and read a fraction of it on the bus. Research was something boring I needed to do before I could do the fun stuff.
Here is FUMUN 2014 Closing Video, please watch and share it!
The goal of a committee is to pass a resolution on a given set of topics by the end of the conference. This does not happen randomly. There’s a certain flow to committee, when specific events have to take place before the committee can reach its goal of passing a resolution. Experienced delegates understand this and use it to their advantage.
Let’s walk through a typical Model UN conference. Your committee experience starts before the conference even begins, by doing your research. When you arrive to your committee room and your chair gavels open the first session, you line up with everyone else to make opening speeches. Soon, you’re going into unmoderated caucus, passing notes, and meeting people in the hall to form a caucus bloc, write a resolution, and submit it to the chair. You present and debate resolutions; combine and amend them; then go into voting bloc, where your committee will either reach or fail its goal. And you do it all again with the next topic and at the next conference.
The Research page is divided into five sections:
- News Sources
- Think Tanks
How do I prepare for my first conference?
Once you have signed up for a conference, you will receive your country assignment, your committee, and its topics. Most conferences provide a Background Guide or Topic Synopsis that introduces the topics — read that first.
There are typically three products to prepare before you walk into your first conference: the Position Paper (sometimes called a Policy Statement), your Opening Speech, and a Research Binder. Some novice conferences may also require a Country Profile. The other document to learn is how to write a Resolution since that is the primary goal of the committee sessions.