The first step in preparing for a rewarding Model UN experience is to gather information. Give your students plenty of time before a conference to research, read and formulate arguments. Most delegates use the Internet for a majority of their research, because the information available on the web is most recent and generally most relevant. However, do not overlook the resources available in books and periodicals at the local library.
For many students, especially in High School and Middle School, preparation for a Model UN conference will be the first time they are asked to conduct serious research. It is a fantastic opportunity to introduce young delegates to research skills including credible sources, citations, and synthesizing arguments from a wide range of sources.
While conducting research, try to keep in mind that the primary goal is to represent a country as realistically as possible. To do so, students will need to research three different areas:
· The country and its positions;
· The issues to be debated at the conference; and
· The committee they will be simulating, and its role within the UN system.
Be aware that it is not always possible to find information on the position of a specific country on a specific topic. Rather, by having a firm understanding of a country’s general governance, demographics and policies, and an in-depth knowledge of the topic for debate, students should be able to make inferences and draw conclusions about their nations’ policies. Students may also look at the policies of their regional blocs, or search for existing policies of other nations that they believe their own country would be willing to support or implement.
The World Factbook, July 28, 2022 edition. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency 2022.
The World Factbook provides basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.
United Nations Regional Blocs (groups)
Regional groups formally exist for electoral and ceremonial purposes, however, some choose to coordinate on substantive issues and/or use the group structure to share information.
- General debate statements
- Draft resolutions sponsored
- Diplomatic relations between states
- Representative’s credentials