Model United Nations is a life-changing journey that will help you develop confidence in leading others, a stronger awareness of global issues, and the chance to make new friends from around the world. Model UN may seem confusing at first, but there is some help on this page. It’s important to dive right in because Model UN is an activity that can only be learned through participation. Once you have signed up for the conference, you will receive your country assignment, your committee, and its topics. Write a policy statement (position paper), and a clause for each of the topics in your committee. Research papers will be posted soon.
The Country Profile is a worksheet to help you understand your country. Most of the information needed to fill out a Country Profile can be found in the CIA World Factbook.
The Position Paper
The Position Paper is a one or two page document that is essentially a summary of your knowledge of the topic and the position your country plans to take when it enters committee. It typically contains three sections: Background of Topic, Past International Actions, and Country Policy & Possible Solutions. Position Papers are usually due before the conference.
The key starting points for researching each section are listed below. They will help you get started with participating in your first Model UN conference, but you will want to dig deeper as you develop more experience.
The Opening Speech typically lasts about 1 minute or 1 minute and 30 seconds and is the first speech you give to the committee. It is the best opportunity for you to explain your country policy and the key sub-issues you would like the committee to focus on.
Opening Speeches is a main way for countries to determine who they want to work with, so it’s important to prepare a speech that conveys this. There are many tips and strategies on how to deliver an Opening Speech, but use your Position Paper as a guide when you are starting out. The most important action is to just be brave and make your speech.
Flow of Debate
Flow of Debate:
Debate is a form of negotiating in which all parties seek a solution to a problem beneficial to all. All parties should have sufficient background information about the issues discussed in order to quickly respond to questions and comments. A debate is a formal way of discussing.
General rules of debate:
How to Write Clauses and Ammendments
Operative clauses state the solutions that the sponsors of the resolution proposes to resolve the issues. The operative clauses should address the issues specifically mentioned in the pre-ambulatory clauses above it.
It’s very simple to write an operative clause. First, take a solution that you want to include in the draft resolution. You then take that solution, combine it with an underlined operative phrase, and end it with a semicolon (the last operative clause ends with a perio. This differentiates them from pre-ambulatory clauses, helps show logical progression in the resolution, and makes the operative clauses easy to refer to in speeches and comments. Here are some example operative phrases from UNA-USA’s website that you can choose from:
Interrupting of Speeches, Raising of Points
Yielding the floor
For example, my first solution is to distribute low-cost medicines for HIV/AIDS to sub-Saharan African countries. I pick an operative phrase from above — I’ll use “Calls upon” — and then I combine it and number it to say:
1. Calls upon the developed countries and major pharmaceutical countries to provide low-cost, generic medicines for HIV/AIDS to sub-Saharan African countries;
Strategy Tip: Usually more details in an operative clause will make it stronger or at least make the idea more clear to other delegates. A simple way to strengthen each operative clause is to answer the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of each resolution. These details can actually be broken down into sub-operative clauses underneath the main operative clause.
Approved draft clause are modified through amendments. An amendment is a written statement that adds, deletes or changes an operative clause. The amendment process is used to strengthen consensus on an operative clause. There are two types of amendments:
1. A friendly amendment is a change to the clause that all sponsors agree with. After the amendment is signed by all of the clause’s sponsors and approved by the committee chair, it will be automatically incorporated into the resolution.
2. An unfriendly amendment is a change that some or all of the clause’s sponsors do not support and must be voted upon by the committee. This also refers to delegates who did not write this clause at all but see potential in it as long as several changes are made to it. The sponsors of the amendment will need to obtain a required number of signatories in order to introduce it. Prior to voting on the draft resolution, the committee votes on all unfriendly amendments.
Writing an amendment is very simple. All you have to do is make an operative clause that adds, deletes, or changes an operative clause in a draft resolution. Examples include: