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Gathering Information | Developing MUN Skills | Tips from MUNers | Other MUN organizations

You prepare by gathering information and developing Model UN skills.

Gathering Information
Read our Research Tips before getting started on gathering information. The Research Tips will help you research your assigned topic, your country's culture and background as well as your country's position on your assigned topic. In addition, check our links to excellent web sites that can help you gather information on topics and countries. If you still have a question after using these resources, contact a MUN Expert.

Here are six important areas for you to research as part of your preparation for a conference:
  1. Know the UN system. We have created an on-line introduction to and virtual tour of the UN for students who want a basic understanding of the UN system.

  2. Become familiar with the your country's history, culture, political structure, and current political affairs. In addition to resources you may find at your school, university, or public library and on the internet, it may be useful to read fiction and non-fiction books (e.g., biographies) written by authors who live in your country. They may offer insights into the culture you are learning about.

  3. Learn about your country's viewpoints on as many of the issues that will be discussed at the conference you will be attending as you can.

  4. Know your allies and your opposition. In order to adequately represent your country during the conference, you will need to interact with delegates from other countries. Knowing their positions on your topic will help you predict their arguments during debate. This will be very useful in helping you decide in advance where it might be useful to seek cooperation or compromise.

  5. Be familiar with current statistical data on your topic and country.

  6. Review the rules and procedures for your conference. These rules are intended to create a level playing field allowing each country to accomplish its individual goals in speaking about their policies while maximizing opportunities for the group to reach agreement or even consensus on the issue. Each conference publishes a set of rules and procedures that are derived from those used by the UN. There are many resources on protocol and parliamentary procedure available through MUN sites and books.
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Developing MUN Skills
Develop MUN skills by asking more experienced participants of MUN conferences and/or your advisor about exercises that will improve your abilities to: debate, speak publicly, negotiate, resolve conflicts, compromise, cooperate, write resolutions, and build consensus.

Most importantly, participate in as many conferences as you can. This is the best way for you to sharpen your skills.

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Tips from MUNers
  • Remember it is not your opinion you are expounding but the country you are representing.
  • Be willing to continuously improve and refine you capabilities.
  • Do mock trials with team members and neighboring teams.
  • Technique matters - so practice it.
  • Be aware of different political perspectives - East vs. West and North vs. South.
  • Compromise is an art, treat it that way.
  • Get hooked on MUN, this will change your life.
  • Learn from your experience.
  • Hold a debriefing session after each conference to discuss things that worked and things that did not work.
  • Keep a record of your feedback and plans for improvement.
  • Congratulate your team members (and other players!) on their contributions to the team and the conference.
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Other Model U.N. organizations

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA - USA) is a non-profit organization that supports the work of the UN. As part of its Model UN outreach, it publishes wonderful resources which are described in its catalog. Their publications include comprehensive information on how to prepare for a conference, updates on global issues, policy statements and analysis as well as an informative video on Model U.N. with footage from actual conferences.

The American Model United Nations (AMUN) has also put together some excellent resources for student delegates, faculty advisors and student leaders who are preparing their school for Model UN conferences. Student delegates should look at AMUN's tricks of the trade for pre-conference preparation tips as well as tactics and strategies to use during the conference. Faculty advisors and student leaders should consult the AMUN Simulation Guide for activities on resolution writing and caucusing as well as instructions for running a practice simulation.

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