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Research Tips
Researching your topic
Researching the culture and background of your country
  Researching your country's position on an assigned topic
Other useful strategies

Researching your country's position on an assigned topic
Q: How do I start researching my country's position on the topic I have been assigned?

A: You might be able to find some of this info at the same places that offer information about your country's culture and background. The local Embassies or Consulates should be particularly useful. Also, find out if your country has a website for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These sites sometimes summarize a country's position on different topics.

Q: What if my country doesn't have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs website?

A: If your country doesn't have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, you may have to look at the web site run by the government of your assigned country. (Looking up the name of the ministry in its original language might also be helpful. Chances are, you will find an English translation of the main pages.)

Q: What if I don't find any information on my topic from any of these sites?

A: If none of the above sources can provide you with the required information, you should run general web searches using the main keywords related to your topic and the name of your country. Or you can participate in our interactive forums to see if other Model UN participants have information regardig your country's policies.

Q: What if I need to find out a country's policy on an obscure topic? What if I just cannot find the information?

A: In Model UN, we often cannot find specific policy statements for each and every topic we talk about. Thus, we need to make the best policy we can from the information we have.

Individual questions are usually part of a larger topic area (such as human rights, environmental issues, international affairs, international economic cooperation, etc.). Find out what viewpoint your country promotes in as many related issues as possible; this will show you what a policy on your topic would probably look like. If you cannot find any information about your country's position on the legalisation of soft drugs, for example, look at how drug trafficking is dealt with, or whether drug abuse is treated as a crime or as a disease. Going one step further, you should look at the overall political scene within your country and see what position might fit into this larger picture.

It doesn't matter if you get the "exact" policy of your country, all that matters is that you present a policy that makes sense for your country.

Q: Are there any other points I should consider when preparing my country's position on an assigned topic?

A: Just remember that familiarity with the facts must be integrated with diplomacy and politics. Since all decisions will require at least single majorities, you should not concentrate on positions that support extreme measures or viewpoints even if that option is compatible with your country's position. (Of course, if you think you have reasonable arguments supporting an extreme position you may want to take the challenge of convincing others that it is not as absurd as it may first appear.)

If you happen to find an official policy statement from your country on your assigned topic, we recommend that you do not read it word for word during a conference but use it instead as another resource. Official policy statements are sometimes vague or technical and need to be supplemented with other information you have gathered.

next page: Other useful strategies

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