Preparing for MUN

The instructions here will help you to prepare for Debate for Peace style conferences. Please note that other conferences may be oriented slightly differently. Several links at the bottom of the page can provide further help and instruction.

Preparation Guidelines:

From previous conferences, we have noticed a trend to focus (obsess) over the policy statement (and/or position paper). The problem with this is that the policy statement isn’t dynamic. It is just a formal speech. We want students coming in with goals, strategies and arguments, and being willing to negotiate and adjust their own positions in response to other countries/delegates/students.

This matches reality more, and encourages negotiation, thinking on their feet, better grasp of goals and ideas, problem-solving.

We therefore recommend the following method of preparation:

  • 10-20 minutes basic research on assigned country (where it is, size and type of economy, type of government)

  • Understand the topic and its subissues (read and understand the study guide)

  • Think about your country’s relationship to the topic

    • Is it deeply involved or affected by this issue? Only partially? Not directly involved but has declared a position on the topic in the press, previous un resolutions, or in other public statements? Not involved at all and has not declared any statements on the topic- in which case students can be more creative)?

    • What has your country said/done on these issues?

    • Research your allies and which organization and bodies your countries are in (Arab League, NATO, OIC, etc,…)

    • Bear in mind both domestic (different groups of political influence within the country) and foreign relations (relations with other countries)

  • What has the UN said/done on this/these issues?

    • Read the relevant UN resolutions and any relevant statements

    • Are any other international organizations involved in this issue?

  • Which creative, practical ideas do you want to suggest?

  • List of pro/con arguments for each of your ideas

  • Flesh out your ideas with details (who funds it, who oversees it, who does it apply to, etc.)

  • Come prepared

    • Half page sheet with your main goals and another half page-page with details

    • 1 page with arguments for and against your ideas (and rebuttals)

    • 1-2 pages of organized, relevant data and quotes that you can use, from your research (don’t bring too much information or you won’t be able to find what you need during debates)

If you come to the conference well-researched, with a strategy of what you want to do, arguments to support that, and the ability to negotiate some finer details to help get your main ideas passed as resolutions, then writing an opening speech will be fairly easy, and you’ll be able to be involved the entire conference.

Additional resources: WiseMee (and here), IOMUN, and our MUN and study abroad resources page.