Sign up to our newsletter to stay in touch
University resources (for participants)
Preparing for a model UN
Before a Model UN event, delegates must prepare by conducting research on their country and topic.
It is vital that you are able to summarise what you have learned, especially your country’s most vital interests and goals. There are two good ways to do this. The first is to prepare a position paper, which should be no longer than two typed pages. You should also prepare a three-sentence version of your position on each topic. Despite the lack of detail, this will be the version of your research that you use most often at your Model UN event.
If you want to have lots of good information to hand, you can also fill out a country and topic fact sheet to help you structure and organise the information in a clear and accessible way. These contain only the most vital data, allowing you to refer to it quickly during a session.
Practise your public speaking by preparing an opening speech (which may closely resemble the long version of your position paper) and giving it in front of your class, family and/or mirror.
Before the event, the members of the delegation need to decide who is giving the speech, who is taking notes on other countries’ positions and who is going to negotiate with other delegations. You should always have somebody following the debate as something important could be said at any time.
You should also have thought about ways to approach the issues that you are discussing, as well as possible solutions. These ideas should reflect your country’s interests and concerns and those of your closest allies. Some conferences will let you bring resolutions that have been written in advance. Even if you cannot use one of these, you should practise writing a resolution.
Read the rules of procedure. There’s no better way to ensure that you will feel comfortable and confident when your Model UN event starts!
Finally, make sure that you have everything you need. Keep your research organised and take paper and pens. Also take notepaper. This could be as simple as A4 cut into quarters or you can design notepaper with your country’s name/crest/flag/motto, etc. on it.