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Organising a one day Model UN event
Model UN events can last for as long as you would like - just an hour, half a day, a whole day or three or four days. This is dependent on the amount of time and resources you have to organise the event, as well as the number of delegates who will be participating.
9:30am - Organisers arrange flags, country signs and seating (hopefully with tables) in a horseshoe, with countries in alphabetical order and the officers (Chair, reporters and advisers) seated in the open end. Other individuals should be registering delegates and passing out nametags.
9:40am - Welcome and administrative arrangements from the Secretary-General or organiser.
9:45am - Introductions and short addresses by guest speaker and Chair.
10:15am - Committee session – each delegation makes a short speech about its country and concerns, with reference to the issues to be debated. The organiser must decide on the maximum length of each speech, and the Chair must strictly enforce these time limits. Delegates should be encouraged to enter an unmoderated caucus at the end of these speeches in order to begin working with states that expressed similar positions and interests or to begin debate.
As the session continues, it should turn toward resolution writing. The preamble should be written by the organisers and duplicated in advance, while the committee drafts and debates the operative clauses that they wish to propose.
Once a complete draft resolution has been approved and distributed, delegations suggest amendments or other operative clauses. The Chair should help guide the debate, if they feel it necessary, and encourage the committee to debate substantive issues, rather than nitpicking at the resolution.
At the end of the session, the Chair may want to ‘recap’ the debate and might suggest areas of the issues that have yet to be raised and where compromises will have to be negotiated. The delegates should do the work of finalising the draft resolution, though the Chair, reporters and advisers should be available to help.
12:45pm - Lunch break – the delegates should remain in character so that they can lobby and negotiate with each other. A working lunch, if possible, can be appropriate.
1:45pm - Committee session – Committees continue to work on completing their draft resolution and debating amendments. About 10 minutes before the end of the session, the Chair should announce that it is time to take a final vote on the resolution, as it has been amended. It may even be possible to have consensus and not need to take an actual vote.
4:00pm - Closing ceremony – Formal end of the Model UN; appropriate thanks given to all concerned. Chairs should talk briefly about the work done by their committee and may want to mention delegates who were especially outstanding.
4:30pm - Clean-up!
Rules of procedure
For a MUN lasting up to one day, there may be no need to adopt especially formal rules of procedure. All that is needed is a Chair (or more than one if you have several committees) who is able to direct the discussions towards a consensus and use simple rules to decide on the resolutions and guide discussion.
The committees should aim to produce a draft resolution which can be agreed through consensus. If consensus is not possible, states must vote ‘for’, ‘against’ or ‘abstain’. Suggested voting rules are:
- to require a majority to be in favour of a draft resolution or any amendments for them to pass
- to require several sponsors of amendments and draft resolutions (choose an exact number)
- to allow 3 (or more) speakers for and against every amendment, then to vote on whether or not the amendment should be included in the resolution.
Useful discussion rules include:
- allowing delegates to request a period of caucusing or lobbying
- allowing delegates to indicate whether or not they will answer questions after delivering a speech
- having a speaker’s list for delegations to determine who speaks next.