The MUN Manifesto could not have been possible without the efforts of many individuals. We are grateful to our Manifesto contributors, ConnectMUN 2010 secretariat Sunny Shen, and the Project Connect Ambassadors Ryan Bae, Amanda Chen, Geneva Nam, Sarah Wang, Marco Wong, and Lance Zhou. Special thanks to Marco Wong, who in addition to revising the latest edition of the Manifesto, also contributed a personal position paper to the Appendix. These individuals’ contributions to the Manifesto reflect the many hours of research, collaboration, writing, and first-hand experience they wield as Model UN delegates, staff, and secretariat members.
Thank you to CGYA Director Firas Moosvi and ConnectMUN secretariat member Simon Yu for adapting Harvard Model United Nations’ delegate guide to create our Rules of Procedure. Many thanks also to the contributors of the previous Manifesto: Jansen Lee, Sahir Moosvi, Taylor Reid, and Eve Rindje. Last, but not least, thank you to the CGYA Directors who oversee Project Connect, May Poon and Wesley Sze. Thank you, especially to Wesley Sze, who wrote a significant portion of the Manifesto, and served as its copy editor and graphic designer.
Our collective knowledge in the MUN Manifesto is a testament to the amazing conferences of which we have been a part and the remarkable experiences that we have had. 8 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 9 00 PREFACE Model United Nations (MUN) is a bit like a secret club. Once you attend a conference for the first time and become acquainted with the world of MUN, you become an “insider. ” You find yourself attending conference after conference to try to appease your appetite for world politics, resolution passing, and unmoderated caucus. You learn the in’s and out’s of being an expert delegate and start Facebook groups after every conference.
Once you’re in, you’re in. However, to an outsider who has never participated in MUN before, everything may seem intimidating and hopelessly complex. MUN culture has evolved to include its own personality, strategy, and lingo (what does the term “dilatory” mean again? ). It is our hope that this guidebook will help introduce the world of MUN for all students to enjoy. Even if you’re not new to MUN, we have included more advanced topics and content for all skill levels. We have designed it to be clear, concise, and fun to read, all the while being thorough and extensive in its coverage.
We like to consider it as the definitive MUN guide. Feel free to have this book beside you during committee ses- sions. Refer to it often. Pass it along and share with your friends. Write in the margins, make notes, and scribble away your own thoughts. Remember: as a MUN participant, this is your book— put it to good use! So whether you are about to step into the world of MUN for the very first time, or you are already a seasoned and experienced veteran, we hope that you will find this guide indispensable in 10 THE MUN MANIFESTO your MUN journey. THE MUN MANIFESTO 11 ABOUT CGYA ABOUT PROJECT CONNECT.
The Connect Global Youth Association was founded by Nuwan Project Connect is a CGYA initiative established by May Poon goal of this organization is to foster the leadership potential of empower students in the realm of global issues. This document Rajapakse and Firas Moosvi in the summer of 2008. The primary secondary school students with innovative initiatives relating to global, social, political, and economic issues. Connect Model United Nations, an annual 3-day conference, is the flagship event of CGYA. Find out more at http://www. cgya. ca. 12 THE MUN MANIFESTO and Wesley Sze.
Project Connect aims to educate, engage, and has been produced by Project Connect to help introduce Model United Nations as an effective way to educate and engage stu- dents in the many important issues facing our world today. Find out more at http://www. project-connect. ca. THE MUN MANIFESTO 13 01 ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS & OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS Established in 1945 after the end of the Second World War, the United Nations is the largest, most comprehensive international organization in the world.
The need for such a body as a forum for dialogue, maintenance of world peace, and development of social progress became apparent after the devastating consequences of the two World Wars. With the addition of South Sudan in July 2011, the UN now has 193 member states representing the vast majority of the world’s population. The United Nations is led by the Secretary General, who oversees the workings of the entire organization. There are five main principal organs of the United Nations system: • Security Council • Economic and Social Council • General Assembly • International Court of Justice.
• Secretariat In addition to these organs, there are numerous subsidiary organizations and committees that are focused in specialized areas. The more popular of these include the UN Environment Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank. 14 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 15 Many conferences are modelled after the United Nations system by offering committee choices that mimic those of the actual United Nations structure and framework. This section will give a brief overview of the more popular committee choices. UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL (UNSC) The Security Council is the most powerful body of the United Nations.
It has the important responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. The UNSC possesses power to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international conflict and may recommend methods or terms of settlement to alleviate such matters. At the time of publication, the UNSC member states are: Veto Holding Non-Pernament ChinaAzerbaijan FranceColombia Russian Federation Germany United Kingdom Guatemala United StatesIndia Morocco Pakistan Portugal South Africa Togo The topics discussed by the UNSC vary considerably, depending on particular current events and pressing issues.
The UNSC is assigned the most urgent, widespread, and dire situations. Expect the UNSC to be an intense, fast-paced, and challenging committee, Did You Know? The Security Council is the only committee allowed to use and to be a part of that will certainly give you a memorable MUN experience. the operative clause “condemns” in a resolution. GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA) The UNSC is made up of fifteen member nations: five permanent veto members, and ten elected members with temporary two-year terms. Any negative vote from a permanent member immediately disqualifies any resolution from passing.
In other words, any resolution passed by the UNSC must have the approval of all five permanent members—even just one negative vote from a veto holder will nullify a resolution. This places significant power in the hands of the permanent members. As such, most MUN conferences only assign these positions to the most experienced and advanced delegates. The General Assembly serves as the chief deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the United Nations. In total, the GA consists of all 193 members of the United Nations, providing a suitable environment for intensive discussions of issues on a truly international scale.
The GA plays an essential role in the process of standard setting and the codification of international law. The powers of the GA include the ability to make recommendations on the general principle of maintaining international peace and security. It may discuss any question that is not being discussed by the Security Council and make further 16 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 17 recommendations. When required, it functions to commence In a time when outbreaks and fears of infectious political cooperation, human rights and fundamental freedoms, becoming an important forum for dialogue in studies and make recommendations to promote international the development of international law, and collaboration in economic, social, educational and health sectors.
Each member state in the GA receives one vote. diseases dominate the headlines, the WHO is issues related to international health. As such, it is increasingly common to see the WHO offered as a committee at a conference. To pass substantiative resolutions, the GA requires The WHO’s key goals include promoting questions are decided by simple majority. level, strengthening health systems in poor and underserved a two-thirds majority. All other non-substantiative.
Because of the GA’s breadth of membership and broad scope, topics discussed by the GA can vary considerably. With 193 seats, a full GA is one of the largest committees to sit in. Participation in a committee of this size development, fostering health security at the international areas, and monitoring the evolving global health situation at its rapid changing pace. The WHO often collaborates with other UN agencies and international organizations to implement recommendations and programs within countries. will give you a chance to practice your public speaking skills and allow you to interact with a large number of delegates.
Also, with the one member, one vote structure, the GA gives all countries a level ground for participation—even a small island state has just as much voting influence as a large and populous superpower! WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) If you ever hear delegates talking about “the WHO” at a conference… no, they are not referring to the English rock band. The World Health Organization (affectionately referred to as “the WHO”) is responsible for health-related matters in the United Nations.
It functions to provide leadership on global health issues, shape the health research agenda, set norms and standards, and provide technical support to countries regarding health issues. DID YOU KNOW? The World Health Organization will not recruit staff who smoke. The WHO addresses important topics in international health. In the past, the committee has spearheaded discussions in small-pox and polio eradication, family planning, AIDS, and the control of the SARS pandemic. Although several of these topics may be more technical in nature, advanced knowledge in health care science is not required. However, participants in the WHO are recommended to research basic information regarding the specific topics to be addressed.
This makes the committee an excellent choice for delegates with interest in the international health care field. 18 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 19 INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial body of the United Nations. Its main role is to settle international legal disputes and to offer advisory opinions on legal questions. This organ of the United Nations is composed of fifteen judges who are elected for nine year terms by the General Assembly and the Security Council. The ICJ operates differently from most other committees.
Instead of the standard Rules and Procedures, it runs much like a court trial, with statements by the defence and prosecution, testimony and cross-examination of witnesses, expert opinions, and deliberation by judges. Delegates may participate as a judge, on a defense or prosecution team, or as a witness. Because of the nature of the trials, background preparation is extremely important. Delegates are expected to have prepared well thought out statements and accompanying evidence beforehand.
Although not a conventional MUN committee, the ICJ offers participants a unique opportunity to become exposed to the workings of international law and litigation. This makes it an excellent choice for students wishing to pursue a career in international law. At the time of publication, the ICJ judges hail from the following countries: Brazil China France India Italy Japan 20 THE MUN MANIFESTO Mexico Morocco New Zealand Russia Slovakia Somalia Uganda United Kingdom United States THE MUN MANIFESTO 21 02 PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRST CONFERENCE! So you have finally decided to attend an upcoming conference— congratulations!
This section will walk you through everything you need to do before the conference, from choosing a country assignment and conducting research, to figuring out what to pack in your bags! CHOOSING THE RIGHT COUNTRY The first thing you will want to do is decide which country and committee assignment you would like to register for. Check your conference’s website for a list of committee choices, along with which countries are offered in each committee (often called a “Country Matrix”). If you have no idea where to begin and are overwhelmed by the choices available, here are two ways many delegates choose their assignments.
One way is to choose a committee first. For example, if you have a strong interest in international finance and trade, you may want to look for a country in the World Bank. If you are pursuing an education and career in international law, the International Court of Justice may be a good pick for you. See Chapter 1, “About the United Nations & Other International Organizations,” for brief descriptions of the most popular committee options. 22 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 23 Once you have narrowed down your committee choice, you will We would encourage you to select a country that is “out of your do this, you may want to do brief research on the countries that you don’t know much about, or perhaps even whose policies you need to find a country within that committee to represent. To interest you. Some questions to ask yourself:
• Do I want to represent a country with a similar cultural and ethnic background of my own, or different? • Do I want to choose a country that has policies that I personally support, or do I want to challenge myself by choosing a country that holds views that contradict my own personal opinions? • Do I want to represent a country that has traditionally been a key player in this committee, or do I want to choose a country that has typically taken more of a backseat role? • Is there enough research and information available on my country of choice?
Another way of choosing an assignment is to comfort zone”; that is, challenge yourself to choose a country disagree with! It will certainly make for an experience that will sharpen your debate skills. A quick word on friends in committee session: Understandably, most delegates would prefer to have at least a few fellow class- mates or friends in their committee, especially if they are all new to MUN. That is certainly okay, but avoid overloading a certain committee with too many friends.
Remember that once committee session gets underway, there is little time for casual chatter. Also, we guarantee that you will meet new people and forge new friendships along the way, whether it be the fellow sponsor of your resolution or a fiercely competitive opponent. start with a country, and then find a committee RESEARCH! popular way to pick if there is a strong interest how much preparation you put in before the conference actually that it is represented in. This is an especially The success of your MUN experience will depend heavily on and affinity with a particular country. For begins.
Although research may not seem like the most fun or example, many Canadians like to represent Canada, South Koreans to represent South Korea, Americans to represent the United States… you get the idea. Although popular, this method has some disadvantages. Because certain countries tend to be in higher demand than others, you may have difficulty getting your preferred country assignment. More importantly, however, your MUN experience will likely be less challenging, stimulating, or rewarding as one where you choose a more unfamiliar country.
24 THE MUN MANIFESTO exciting activity leading up to a conference, if you put in the effort it will definitely pay off during the conference. You will be more knowledgable, more prepared, and more confident to deal with whatever comes your way. General Research on Your Assigned Country First and foremost, you should find out the basic facts of your country. You will want to have a general overview of the history, culture, politics, economy, and demography of your assigned country.
This will allow you to step into the shoes of someone THE MUN MANIFESTO 25 country has signed? Does your country have any major TIP As you perform your research, you may want to keep a page of notes on key facts, figures, policies, and other important information. Bring a copy of your notes to the conference to refer to when needed (especially if you will not have readily available internet access). trading partners which may influence their stance on international issues? To what extent has your country contributed to and participated in the United Nations community? Know what your country’s national flag looks like—you never know when you may need to identify it! actually from your country and make you a far more effective representative. Some basic questions to answer include:
• Population and demography: What is the population General Research on Your Committee’s Assigned Topics Most conferences release an overview of each committee’s of the country? What are the dominant ethnic and predetermined topics in a document called a “background literacy rate, and life expectancy? Find the HDI (Human information on the background of the topics to be discussed, religious groups? What is the infant mortality rate, guide” or “backgrounder. ”
These documents will contain general Development Index) of your country. identify potential problems, and give a list of key questions to nations has your country had ties with (e. g. , colonial the basis for a thorough understanding of the topic at hand. wars, or conflicts that have had long lasting impacts? It is highly advisable to engage in further research on your country? Is the government democratically elected? Is helpful in giving current and up to date information, as are • History: When was the country founded? What other legacies)? Have there been any significant revolutions, • Politics: What style of government is found in your corruption an issue? • Economy: What is the gross domestic product per capita?
Identify the key sectors and industries that your economy relies on (e. g. , agriculture, technology, tourism). Does your country have trade agreements with certain nations? Is your country relatively rich or poor? • International Relations: Does your country traditionally have any ally nations? What about enemies? What are the international agreements onto which your 26 THE MUN MANIFESTO consider. Read through the backgrounders carefully so you have assigned topic. News and media sources may be particularly reference books and internet articles. See Appendix 4 for a list of online resources to get started.
Once you have completed this step of your research make sure you can, at the very least, answer the “Five W’s”: • Who: Which countries, religious and ethnic groups, and organizations does this issue involve? Identify the key actors affected. • What: What is the issue at hand? What are the sources THE MUN MANIFESTO 27 of conflict? What has already been done to solve the conflict? • Where: Is your issue confined to a specific geographic area? • When: When did the issue first originate? Is it urgent and time sensitive? • Why: What are the motives behind each of the key players? Why is this issue significant?
Country Specific Research on Your Committee’s Assigned Topics This last area of research is perhaps the most important, but also the most challenging. Try to fully understand the relationship between your assigned country and the issue at hand. How important are the issues from the perspective of your country? Whose side is your country on? What is the most desirable outcome from your country’s point of view? Answering these questions will involve research into your country’s foreign policy. A country’s foreign policy can usually be found on their foreign affairs website or other official government statements and publications.
Another source of information will be from United Nations documents. Find which UN treaties and declarations your country has agreed to. Case Study: China and the Situation in Darfur For several years there has been ongoing civil war conflict in the Darfur Region of Sudan that has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis. Many people have been killed and millions have been displaced as refugees. The two main players in the conflict are the Sudanese Government and the opposing rebel groups within the country. The situation in Darfur was first brought to the attention of the United Nations in 2004.
However, very little progress has been made by the Security Council on this issue. On the outside, China’s “official” position on this issue certainly agrees with the rest of the international community in expressing concern over the humanitarian crisis… but what about its implicit position? Why did China abstain from (as opposed to voting in favour of or vetoing) voting on the Security Council’s resolution on Darfur (e. g. , UNSC Resolution 1672)?
The greatest difficulty lies in discovering your country’s implicit To understand what’s going on, we need to know more position because it may not be plainly written out in any the issue would uncover that a large amount of the position on a particular topic. We refer to it as an implicit official document or statement. Instead, it is the culmination of your country’s history, culture, international relationships, and economic and political interests (just to name a few! ).
What influences your implicit position will depend largely on your topic. Perhaps a real world example will help: 28 THE MUN MANIFESTO about China’s interests in the region. Research into arms, machinery, and aircraft used by the Sudanese Government is supplied by Chinese manufacturers. Thus, the arms industry in China is certainly economically benefiting from the prolonged conflict.
THE MUN MANIFESTO 29 politics is a complicated area. Behind every resolution passed is However, there is more going on. Upon researching a host of competing interests (the good, the bad, and the ugly Sudan, you would learn of the vast government- included). To borrow an old adage: all that glitters is not gold. would also reveal that China is a Here are a few guiding questions to help uncover your country’s controlled oil reserves in the war torn country. Research fast growing country desperately in need of secure sources of oil to fuel its economic growth. Could oil be one of implicit position:
• How has your country participated in the conflict or situation? Is your country directly involved? How about indirectly? the motivating factors behind • Does your country have economic, social, or political ties Could this be one of the reasons • What actions, if any, has the government of your country China’s implicit position? why China has been supplying arms to the Sudanese with the parties involved? already taken to respond to the situation? government, despite the humanitarian situation? Is China simply “protecting its interests” in Sudan by supporting one of the key players in the conflict?
WRITING YOUR POSITION PAPER A position paper is a brief, written summary on the position your Ah, you may object that there is no conclusive proof for country takes, and has taken, on a particular issue. It is a general in any official capacity (that is, explicit) China would during the conference. The position paper is the dais’ first chance However, you would have to admit that Sudanese oil is as strong as possible. While there is no formal actions when it comes to Sudan.
Only careful research in school), the position paper is a way for the dais that accusation—and you would be right! Of course, overview of the stance you will be representing in the committee never acknowledge such a position even if it were true. to evaluate you, so naturally you want to make that impression most likely at least one factor that is influencing China’s rubric or marking scheme (as you may be used to and critical thinking would provide this insight. to assess your knowledge of your country, your committee, and the topics at hand. Thus, you should be reminded that discovering your implicit The principal characteristic of a position paper of knowledge to the next level. International relations and your country, not yourself.
This means you should avoid using position is one of the key ways to elevate your debate and depth 30 THE MUN MANIFESTO is that it is written from the point of view of personal pronouns, such as “I,” “we,” and “you. ” Position papers THE MUN MANIFESTO 31 tend to be around one page in length. Although you will not The third component is the most important, as it is where you amount of space it takes to cover all of the necessary points for addressed in your foreign policy. Present your country’s proposed be penalized for it being longer or shorter, this is generally the each topic concisely. It is a formal piece of writing, meaning that you should not use contractions. Type in a standard font and cite your sources.
You will not be penalized for having a long list of works cited, but you will be for discuss what your country thinks about the issue and how it is plan of action and goals. Be sure to emphasize why this is the right action to take, and why it would be beneficial for other countries to resolve and act in the same way. plagiarizing. If your committee has been assigned Always remember to edit your work before submitting it to the position paper for each topic. to the conference. See Appendix 1 for a sample position paper.
two or three topics, you will be expected write a The first component of your position paper should outline the topic in general and provide insight into the root of the conflict. Again, this dais. You may also find it helpful to bring a printed copy with you Note that this paper is in no way flawless! Rather, it is meant to give you an idea of what it is that you are expected to prepare before the conference. should be from the perspective of your country WHAT TO BRING: MUN SPECIFIC MATERIALS the Iraq War was the possession of nuclear It’s important to note that not all MUN conferences allow laptop (e. g., Americans may state that the reason for weapons, whereas the Iraqi government may consider it as a hunt for resources).
Emphasize factors that have exacerbated or affected the problem (anything from globalization to nationalism to religious extremism). Be sure to explain why, giving specific references to credible sources when possible. In the first section, you should not directly reference your country’s opinion; just discuss the problem as your country sees it. In the second section, you should introduce your country with a brief history leading up to the issue. Use your research to express Computer & Accessories computers.
Thus, before bring a computer, make sure you have read the conferences rules and guidelines. The difference between having a computer and not having a computer in front of you as you are debating is vast. If you are not allowed a computer inside your committee rooms or decide in not bringing one at all, make sure you complete your research beforehand. Print out some of your resources if necessary. If you are allowed to bring a computer, remember its accessories such as a mouse, USB flash drive, charger, etc. how your country relates to the topic, how it has been affected, Pens, Paper, & Folder any conclusions or opinions.
The main goal of this paragraph is necessary to write down thoughts, pass notes, or mark down key and how it has addressed the issue. In this section, do not state to discuss your country’s relationship with the topic at hand. 32 THE MUN MANIFESTO Even with a computer inside the committee rooms, many find it arguments and suggestions. Most conferences will provide more THE MUN MANIFESTO 33 than enough stationery, but bring some just in case. Again, for those who have printed their notes and resources, organize them in a folder or binder. That way, when a delegate asks to know the sources behind your data, you can promptly locate its page.
Conference Attire Remember that most, if not all, MUN conferences require some degree of formal clothing. Guys, that means ties, dress shirts and pants, dress shoes, and a blazer or jacket if necessary. Ladies, that means dress shirts and pants, tasteful dresses and skirts, and dress shoes if necessary. Don’t bring your entire closet; even the most exquisite outfit will not excuse you from making logical fallacies. Cellphone & Charger It’s not very likely that you’ll get lost at a conference, but in case there are any activities that misplace you from your group, a cell phone can solve a lot of unintentional problems.
Remember, however, that all cell phones should be turned off during the sessions and used only when needed. School Provided Resources If your school has a MUN team or debate group that is sponsoring your participation and have distributed any of their MUN-related materials, bring them! MUN clubs at school are usually there to help and inform you about such events and can provide some specific information that other sources cannot. WHAT TO BRING: HOTEL SPECIFIC MATERIALS The Other Clothes You will (thankfully) not always be in formal clothing.
Many conferences schedule time for delegate socials, meals, and other casual events. Check weather conditions beforehand, remembering to pack accordingly. Also, since you will be showering and sleeping, bring a change of innerwear. Personal Hygiene and Medication Remember your daily routines and don’t depend on the hotel to provide everything. Don’t forget your toothrbush and toothpaste, creams, medicines, and deodorant (body odour might temporarily sedate your foes but it has never been proven to ameliorate foreign relations in the long run! ).
Money Always bring some money in case of emergencies. Also, debating is an energy consuming activity. Given that most conferences will not provide more than light snacks and refreshments (if you’re lucky), you’ll be craving something more filling. Remember that you need to eat (breaks are ideal times to step out for a quick bite). Who knows, you might just strike up a multilateral agreement over some muffins or a salad. Cameras & Other Electronics Bring as little of these as possible. Usually photography is not permitted during sessions, but it’s always nice to record some of your best mediating moments.
Now, it’s understandable that you might want to blast some wrathful rap lyrics right after an 34 THE MUN MANIFESTO THE MUN MANIFESTO 35 ally betrays you, but be very cautious in bringing iPods and other worn at all times. This will allow delegates and staff members to it’s not only disrespectful to have these instruments during a may receive