Everyone MUNer did have his/her first MUN right? Everyone has faced the complications, the stress of research and the thirst to win an award in their very first Model United Nations Conference. Needless to say that there is so much excitement about the first MUN Conference but many times, delegates face problems in dealing with the combination of this excitement and stress to thrive through their first MUN Conference.
Here is a list of five small things that might seem big and complicated to a first timer along with a little guideline on how to get through them:
1)Get a hang of the rules of procedures.
With what I have noticed from my experience as an MUNer is that first timers are nervous as it is but they get even more nervous when they are not able to follow the rules of procedure in the committee. Now before your first conference, I would suggest you to get fairly acquainted with the rules of procedure followed in that particular conference (UN4MUN or UNA-USA). Now this can be done through various methods like watching videos on you tube explaining the rules of procedures, read Model UN handbooks and so on. However, the most effective way to learn in my opinion is to learn it from an experienced co-delegate. Once you get hang of the Rules of Procedure, you will not feel uncomfortable in the committee and it will seriously help in boosting your confidence. Some chairpersons love it when a first timer is well acquainted with the Rules of Procedure.
2)Speaking in Third Person.
Well the first question that might arise in your mind is why? Why do we speak in third person as a delegate? To put it out in lay man’s terms, you are a person who is representing a whole nation on a platform where your single statement can change the course of world politics!! Feel proud and carry your pride with you. First up, try and write your speeches in third person itself and slowly start practicing to speak in third person.
3)How to Research?
For first timers, it is important to understand what to research and how to research. Now from what you might have heard about the proceedings of MUNs, you might think that it is all about how deep you have researched about the agenda and your country. Well you are right to some extent. It is important for one to have deep knowledge about one’s allotted country as well as the agenda. However the important thing about research is analysis of research. The right places for research could vary from your government’s official website to the CIA database. Your research is of no use if you cannot apply it when required in the committee. Presence of mind sometimes overshadows research and that comes through confidence and confidence will only come when you are well researched.
I am pretty sure that many first timers would have google searched-“Foreign Policy of XYZ Country”. Now it is important for a first timer to understand what foreign policy actually is. Now Foreign Policy is a set of rules to which the delegate of a particular country has to abide while reacting and making decisions about international affairs. This is the simplest that I could put it in. Foreign Policy is often left to analyzing and what require to be analyzed is the past decisions made by your allotted country regarding international affairs. This will give you some idea on how to react if a situation arises in the committee. But remember, foreign policy is often flexible and one can urge for change!!
When you enter a committee it is quite possible that there are many first timers. But the truth of the matter is that you have to face many experienced delegates in the committee. The key is to be patient and not to get intimidated by them. Trust your confidence, presence of mind and research.
Most importantly, enjoy yourselves. This is your first MUN Conference so make it a great experience. Now doing all this might seem difficult but with all the resources that are available on the internet, it is quite possible. However, I personally recommend that it is better to learn from the experiences of your co-delegates and if possible, ask for help from an experienced delegate before the conference.