MUN Research Made Easy: 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in Their Research Folder - Best United Nations Delegate Template (2023)

You see it at all MUN conferences. You created your own or, more likely, your adviser told you to create one. And you probably didn't want it. It's confusing to create and awkward to use. You may even feel embarrassed to bring one to the committee; You can make fun of others for bringing your own.

MUN Research Made Easy: 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in Their Research Folder - Best United Nations Delegate Template (1)What am I referring to? I describe the curse of many members of the model UN. I'm talking about putting together a research portfolio.

When I started Model UN, research was a chore. I wrote last-minute position papers, printed out a few random websites the night before conferences, and read a fraction of them on the bus. Research was a boring thing you had to do before you could do the fun stuff.

But I soon realized that this put me at a disadvantage. He couldn't speak or debate as freely because he didn't know the facts. He was afraid to come up with an idea because he wasn't sure if the committee had already done it. And it's pretty obvious to teachers who did research and to those who didn't. If I didn't, I felt uncomfortable.

I knew that if I had confidence in my research, that confidence would come through speeches and debates. I just needed a way to investigate that would take me as little time as possible to learn exactly what I needed to know but know it thoroughly. I had to do enough research to feel comfortable on the committee.

I had to put together a research folder.

And after many conferences and committees, I have come to appreciate the value of a good, well-organized portfolio. There are a few reasons for this:

  • In fact, it speeds up the investigation.Putting together a binder seems time consuming, but it takes less time and brain power to learn something well organized. If you read different websites and books, important data is scattered from different sources. It ends up taking more time to peruse a random selection of printed pages than it does to organize them in the first place.
  • It gets faster with experience.After gathering a few folders, I realized that I was turning to the same sources over and over again. Eventually, I would just print everything out first, put the folder together, and then read it all in one sitting. And since I chose to specialize in certain committees, I could easily recycle my research portfolios and improve them.
  • It is useful not only for the information it contains.It is very helpful to have your research available to the committee. Plus, bringing a well-organized folder to committee shows the chair and other delegates that you mean business. But be warned: You may not want to communicate this intensity, depending on how you want to be perceived on the committee.

I organized my folders starting with the “big picture” (conference, committee, and country) and then going into the details (problems, policies, and solutions). In other words, Iframedmy research approach. Using a framework made the research easier as I had an idea of ​​what to look for and could use it for any lecture.

MUN Research Made Easy: 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in Their Research Folder - Best United Nations Delegate Template (2)

Using this framework, there are 15 things every delegate should include in their portfolio:


1. Rewards Policy.If you're trying to win an award, you need to know what the conference values ​​and what your president is looking for.

2. Rules of Procedure.The rules tell you how the committee works and what it can and cannot do. They differ for each conference, not just what the rules are, but how they are applied.


3. The actual UN website of your committee.The goal of a committee is to make a decision, which depends on what a committee can and cannot do. You want to understand your committee's mandate (why it was formed), the powers (what it can do), the organization (how it fits into the UN and the wider international community), and membership (who sits on it).

4. A letter.Whether you are on a General Assembly, ECOSOC or Security Council committee, your committee's source of power is the UN Charter. If you are in a regional organization such as NATO or the OAS, you are still affected by the Charter, in particular Chapter VII on International Security and Chapter VIII on Regional Agreements.


5. CIA fact book.Each MUNer is the point of contact for important information about their country. You want to know the location, neighbors, population, type of government, type of economy, trading partners, and international organizations that your country is a part of. As a representative of your country, not knowing this information can be potentially embarrassing.

6.Wikipedia.Information about the history of his country and its recent controversies. There should also be articles on its subject. It is possible that Wikipedia is not edited as rigorously as a print publication, but it is not writing an article, it is attending a Model UN conference. Just bear in mind any potential problems listed in the subject of the Wikipedia pages, p. "This article needs additional references for verification."


7. Background guide.You, another delegate, or your moderator will inevitably refer to something in the committee background guide during a conference. Also, in committee, you will focus on what your chair has written. Use this knowledge to craft speeches and operative clauses that attract the president's attention.

8. News articles.You want to know the latest news on your topics as well as your own country. The easiest way to do this is to search Yahoo! News and Google News and print the headlines. BBC Online also offers easy-to-use timelines and profiles on your issues and your country. Large publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal also report extensively on their websites.

9. Resolutions, Treaties and Conventions.Before you can do anything about it, you need to know what has already been done. See previous resolutionsUN Documentation Center, although it can be difficult to navigate. Once you have found the last resolution, the introductory clauses should direct you to other resolutions. Also, the most relevant piece of international law on your topic might not be a previous resolution, but rather a treaty or convention.


10. Speeches and press releases.These are the ways that policy makers set policy. Be sure to use speeches and press releases from people in the executive branch of your country's current government (president, prime minister, foreign minister/foreign minister, ambassador). Legislators and judges may say otherwise, but as a representative of your country, you work for the head of state/government. Start with the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs / Department of Foreign Affairs of your country.

11. Minutes of voting.Actions speak louder than words. If your country's leaders have not formulated a clear policy on your issue, you can infer how your country voted on previous resolutions, treaties, and conventions (or if they were present). Keep in mind that recent speeches may indicate a shift in policy away from how your country has voted in the past, especially if your government has changed administration. Still, for your own knowledge, and in case anyone asks, you would like to know how your country has dealt with this issue in the past.


12. Guest Comments and Blog Articles.These writers come from a personal or journalistic perspective, but can still provide you with ideas that you can bring up in committee and use in resolutions. You can start with big publications like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, but don't forget about blogs, too. Just keep your biases in mind and make sure your ideas fit with your country's policies.

13. Expert groups.Organizations likeRANDthey are paid to find solutions to the problems that are discussed in the Model UN. Think tank publications have more depth and evidence than an opinion piece, but are generally not as dense as a scholarly article. They could also be pushing a specific agenda, so keep that in mind. If not, they are a good starting point for suggesting possible solutions.

14. Academic work.This is a difficult read and the information is too dense for Model UN. But they're probably the most insightful and rigorously edited sources you'll find online. You can use Google Scholar to search for articles. Don't waste time editing a paper like you would a class. Read the summary and scan the document for ideas to use in the committee.

15. Tus ideas.Include your position papers, working papers, notes, thoughts, and blank ruled paper in your binder; don't count on a conference bringing enough paper to draft resolutions and share notes. You can research as much as you want, and you can be really fast and efficient at it, but none of that matters until you turn what you've read into ideas that you can explain in your own words.

Would you like a shared version of this article for your team? Download the guide to your research folder with everything you need!

MUN Research Made Easy: 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in Their Research Folder - Best United Nations Delegate Template (3)
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