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Training Guide for Delegates

How to Research for MUNs?
“Where do I begin?” When beginning your journey of research, this is one of the most frequently sought after answers. Multiple aspects and angles of a Model UN Committee need to be thoroughly researched, which makes the task of even beginning to research is considered to be daunting. Therefore, it is advised that delegates begin the process of researching by gathering information regarding the nation they will be representing, especially considering that it is important for a delegate to be well versed with the policies, governmental structure and belief of the nation they are representing. In order to productively collect this information, delegates may create a matrix/cheat sheet of sorts which contains the following information: -> Demographic information such as the capital city, overall population, the population of men and women. Covid 19 statistics (pertaining to current scenario)
Current crisis/riots/protests, ongoing issues with or without relation to the agenda at hand.
Foreign relations including allies, enemy states, states that your nation has a history of aid or violence with, etc.
Trade ties- Bilateral and Multilateral
Government type and influential leader names- especially those individuals that have passed comments or statements regarding the agenda at hand.
Recent controversies After a thorough study of your nation, study your nation’s relations with other countries with respect to the agenda at hand and figure out which countries that have a similar stand on the issue as yours do. Understanding the same will be extremely helpful when the committee begins to split into blocs, seeing as foreign policy is a significant factor for the same. A reliable list of nations that share similar or opposite ideals is therefore strongly recommended to curate, especially considering that this particular aspect of research does not necessarily take up copious amounts of a delegate’s time.
It is recommended that the second stage of your research is more driven to the agenda on a very general basis. While working on your agenda-based research, the following pointers may be considered: Have an overview of the agenda on a general & broad sense (evaluate the issue, understand its specifics on a global level, how it impacts individuals and nations and gather further related information) Read through the background guide and case studies for insight on the EB’s take on the issue. Breakdown the agenda, especially emphasizing on any keywords. If there are two clauses within the agenda, analyze them separately to get a good sense of where you can head with it in committee, what to bring up during debate etc. Look into previous UN debates and discussions about the agenda in all committees and attempt to search up previous resolutions, which will aid in the resolution process. Next, research upon the agenda with emphasis on your nations’ history with the same, as well as any relevant current happenings. Say you are delegating at a UNW Committee that is debating women’s safety in their workplace, it would be recommended for you to research regarding what your nation has done in order to uplift women’s rights in the workplace, be further acquainted with the problems in achieving this, what measures your government has taken to bridge the problem, and the current status of the situation. Researching solutions is also very significant. This way, you will have a productive flow of debate in committee. At the end of the day, the committee is required to discuss and implement solutions, so of course, this must be concentrated on to some degree. When it comes to solution-based research, apart from looking up previous UN Resolutions, you may also look into measures implemented by nations worldwide, and pose them as adoptable and adaptable solutions. For example, in a UNICEF committee that is discussing something along the lines of access to education, the Indian Midday Meal Scheme is very commonly referenced.
When representing a nation on an international platform, it’s highly significant to ensure that any and all facts stated and cited by you as a delegate cannot be disproven, and genuinely hold true to their word. Therefore, the following compilation of pointers is deemed quite significant in terms of statistical and numerical research:
Do not cite something that can be disproven in your committee on grounds of a ‘Point of Order,’ because not only does this lead to lower marking from the EB, but also discredits your future points amidst the committee members. Whenever you cite a point, you must always have a statistic to back it up. For Example, if the agenda is ‘Crisis of Migrant Workers, ’ and your country is India, and the point you make is along the lines of your nation having tried to alleviate the migrant laborers’ distress in the unprecedented state of Coronavirus Lockdown, you need to have the numbers of migrant laborers that were stranded, what amount of funds were allocated centrally for them, what your nation is currently doing to ease their living status, etc.
The statistical data that you need to have should include the policies that your country has adopted if the agenda resonates with an internal matter or external matter that your country has aided. For example, in Operation Enduring Freedom, the US sent troops to aid Afghanistan to fight its Taliban. If you’re a part of a DISEC committee with the agenda being the Global War on Terror, the delegate of the United States needs to have a statistical set of information of the soldiers sent for the mission, the number of civilians affected by it, etc. so as to be able to elucidate their contribution. Keep points to debate, you need not necessarily rote all of this, but make sure to keep a draft file with such details so you have information to elucidate in your speeches and are not blindsided by points of information or chits.
Now that you have in hand a certain amount of information regarding your nation and agenda, you should take the time to do some very general research on your committee. Don’t fret, you don’t need to worry too much about when the committee was formed and what discussions have occurred so far unless it directly pertains to your agenda. Instead, gain some insight regarding:
The involvement of your committee regarding the agenda in deliberation. For example, to aid Nigeria’s Armed Forces in fighting against the radical group Boko Haram, the United Nations Security Council sent the Peace Corps - the voluntary armed forces contributed by member-nations. Also check for similar instances that the United Nations federation has tackled before, and specifically look into your committee’s involvement in the solution so as to gain some insight on the role of your committee.
Go through the resolutions that have been passed on similar cases to get an insight into how your resolution should be written and jot down points that have been brought up in prior resolutions which you feel may be useful to your agenda. Keep bookmarks on parts of prior resolutions that have been passed in your committee or other committees and take inspiration from the clauses they have included. Try to seek from previous ideas but make sure not to plagiarize. Your solutions have to be innovative and at the same time inclusive, so your fellow delegates do not have to go against their external affairs policies.
A general rule for all inventions is that one must have a foundation to build upon. Once your nation, committee and agenda are clear, you focus on establishing a precedent to give fruition to your work. This is easily one of the most important and exhilarating parts of your Model UN experience, seeing as it's something that makes all the effort you have put in thus far matter.
Precedent means conditions that lead to an outcome that is based on a prior decision.
In this case, your precedents will be how you assimilate all of that research you have done, connect different instances and formulate a case befitting a truly ardent delegate. Herein, read about the speeches of people who have spoken on the topic, recorded conversations of diplomatic envoys, previous statements by national and international leaders that help you to prove your point. Also read through transcripts or listen to interviews of diplomats or popular national/ international leaders related to or on the given agenda.
Special thanks to Litisha B for working on this training guide!

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