Registration Form

Registration forms and payment must be submitted by January 27th, 2014.  Fees are $50 per delegate (student) and no refunds will be given.  
Please make checks payable to "UAA Department of Political Science". 
 If you are delivering payment to the UAA campus, please deliver to the Social Sciences Building (SSB), RM 352.  If you are mailing your payments, please mail them to:

UAA Dept of Political Science
University of Alaska Anchorage, SSB 352
3211 Providence Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99508

Submit Position Papers (due January 27th, 2014).

Submit Resolution Papers (due February 3rd, 2014).

Model UN Delegate Guidebook


Preparation of Delegates

The following information is intended to assist in preparing students for participation in the University of Alaska Anchorage Model United Nations. This information is based on advice generated by the National Model United Nations in New York. The information presented here is by no means exhaustive, but should help you and your students enter the right frame of mind for MUN participation.

Preparation of delegates should involve the following:

 

Research on the history of the UN and how the committees and councils work

Even through the MUN is a simulation, it is important that your students begin their preparation with a basic understanding of the United Nations.  Require them to purchase a good copy of the UN Charter.  It is a handy reference; it's good for quotes in speeches, Position Papers, and Resolutions; and it provides them with a sense of the organization's purpose and mission.  Refer to the United Nations at a Glance published annually, it has an appendix to ISSUES books cited below.

In addition, you may wish to purchase and assign readings from the following texts:

You may want to ask your library to purchase any or all of these publications.

Most students do not know very much about the UN, e.g., what is is; what it can do; what role it plays in international politics, etc.  They may come to UAA with unrealistic and unworkable ideas about the UN.  This initial part of the preparation will help your students put the UN in proper perspective.

 

Research on the history of the nation assigned, its political and economic system, and its culture and values

This is never an easy task, especially for smaller non-Western nation-states.  Unless your nation assignment is a major player, it may be difficult to obtain information.  The YEARBOOK series published by American University is particularly useful for background information.  Contact the UN mission early.  The missions are increasingly making available all kinds of information which may be helpful.  You may also wish to recommend that your students use two database searches: PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) and InfoTrac (multidisciplinary).  As with all research, the Internet has increasingly valuable sources for information.

 

History of the committee or council assigned to the individual delegate (or delegates)

This is necessary because students very often have no notion of the history and purpose of their assigned committee or council.  They tend to operate at UAA in a vacuum, which is harmful to their national interests. One recommendation is an annual publication by the New Zealand Ministry of External Relations and Trade called the UN Handbook

If you want to order a copy, contact:

The New Zealand UN Mission, 
One United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, 
New York, NY 10017 
(212) 826-1960. 

The Encyclopedia of the United Nations is also an excellent source of historical information. See the appendices for information regarding the specialized UN agencies.

 

Research on the issues before each committee and council

Use the standard research tools here. There are several additional sources which are highly recommended, including A Global Agenda: Issues before the  United Nations. Also check the UN Chronicle. The Chronicle reviews UN activities with summaries of debates, texts of major resolutions, information on major issues, articles on UN conferences, and bibliographic information.

 

Research on the assigned nation's position on the issues.

This is the most difficult research task.  The most often repeated student response when they get to this phase of their research is: "I can't find anything on (fill in the blank) position on (fill in the blank)".  Some suggestions:

  • Write to the UN mission of your assigned nation as soon as possible. The UN website contains a page with links to all the member nations' web pages and email addresses
  • Recommend the standard reference tools for use by your students. The database searches and the UN publications previously cited are very good. Voting records are useful, as are records of sponsored resolutions.
  • Organize a session early on in which you and your students put together the basic elements of your nation's foreign policy. Discuss problems and potential adversaries and allies. Write down what you come up with, so that there is a common base of information. If they cannot find a specific reference to a nation's position on a topic, tell your students to use the common base and extrapolate it based on their best judgment. Remind them that they can be flexible, but that they must not distort or repudiate their nation's stance at the MUN.
  • Keep in mind that each nation's policy on terrorism falls within the larger framework of that nation's overall foreign policy. The key to a successful simulation is to present your nation in a comprehensive and non-contradictory manner.  Put your students in the mindset that they must defend the interests of their nation as if that nation were their own, and that simple expedience may be a recipe for disaster.
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    Writing Position Papers and Resolutions

    These are two of the most important things delegates do to prepare for the MUN.  There are a number of guides available, including the Guide to Delegate Preparation produced by the UNA-USA.  This contains a manual for writing resolutions and position papers.  Additionally, the Delegate Preparation Packet which the Secretariat will forward to you will also contain sample Resolutions and Position Papers.

    Practice makes perfect, but it is not recommended that you come to the MUN with a stack of pre-written Resolutions.  Developing the skills necessary to write the Resolutions quickly will better serve your nation in the quick-pace environment of the MUN, where collaboration and compromise are the hallmarks of successful Resolutions.

     

    Practice speaking and caucusing

    Students should speak frequently in preparing for the MUN.  They can do this in a class environment, or they can do it with peers outside of class.  Don't have any reservations about offering constructive criticism.  If problems exist with public speaking, they must be resolved before attending the MUN.

    Practicing debating an issue will also provide a hands-on way to better familiarize your students with the topic material, as well as help them develop a natural empathy for the cause of their nation.

     

    Developing negotiating skills

    Some recommendations for caucusing at the MUN:

  • Be flexible, but do not step "out of character."
  • Listen closely to other delegates.
  • Pay attention to all proceedings.
  • Ask questions if help is needed.
  • Do not be rigid, argumentative, belligerent, or completely unyielding. (Patience and tolerance go a long way in international diplomacy!)
  • Try not to get caught in the game of having to sponsor every resolution. There are times when it is inappropriate for a delegation to be a co-sponsor.
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    Understanding the Model UN

    Delegates must understand that the MUN is serious business. They must come to UAA prepared to work, not to goof off or flirt. The MUN is not the place for crude or immature behavior. 

    Delegates may be asked to leave if their behavior disrupts the proceedings or jeopordizes the dignity and reputation of either UAA or the Model UN.

     

    Awards

    There are several kinds of awards based on the performance of whole delegations, individual delegates, and faculty representatives.  

    The best advice: Forget about the awards. Have fun, work hard, be creative, and do the best you can.