This is a guide to getting started in the Model United Nations. It answers commonly asked questions and describes how to write a resolution. Feel free to ask more questions in this thread.
What is the Model United Nations?The Model United Nations (MUN) is The Student's Room's simulation of the United Nations. We debate and discuss international affairs while attempting to copy the structure and activities of the United Nations. All members represent a member nation, organisation or observer of the UN by promoting its views and values in discussions and votes.
How does the MUN differ from the UN?The UN is made up of five administrative bodies - the General Assembly, the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretariat.
The MUN only has a General Assembly and a Security Council, which reflects our size and simplicity. We have an unofficial International Court of Justice, which is represented by the Attorney General, but this is a very minor feature of the MUN.
What is the General Assembly?The General Assembly is the main organ of the Model United Nations, in which all member nations participate. The majority of discussions take place in the General Assembly, and it is here that all Resolutions are initially placed for consideration and then voted upon.
What is the Security Council?Like its real life counterpart, our Security Council is the organ of the MUN charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
The Security Council is made up of five permanent members (the P5) - China, France, Russia, UK and the USA; as well as 2 non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for nominal 2 month terms.
Resolutions that have been passed in the General Assembly that relate to international peace and security (such as those setting up peacekeeping missions) are passed to the Security Council for further consideration and a further vote. The P5 nations each hold the power of veto over Resolutions (i.e. the ability to unilaterally reject).
In Character and Out of Character?IC stands for 'in character'; OOC for 'out of character'. In any discussion that arises about how we structure and run the TSR MUN, members post OOC, voicing their own views rather than that of their nations. The MUN also has an Off-Topic Chat Thread (now on Mark II) where members can talk about whatever they like OOC. For every other type of discussion in the MUN, members are required to remain IC. Failure to do so will result in any inappropriate posts being dumped in our Spam Bin.
What are UN Organisations?The MUN is too small for us to create separate subforums for UN Organisations (UNOs) like the United Nations Human Rights Council, or the World Health Organisation. Instead some members choose to represent an organisation instead of a country. These representatives advocate the views and objectives of their bodies by starting threads to bring specific issues to the attention of nations, and sometimes by contributing to debate where relevant. The representatives must remain politically neutral.
They may not vote in substantive polls (polls that determine a political issue), but may vote in any procedural poll same as any other MUN member (procedural polls determine how we run the TSR MUN).
More comprehensive details on UNOs can be found in the UNO Headquarters thread - courtesy of wackysparkle, who first championed UNOs in the MUN.
Where do I post? What are the different subforums for?
The MUN consists of the General Assembly or GA (Main Forum) where the every day discussing of international affairs, administrative issues and voting takes place. This is the forum in which you post any new resolutions or raise any discussions.
When resolutions have been voted on by the GA, they are either passed onto the Security Council, (which has its own subforum hidden to non SC members) or it gets moved to the Resolutions subforum which acts as an archive in which to store old resolutions for later reference. No further discussion takes place in this archive.
Resolutions passed to the SC are disussed by P5 nations and then voted on in the SC Voting subforum, where all nations may view the outcome.
This all sounds quite complicated! Where do I start?
Well first, we strongly urge you to read the Charter before you make a start. The Charter governs how the MUN is run, and although long, it's a good place to start to get to know how things work - the format in which resolutions are written, how long polls may last, how long you wait before setting up a poll, and a few other things besides. Don't panic! We won't eat you if you make a mistake, but all the resources are there in the stickies in order to alleviate any potential confusion.
As a new member you have the freedom to voice your nation's views in any discussion in the GA. You may also represent your nation's stance in any poll, and initiate new discussions. It is easy to find your nation's view; just put the name of the nation and the issue into Google. There is a news site sticky which provides links to many countries' national news sites. If you are battling to find your nation's stance, use your common sense and your broader experience of that nation's attitudes.
If you ever get stuck, you can PM the Secretary General at anytime Alternatively, the Deputy Secretary General, Attorney General and the P5 representatives are usually more than equipped to answer queries you may have
OK, that gets all the background information out of the way. Let's look at the lifeblood of the MUN.
Writing a Resolution is surprisingly easy once you get to know their structure and format.
Resolutions consist of the following key elements – title, committee, proposing nation, perambulatory clauses and operative clauses.
The title of a resolution consists of 'Resolution' followed by the date of the resolution, the chronological number of the resolution in that year, and the aim or target of the resolution. For example:
This was a resolution written in 2009, the 1st resolution of the year, and it dealt with issues in Somalia. Simple!Resolution 2009/01 : Concerning the current situation in Somalia
Selecting which committee a resolution is to be submitted to is a bit more complicated and requires a reasonable amount of intuition.
Resolutions pertaining to international peace and security should be directed to the Security Council.
Others can be directed to the Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee if they deal with issues such as refugees or religious matters. Other potential destinations are the Disarmament Committee or the Economic Committee. If you are unsure about which Committee your particular resolution is for, contact the Secretary General. Alternatively, the Secretary General is able to change the Committee once the resolution has been posted.
The next part reads “Submitted by”. The full name of your country should follow here.
Any country can also ask for other nations to be co-sponsors of a resolution. This means that the second nation's name gets added on here. UNOs don’t have the power to fully propose resolutions themselves, so they *have* to have a co-sponsor in the form of a nation.
Preambulatory Clauses and Operative Clauses
Whereas Bills and Acts in national law have a Preamble, Resolutions have Preambulatory Clauses or Phrases. This details the reasons behind the resolution. This is followed by the Operative clauses, which actually detail what the Resolution proposes to do.
There are certain ways to write this. For a start, each clause starts with a verb (sometimes with an additional modifying adverb). This is traditionally bolded or italicized for the Preambulatory clauses and underlined and/or bolded for the Operative Clauses. Preambulatory Clauses are unnumbered but Operative clauses are listed as 1. and 2. and 3. etc Preambulatory clauses should end with a comma, Operative clauses with a semi-colon ( ; ).
Here is an example of a completed resolution (written by Mrgd291190):
It’s mostly, as you’ll notice, written as one long sentence. You can see that it was written in 2009, was the first resolution of the year, deals with Somalia, should be sent to the Security Council, was proposed by the Comoros, co-sponsored by Oman and then you can see how the Preambulatory Phrases show what the Comoros thinks of the current situation and and the Operative Clauses show what it aims to do.
Bearing in mind
Deeply disturbed by
Keeping in mind
Taking into account
Viewing with appreciation
Draws the attention
Expresses its appreciation
Expresses its hope
Takes note of
In accordance with the Charter, new resolutions should be sent directly to the Secretary General (or Deputy Secretary General when the SG is absent). He or she will check the resolution to make sure it's correctly formatted and then post it on behalf of the submitter.
The Secretary General can be consulted at any time about resolutions (and anything else MUN-related!).
Much of the material in this Guide is taken from similar threads written by previous Secretary Generals, Craghyrax and DayneD89.
Their original threads can be found here:
A Beginner's Guide to the MUN watch
- Thread Starter
- 29-09-2010 18:06
- 30-12-2010 16:04
This'll need updating with the new reform