A MUN ODYSSEY – PART 5: HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST MUN – NO-BRAINER EDITION (B)

Hi everyone, K is back. Getting back to school, this week has been quite a hectic one for me. From now, I probably would just have time for this blog at weekend. Sorry y’all!

As promised, this post would be a following chapter in the ongoing series “A MUN ODYSSEY”. I would keep covering useful tips in my lovely project, “HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FIRST MUN – NO-BRAINER EDITION”, a special guide for beginners in MUN that you may not see anywhere. Let’s jump right into it!

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4/ Allies are of great importance

You hear it! Finding allies has to be considered as a priority in your to-do list in your first MUN. No matter how confident you are, it is indeed a necessary task. So why?

An ally can be for several purposes. Maybe it is due to strategic reasons as your representative countries can be allies in real life. It can also be that they are people whom you have already known, so it’s just more comfortable to have familiar people around you. Nevertheless, there is one upmost reason for having allies, to learn from them.

If you had read previous advice, then you should know that making mistakes in the first attempt is completely normal. What matters is to learn from your mistakes and keep improving. And you should remember that in most if not every conference, there are both newbies and experienced delegates. Senior delegates, in most cases, are very willing to help inexperienced ones. Then, by forming allies and cooperating with more experienced, skillful people, you happen to have a great opportunity to learn a lot about this platform, for example, the way to think diplomatically or how to do research effectively. Of course, simply observing other delegates is another way to get better. However, by discussing directly with the seniors and drafting strategies together, you have more chances to interact with them, hence learning more than solely watching their speech. Steps to create and develop tactics, methods to implement imagined solutions to the real world, they are things that only people in the same bloc know and share between. Moreover, based on my observation, once people become more acquainted with others, they are much more likely to give out personal advice. It’s just nice to receive feedback from the seniors on how to identify and fix your mistakes.

You may think “Why does it sound like I am using other people to get better?”. Well, I have to say that it is indeed one of the benefits of having allies. That being said, I totally disagree with the point of view to use others simply as tools for yourself. Personally, I believe that the most important contributing factor for finding allies is to make new friends. That’s it, to make new friends! In MUN conference, you are supposed to meet a variety of people, each with a different background. There can be actual international relations majors or excellent high school students; after all, they are all wholesome human beings. Maybe I am a little bit optimistic, but it is in fact what I have experienced. Going to MUN, getting to know new people and expanding your social network, There are many people whom I still keep in touch, and they really help me a lot in life.

In conclusion, try to find a few allies in your first MUN. It means a lot.

5/ Check all the references in the guidebook – a shortcut for beginners

If you happened to remember advice #3, doing research is a must-do task before any MUN otherwise you cannot understand what is going on. Then, you may wonder “How can I do research well if I had no related background?”.

Well, the answer may be already covered in every MUN workshop or relevant training. You would be taught the way to find and select reliable sources of information, how to ask the right question, etc. I am telling you this to remind you once again that, if you wanted to have the best preparation for the conference, go to these workshops. They are way more useful than this series.

So if you had gone through all of them but still struggling with finding where to start with, then here you all! Check all the references in the guidebook. So why?

A guidebook is a specific guide for your committee. It is written by the chairs and content members. You can find a number of important information there , for example, the history of the council, the main subjects of covered topics, etc. Most delegates need to read through the guidebook first as it is the most crucial material in the conference, helping delegates establish a draft of what to discuss in the meeting. After that, they can move on and do research based on the draft.

At the end of each guidebook, there is a section called “References”. The authors would list sources of information they have used. So why should you check it? Well, first of all, the guidebook is like “the holy grail” of the conference, it contains all information that the chairs deem to be necessary. Hence, if your research is based on the references, the sources of the necessary information, then it is likely that you are going in the right direction. Second of all, in most cases, the guidebook serves as an overview, and delegates are required to conduct research on their own. It should be noticed that the writers only cite a small piece of information from each source, combining many of them into one guidebook. Therefore, if you were to look for more details in the most efficient way, check all the cited sources. They can provide you with, for instance, the context of mentioned events or the detailed steps of a previous plan made by the United Nations. There are many things the writes choose not to mention, and looking at the sources they used is a great way to find them. Last but not least, it is way much more time-efficient. Instead of looking for keywords to search for on Google, just click on the links to the direct sources the writers have selected. They have already done the hard work, so why not just taking advantage of their efforts =)))

This is a trick I have used for at least two conferences, and they worked really well. It took me a little amount of time to find and select crucial information, which was exactly what the writers had already done for me. However, it has to be acknowledged that this tip does not always work. Sometimes your representative nation is only slightly mentioned in the guidebook, thus there are only a few references to look for. In this case, you have to work on your own and use whatever you have been taught before to conduct research effectively. Remember, this is only a shortcut!

That’s all! Hope you find the tips above useful. Stay tuned for more MUN-related contents.


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