Preparing for CMUNC
At CMUNC, it is important to be well-versed on the topics being debated in committee. It is extremely difficult to debate on a topic you know nothing about. Careful and thorough preparation before the conference guarantees you will be better able to debate the issues at hand and will increase your confidence in speech and resolution writing.
Here are the some suggested steps to preparing for your committee:
An Obvious Point: Read Your Background Guide
Before doing anything else, read the background guide. It will provide a digest of the topics to be debated - typically explicating the history of the issue, previous international actions taken, as well as traditional voting blocks - and is an important start in your preparatory research. Pay close attention to the sources used in each guide as well in the citations, as they can give you an idea of where to look for information (after all, that's where your chairs and dais staff compiled their research!).
Gather Basic Country Information
Research the basic facts and history for your country. Even if some of this information does not seemingly relate to the topics to be debated in your committee, having a broad general knowledge of your country will increase your ability to improvise in debate and generate creative, out-of-the-box solutions to difficult international problems. It will also provide insights into challenges your country may face upon (dis)agreeing to a particular action. A working knowledge of the following information is a great start:
- Major religions
- Type of government
- Government structure
- Major political parties
- International organization participation
- Economic structure
- Transnational issues (e.g. territory and trade disputes, drug trafficking, etc.)
These basic facts are easily obtained at the CIA World Factbook.
Consider Current Political Events
Look at the major political and economic issues currently plaguing your country. What issues are important to the people? What actions is the government focused on? What are the major sources of debate within the country? Are there any internal or external conflicts in which the country is currently embroiled?
Define National Position
Determine your country's stance on the topics your committee will debate. This may be easy if your country has a clearly stated opinion or if your country is actively involved in those issues. For many smaller countries, this can be difficult since they may not have a vested interest - as demonstrated in written legislation, the signing of international agreements, or political action - in a particular topic. Searching for your country's position on similar issues can often lead to helpful information. If your country's known allies has a specific stance on an issue, then your country probably has a similar viewpoint, and likewise for those countries in an opposing voting block.
Frequently Check the News
Keep checking the news for your country. An easy way to do this is to point your browser to Google News and type your country's name in the search box.
Outline Speech Material
Write out some notes of things you might want to say or points you want to make during committee session. Highlight some of your research, and if you have the time, copy/paste key information from your research onto a single page so that it is easily accessible. However, in all of your preparatory work, please remember that pre-written resolutions are NOT acceptable at CMUNC and if found will result in the suspension of participation in debate.
Get Ready for a Fantastic Weekend!
Take a deep breath, relax, and get ready for a fun weekend that will surely provide a memorable experience! Delegates new to model UN need not worry about being unfamiliar with parliamentary procedure and resolution writing; if you've followed the above guidelines, looked through the Preparation Guide on this site, and researched your country accordingly, you will have no difficulty picking up on these formal aspects of debate. Do keep in mind that your chairs are always available to help whenever needed, so please don't hesitate to e-mail your chair (e-mail addresses are available on the Committees pages) should you run into any preparatory difficulties or have a question regarding your committee.