Welcome to the second part of Best Delegate Model United Nations Tips. This time the focus will be solely on all that you will be doing during the conference itself and particularly for those in THIMUN councils and not HMUN.
This is one of the most important parts of the conference. You need to make a good impression, and also make your country’s stance clear to the rest of the committee. All you have to do is follow a simple formula.
Greetings: Good evening honorable chairs and fellow esteemed delegates,
Introduction: The delegate of Country X is honored to be able to attend this conference and participate in the discussion of the issues at hand.
Topic 1 stance: Country X is against capital punishment.
Proof/Explanation: Country X has abolished the capital punishment law and it hasn’t been used since 1900s.
Possible solutions: Switch all prisoners on death row to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
You would continue to do this with your second topic as well. The reason that this is very important is that, first of all, you get to know who could be your possible allies and others get to know if they could possibly collaborate with you on a specific topic.
Next, your opening speech is your first impression. If you make a good one, the more likely that the other delegates would want to ally with you and possibly get on their good sides as well.
This is what comes after the opening speech. The delegates will mix around, form allies and even start writing their resolutions.
For starters, if your opening speech was good enough, other delegates will approach you if your stance matches the country they represent. During this time, it is important to make allies, and try your best not to get on the bad side of any of the other delegates as you will need their support later on.
So, be nice to everyone, contribute to multiple resolutions if you can, and you can be a signatory for a resolution that is against your country’s stance as it only means that you want to see the topic debated.
Now you have come prepared with all this information about the topic and your country and you’re now trying to figure out what this has to do with resolution.
First of all, as I mentioned in my previous blog post about this, before the conference starts, you should already have a list of what measures have worked and what have not worked to solve the issues at hand. A resolution is basically a list of solutions to solve a specific problem that is passed as law that other countries must abide by.
When you write a resolution, you want it to be as good as it can be, but if you give in all of your ideas, you won’t have much to add later on. Of course things will come to you later as the debate goes on, but it is better to keep some possible ways to solve the issue to yourself and to be added on later by sending in an amendment.
That way, if you are ever stuck and need something to add, you have something to say. Some delegates make their resolutions flawed on purpose just to have more to debate on as the council sessions go on.
Using the example at the top, if you want to completely eradicate capital punishment, then you need to come up with other possible solutions to the problem.
If country X has shifted all of its prisoners on death row to life imprisonment without parole, has this reduced the crime rate for that specific crime? If yes, you can use this as proof to encourage other delegates to do the same. There will always be delegates that will not want to give in no matter what, and during that time, there are two ways to go about the issue.
The first one is the middle ground. On one end of the spectrum we have capital punishment and on the other end we have “no capital punishment”.
The middle ground could be to only have capital punishment for adults above the age of 18, individuals without a mental disorder, and those who have committed murder only. Instead of removing it completely, this narrows down the number of people who can be provided the capital punishment.
Alternatively, the middle ground could also be to only use humane forms of capital punishment such as injections instead of stoning. Ultimately, your middle ground will depend on why you think capital punishment should be eradicated.
The next one is called the over-turn table which the delegate of north Korea did in my council. On one end of the spectrum was countries with no capital punishment, and the other end was countries with capital punishment.
Now we have discussed the middle grounds. But this delegate, went up and suggested to use torture instead of the death penalty as punishment for prisoners. This extends the spectrum far beyond capital punishment. This was obviously shot down.
Her next move was to once again suggest that capital punishment be allowed.
Now, when looking at the spectrum, the middle ground has shifted. With no capital punishment on one end, and torture on the other, capital punishment was the middle ground and seen as acceptable so the other delegates voted for it even if at first it seemed like the death penalty was the worst a prisoner could be offered.
Those are my tips for during the Model United Nations Conference itself. They may seem simple and easily overlooked but I assure you that if you follow all of them, you will have a good shot at doing well and winning an award.