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Researching Agenda Topic

1. Develop an overall understanding of the topic.

Start with the topic paper, but Wikipedia is a good starting source of information. It is generally comprehensive, fact-checked, and updated.

Break up the topic into smaller issues to make it easier to understand.

Also know the actors (individuals and staes): who’s most affected by the topic and who has the most impact on the topic.

Here’s a test: if you had to sum up your topic in one sentence, what would you say?

2. Know past actions.

Go to the committee website and look for the most important resolutions, typically those mentioned in the topic paper and on Wikipedia.

Realize that your committee is not the only body working on this topic; other committees and countries have probably taken action as well. Find out the most important actions taken with regard to your topic and who undertook them.

Find or develop a timeline of important events and major actions taken on the topic.

3. Understand the current situation.

Do a search on Yahoo! News and Google News. Both websites search printed news, online news, and even blogs.

As with any piece of research, however, be mindful of your sources New York Times or Washington Post. It might just be better to go to the wires, or syndicated news sources, such as the Associated Press. And try to read international news such as the BBC in addition to United States-based sources.

Sources of information

  MUN background guides and websites
  Country speeches on the subject
  UN committee websites

  Past important resolutions passed in your committee
  Country voting records

When researching, try to answer the following basic questions”

  What essential questions are being raised?
  Why are these issues important?
  Why have these issues remained unresolved?
  What important documents are essential to your research?
  What actions have various international bodies taken in the past regarding these issues?
  What actions are these bodies currently taking?
  What is the extent of the problem in your country?
  What actions have your country taken to resolve the problem?
  What help would your country desire the United Nations provide to assist in resolving the problem?


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