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Tactics and Strategies for the Conference

This presentation is split into the two basic components of MUN participation: pre-conference preparation and at-conference participation.


Part I: Pre-conference
At-conference Participation



Part I: Pre-conference Preparation

Research – sources include:

Country speeches
Secretary-General’s reports
Country UN Mission web sites
UN Wire
Other “print” sources
Materials from the conference you will be attending
Beware the web!! (know which sources to trust)


Set up your preparation files, using folders, a binder, or a similar format

Keep them organized for easy reference
Get a leg up on everyone else – “Your binder is your friend”


Save on your computer everything you can – you’ll need a lot of it at the conference

Learn how to go through what you printed with a critical eye


Share research with your group – there’s no need to work alone
Practice speaking in front of the group – there’s no substitute for practice

Both informal briefings and formal speeches are good tools


Mock sessions are the ultimate practice – and do them with other groups when possible



Part II: At-conference Participation


Start caucusing early

Introduce yourself to others when you arrive at the conference site, and especially in the time before the meeting is called to order


When giving a formal speech, make good use of the time

Time for speeches may be short, and you need to be prepared
Base your speech on the current circumstances
Pre-written speeches versus speaking extemporaneously
A note about speaking styles: don’t read your speech!


Caucusing is where all the work gets done, and it should be done early and often

Behind the scenes versus “formal” caucusing
After hours caucusing and personal contacts


A view of formal caucusing – concentric circles

Stick with the leaders (center of the caucus)
Be active


What is your role?

Some possible roles: leader, facilitator, whip, wordsmith, consensus builder, typist, follower


The only cardinal sin at the UN – never act alone

Strength in diplomacy often comes through numbers


Don’t write a resolution that just states the problem, work toward a solution to the problem first

If the answers are simple, why hasn’t someone solved it yet?


Whenever possible, don’t condemn

If you are trying to solve a problem, condemning one party rarely helps


Compromise, compromise, compromise

What does your nation really need to see in a solution, and what are you willing to compromise?


Credit others whenever possible

Nothing makes friends faster than proving that you were listening, and giving credit to others for their ideas






Remember: When at the conference you are a diplomat, and the Distinguished Representative of your country – think and act the part and others will treat you that way
Always keep in mind: A diplomat’s job (among others) is to “make friends and influence people”
Final advice: Suffer fools gladly



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