BDMUNC Delegate Training Week 2
Introduction to the United Nations
AND Researching Your Country Policy
Model United Nations Research
Preparation is a critical part of any Model UN conference- you need to come prepared so you can deliver informed speeches, make strong arguments while negotiating, and write innovative and realistic resolutions on your committee topics. Preparation and research needs to focus on both your country and your topics, and it can add up to a lot of information that there’s no way for you to memorize!
We break research down into four key categories:
Topic Background- What are the basics of the topic you’re discussing in committee?
Past International Actions- What has the United Nations already done about this issue?
Country Policy- How does your assigned country feel about this topic?
Possible Solutions- What should be done to fix this issue?
The hardest part of Model United Nations research is finding your Country Policy. Researching Climate Change might be easy, but researching how Peru feels about Climate Change can be more challenging! We’ve broken down researching your Country Policy into a few easy steps to help you get started!
But first, let’s talk a bit about the organization that Model UN is all about- the United Nations.
The United Nations at a Glance
Try out the Best Delegate Model UN “Research Map”
Alright, so now we have a basic understanding of what the United Nations is. Next, it’s time to learn about your assigned country. Let’s start by using an awesome resource- the Best Delegate Research Map! We’ve gathered some of the best resources online for learning about your country, including:
The CIA World Factbook Page: The go-to for MUNers, the CIA World Factbook is filled with information about your country. The CIA Factbook has information about your country’s geography, its economy, its government, its population, and many more facts and figures!
Speeches at the UN: Want to find out what your country has actually said about the UN on your topic? Using the UN Member States on the Record tool, you can find all the statements your country has made to the UN General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and Security Council in the past few decades.
Official Government Website: As a Model UN delegate, you’re representing the government of the country you’re assigned. Check out their website to see what your government has to say about the issue.
UN Permanent Mission: Check out your country’s permanent mission to the UN to find out who your Permanent Representative to the UN is, find quotes, and search for your country’s position on the most important issues to your committee.
BBC Timeline: Find the most important events in your country’s history! This can help you figure out why your country has the policies it does, and what your history may be with the other countries in your committee.
IMUNA Country Profile: The International Model United Nations Association has some quick facts and resources for MUNers on each country- check out yours!
How do I find my country on the Model United Nations Research Map?
Click on the symbol in the top left hand corner of the map next to “Country Profile World Map” opening up a sidebar
Click on the arrow “∨” under “Country Profile Map” to the left of “all items”
A list of Member States will appear in alphabetical order
Press “ctrl+f” and type in your country or scroll down the list to find your country
OR you can see if you can find your country on the map, and click on the pin!
Research your “Country Profile”
Once you’ve found your country, use the first link to open up your country’s page on the CIA World Factbook! Can you answer the following questions about your question?
What is the population of your country?
What is the largest religion in your country?
What is the climate like?
What are your countries most important imports and exports?
Who is the current leader of your country?
Teachers- try this as an activity with the whole class! If you didn’t have your students complete the Country Policy worksheet as homework, you can download a Country Profile worksheet by clicking here to help challenge your students to use the CIA World Factbook to learn about their countries!
Country Policy Research
Now that you know a bit about your country, it’s time to start researching how your country feels about your assigned topic. As a diplomat from your assigned country, you want to represent their opinions accurately- no matter how you personally feel about the issue! When we want to go hunting for information about our country’s policy, we should hunt with a SPEAR. Specifically, we look for:
SPEECHES made by the leaders of your country
PROGRAMS your country has to address this topic
EVENTS that your country has participated in related to the issue
AGREEMENTS like resolutions or treaties that your country has agreed to that address your topic
REPORTS by or about your country on the topic.
What’s awesome about using SPEAR for your research is that it captures exactly how your country shows their policy when they go to the United Nations! This means that the UN has great resources to help your research your topic, along with the websites run by the government of your country. When we use Google to research your country and topic, we may get a lot of results- so we’re going to “Power Search”- that means we’re going to use special language in Google to help reduce the number of results you see, so that you’re only focusing on the best stuff.
For example- if we want to tell Google to only look at United Nations websites, we’re going to add the following to our search
If we want to only look at websites from our government, we can take the code for your governments email address from the research map we looked at earlier. For example for Qatar, that code is “gov.qa”, so our google search should include
Check out the video below to see this in action. Pay attention to how much better the results are once we’ve told Google where to look. Also, notice how many fewer results we end up with!
Now that you’ve got your Model UN research skills, it’s time to put them into action. This week, we want you to do two things for each of your topics to prepare for BDMUNC:
Read the “Background Guide” for your topic! We’ve worked with international experts on your topic to give you the basic info you’ll need to understand your topics for BDMUNC. Download your Background Guides below to get started! (COMING SOON)
UNICEF-USA: Protecting Child Migrants
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: The Illegal Trade in Firearms
Use SPEAR to help you research your Country Policy. Try to find examples of Speeches, Programs, Event, Agreements, and Reports for each of your topics. Download this worksheet to help guide you through the process. Try to find at least 3/5 parts of the SPEAR for each topic.