Welcome to Model United Nations! It can be a daunting task to represent an entire country in a relatively vague subject... but it is actually not that difficult. And it is a lot of fun!
Our weekly sessions are the spotlight of the MUN Team UZH. For two hours we discuss, debate, negotiate, vote, draft and pass solutions to specific topics in world politics. Up to thirty students, each one representing a country or an NGO, participate in these sessions.
If you're new to MUN, our members will show you how to use rethorics, write resolutions and how to act like a real UN diplomat. After the sessions we usually head downtown for a beer.
Choose a Country
When selecting a country to represent, you should let your interests guide you. Our recommendation is to choose a medium power from a region that interests you. For this subject, the choice is basically between a developed, western country (for example, Germany), a developing country, like China, or a largely undeveloped country, like Côte d’Ivoire, as these three groups likely have different views on the topic at hand. Some new delegates like to choose very insignificant countries, like St. Kitts and Nevies. However, that can actually be quite a task, as finding any information about St. Kitts and Nevies ist extremely difficult. Conversely, the Congo for example is quite well-known and there is a lot of information on it on the internet. On the other hand, it is small enough to stay on the sidelines at first, giving you time to get to know MUN.
Prepare for the Sessions
When preparing for a session, your aim should be to gather enough information on what to do. The first step is to know the problem. What are the actual questions the committee is supposed to answer? The second question is, what is your countries stance on the subject? The first stop is, or course, Wikipedia, which has extensive information on the political situation and the policies of many countries. Look for articles like “Foreign Relations of so-and-so” and similar articles. You might also want to consult the websites of your own countries Department of Foreign Affairs or another relevant office. Sometimes, you will actually find no readily available information at all. In this case, one possibility is to look to other, similar countries. Nobody knows the difference in specific policies between Cape Verde and Côte d’Ivoire, for example. And you can always use your common sense and general knowledge. Just think about what an African Country would think about the topic and go from there! And finally, remember this: You are the representative of a sovereign country! Nobody can tell you what your own policy is or that you are wrong about your own country. When in doubt, make something up. I hope this is a useful guide. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me under: firstname.lastname@example.org