Please note that MUN Bilbao is only open to school students, and not university students.
The more research a delegate does before attending a conference, the more confident and able to participate that delegate will be during the conference. So research is vital to be successful at the conference.
It is advisable to do a little research on the UN: its mission, how it works, its structure and to have a quick read through the Charter, so that you do not violate the basic rules of the UN during the debates.
United Nations: www.un.org
A delegation can start researching their member country together. It is important to gain as much background knowledge about the country as possible as general knowledge is the foundation for all your further research.
The land and its history:
What is its name and flag? Where does it lay? How big is it? What are the needs of the different provinces? How many inhabitants does it have? How was the nation formed? What wars have they been in? How have the borders changed throughout time? Have there been any significant historical events?
Politics and economy:
What is the political situation? What is the leading political party? What recent laws or reforms have been adopted? How strong is the economy? How does it influence political relations? What trading groups does the country belong to? How developed is the country? How good is the health and education system? What is the infrastructure like? What developments is the government working on?
Look at what neighbors your country has and what are your relationships with them. Look at what conflicts you have and what your governments agree on. Also find out, whether your country is a part of any different union apart from the UN, such as the EU, NATO, NAFTA among others.
Demography and culture:
How is the society divided? Is there a great difference between the rich and the poor? What ethnic groups are there? What is the situation with the ethnic minorities? What traditions are there? Are there any problems with the traditions? What religions are there? What do these religions prohibit? What is the crime rate?
Does the country possess nuclear weapons? How strong is the military? Are there any disputed territories?
CIA World Factbook: www.cia.gov
European Union: www.europa.eu
US Department of State: www.state.gov
The World Bank: www.worldbank.org
Now each delegate needs to start individually researching the topics of the committee they will be sitting on. Firstly, they must research each topic generally to understand what the topic is about and which countries are involved. Please be aware that some topics are very wide and could include a mirage of situations and it would be impossible to include all of them in a resolution. So it is perfectly acceptable to choose one aspect of a topic and concentrate solely on that aspect.
Research the topics thoroughly, think about how they relate to your country and what would be your government’s approach to the problems. Remember, you represent your country, not yourself at the conference. Finding out what your government has done for the topics of your committee can be difficult, but it will be the most important information for you during the debates. Try to find resolutions submitted or co-submitted by your country or projects your country has funded. Put together your country’s approach to the problem and you will know how to react to the debates appropriately.
From 23rd December 2022, Research Reports written by the Chairs of the committees will be made available on this website to guide delegates in their research.
A guide on how to research by Best Delegate is available here.
Having researched the committee’s topics, delegates now need to write a Position Paper which outlines their country's position on the three topics. The paper should be about six hundred words long and needs to be sent to their Chairs by 9th January 2023 at the latest. If the Chairs are happy with the Position Papers, they will be made available to all the delegates of that committee by 23rd January 2023.
An example Position Paper can be seen here.
Next, each delegate is expected to write at least one resolution on one of the topics to be debated and voted on in the committee. It is perfectly acceptable to write more than one if the delegate wishes. A resolution is an official document submitted by a member country to the UN with the aim of solving a specific situation, but it cannot contravene the Charter. There are very formal, strict rules on how to write and lay out a resolution and only a resolution from the Security Council can mandate military intervention.
A resolution has two parts: the preambulatory clauses and the operative clauses. Preambulatory clauses are facts that state the historical and current situations, whilst operative clauses state suggested actions to take. Both types of clauses need to start with an approved word or words from the following list:
Affirming Alarmed by Approving Bearing in mind Believing Confident Contemplating Convinced Declaring Deeply concerned Deeply conscious Deeply convinced Deeply disturbed Deeply regretting Desiring Emphasizing Expecting Expressing its appreciation Fulfilling Fully aware Further deploring Further recalling Guided by Having adopted Having considered Having examined Having received Keeping in mind Noting with deep concern Noting with satisfaction Noting further Observing Reaffirming Realizing Recalling Recognizing Referring Seeking Taking into consideration Taking note Viewing with appreciation Welcoming
Accepts Affirms Approves Asks Authorizes Calls Calls upon Condemns Confirms Congratulates Considers Decides Declares Deplores Designates Draws attention Emphasises Encourages Endorses Expresses it appreciation Expresses it hope Further invites Further proclaims Further recommends Further resolves Further requests Have resolved Notes Proclaims Reaffirms Recommends Regrets Reminds Requests Solemnly affirms Strongly condemns Suggests Supports Takes note of Transmits Trusts Urges
The resolution must start with four headings: the name of the committee that the resolution is being presented in, the topic that the resolution covers, which member country is submitting the resolution and the words 'General Assembly' to who the resolution will be directed at. If the resolution is being debated in the Security Council, the words 'General Assembly' should be replaced with 'Security Council'.
Preambulatory clauses end with a comma. Operative clauses are numbered and end in a semi colon, with the last clause ending with a full stop. A resolution cannot have more than 18 operative clauses, including sub clauses. Operative clauses should be the delegate's own work, not taken from other resolutions. The clauses should be arranged in a logical order, clearly formulated and should not repeat themselves but deal with a different aspect of the given matter. The use of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation is important. During debate, committees can accept amendments on operative clauses, but not on preambulatory clauses.
A guide on how to write a Resolution by Best Delegate is available here
Prior to attending the conference, each delegation must design and print stationery to be used for note passing in committees and the general assemblies.
The stationery should be of size A5 and maybe black and white or in colour. The stationery must clearly show the name of the delegation and the names of the delegates within that delegation. There must also be sufficient space / lines for writing the message, but apart from this the delegation is free to design the stationery in anyway.
Typical examples of design include using the flag, a map or a well-known symbol of the member country.
It is very important that delegates know and use the proper language and rules of procedure whilst debating. The most important rules include:
1. Delegates always have to refer to themselves as well as others in the third person
2. In order to speak, delegates have to have the floor or an appropriate point or motion
3. Delegates must stand to speak or to ask Points of Information (questions) and remain standing until they have been answered
4. After finishing speaking, delegates must yield the floor back to the Chair or to another delegate
Please read this document which explains the Rules of Procedure
During debate, any delegate may suggest an amendment to a resolution. This amendment can take the form of wishing to add a new clause to the resolution, striking a clause from a resolution, or amending an existing clause of a resolution.
In order to propose an amendment, the delegate must write their suggestion on an Amendment Sheet, which can be obtained from the Chairs, and then return the Amendment Sheet back to the Chairs. It is at the Chairs' discretion when the amendment will be brought up for debate but when it is, the delegate must read out their proposed amendment and then give a short speech explaining the reason for the amendment. Other delegates will be able to speak in favor or against the amendment before Voting on the amendment takes place.
Amendments to the Second Degree are used to change an original amendment. The process is the same as when proposing a regular amendment. If an Amendment to the Second Degree is approved, the entire amendment is also approved.
When voting on an amendment or an amendment to the second degree, all delegates must vote and cannot abstain as it is a procedural vote.
Once the Chairs declare that the committee is moving into voting procedure, all note passing must cease and the secretaries will take their voting positions. The Chairs will ask delegates to raise their placards to vote either for, against or to abstain on a resolution, and the secretaries will count the votes and pass this information on to the Chairs.
At MUN Bilbao, the following awards will be presented:
Best Position Paper: one award per committee will be given based on delegates meeting the submission deadline, the quality of their writing (style, grammar, etc), analysis of the topics, consistency with the country's constraints of bloc/geopolitical/UN, following standards rules of citation and producing their own work.
Outstanding Diplomat: two awards maximum per committee will be given based on a positive attitude and engagement with people, policies and issues, an elegant handling of relationships and partnerships, and collaboration with the other delegates in the committee to produce the most positive change and advancement.
Best Delegate: two awards maximum per committee will be given based on delegates remaining in character, participation in debates and following a proper use of the rules. If a delegate fails to submit their Position Paper on time, they cannot be considered for this award.
Best Delegation: three awards for the conference will be given based on delegations remaining in character, participation in debates and following a proper use of the rules.
Arctic Council: has its own awards.