What is a MUN?
A Model United Nations (MUN) Conference is a simulated session of the United Nations in which the participants adopt the role of Delegates to the UN. In simulated UN bodies, for example the Security Council or the General Assembly, the delegates debate international issues, reach compromise solutions and then pass resolutions.
Each participant represents a country which he or she has researched prior to the conference. Delegates do not represent their own opinion, but as realistically as possible argue the allocated country’s ofcial position on the matter under discussion.
English, being one of the ofcial UN languages, will be the formal language of the conference.
What is special about Model United Nations of Baden-Baden?
- Different levels of difculty: Every participant should feel comfortable with their state of knowledge. Therefore, every committee has a diferent level of difculty. (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Profciency)
- First-timers coaching: First-timers, students who attend in a MUN for the frst time, are often reserved and shy. Therefore the delegates will get a more intensive and better support.
- Minimum age of 15
- Crisis meeting: On the last day, there will be a crisis meeting with all delegates of each committee in a special plenum
- Intensive support: The management places a high value on an intensive support and contact with all participants
Rules of Procedure
The opening ceremonies begin with the introduction of the President of the General Assembly and a couple of guest speakers. Thereafter the ambassadors of each delegation hold an opening speech.
It is obligatory to hold an opening speech for each delegation. This gives them the opportunity to address the General Assembly on behalf of their delegation. The delegation's ambassador
should present the opening speech. The speech can be either of a general or a specifc naturee it must, however, represent the country's or organisation's opinion on the addressed subject. Speakers should not attempt to cover as many topics on the agenda as possible, but should try to come to a conclusion on what they fnd the current most important theme in the world. You could for example concentrate on a single item which afects many UN members such as the Palestinian question or the current Iraq situation. Opening speeches should not exceed 2 minutes, but must be longer than one minute.
The main objective for delegates at MUNoBB is to pass resolutions. Resolutions are written plans on how to deal with a certain issue. Each committee debates on resolutions, which will then either pass or fail, depending on how many votes it gets by the delegates. A resolution that passes therefore represents the shared opinion of a committee.
Of course, the committee consists of delegates representing different countries or organizations, and their very different opinions. This means it is unlikely that a resolution that is presented by a few delegates will immediately gain support from the whole committee. Even after the submitters of the resolution explain their ‘plans’ to the forum, and have had lively debates, the majority might still be against the resolution. It might be that some delegates agree with the main idea set forth in a resolution but disagree on some details. It is then important that the resolution can be easily adjusted during a debate to the liking of a majority of the forum. In other words, the resolution must be „debatable“.
Lobbying is extremely important in order to improve your resolution and avoid repeated or impractical resolutions. During lobbying time you must discuss your resolution with your ally countries, as well as with others, so that you can improve it by rewording, adding their clauses or merging your resolution with you ally’s resolution.
This is very important since you need the support of allies in order to pass your resolution. Lobbying will also give you an idea of who will support or oppose your resolution during debate, as well as what criticisms will be made. It is important to remember that the role of countries in Model United Nations is to try to solve the problems of the world and not to defend an ideology or claim; therefore resolutions should be realistic in regards to its application on the real world.
After improving your resolution you will have to get it signed by five other nations. By signing your resolution these nations become co-submitters and are responsible for defending it against criticism. Even though you will still be the main submitter and therefore the main defender of you resolution, co-submitters will be called upon by the chair to argue in favor of it.
Therefore be careful of what resolutions you sign -keeping in mind that you will have to defend it in caucus. After getting it signed by four other nations your resolution shall be submitted to the Approval Panel which will check it for content, grammar and format errors.
It sees to it that the resolutions on which forums debate are actually debatable. It checks that the framework, i.e. the grammar, spelling and layout are correct. Furthermore, it checks whether the content of the resolution is legal and its proposals are within the rules of the UN.
Modes of address
- When a delegate is going to give a speech, he or she must first address the President or chair, then the delegates.
“Distinguished chairs, honourable delegates…”
- A delegate must always speak in the 3rd person singular or the 1st person plural because he or she is representing a country or organisation.
“Spain is against this resolution, because it feels that …”
“No, Italy does not agree with China’s proposal because …”
“We are of the opinion that …”
“Isn’t the honourable delegate aware of the fact that … ?”
- After a delegate has finished his or her speech and has answered any points of information he or she must yield the floor back to the chair. If not, the chair is officially not able to speak. This is the only time that a delegate may refer to himself or herself in the first person.
“I yield the floor back to the chair.”
Course of debate
- The main submitter reads out the operative clauses only of his or her resolution.
- The chair then sets debating time and informs the forum whether it is an open or closed debate.
- The main submitter then has the floor to explain the resolution. He or she should highlight the most important operative clauses and explain the ideas that the resolution contains.
- When he or she has finished, he or she will be asked by the chair whether he or she is open to any points of information. He or she can reply in one of three ways:
- “The delegate is open to all points of information” (Opens himself or herself to an unlimited number of points of information)
- “The delegate is open to two points of information” (Opens himself or herself to a limited amount of points of information)
- Says that he or she is not open to any points of information
- Thereafter the delegate can yield the floor back to the chair or to another delegate.
- If the delegate wishes to yield the floor to another delegate (usually a co-submitter of the resolution), that delegate will take the floor and speak on the resolution, after which points 4 and 5 are repeated. However, the second delegate must yield the floor back to the chair once he or she has finished.
- If the delegate yields the floor back to the chair, the chair will then yield the floor to another delegate. This delegate will then speak on the resolution, after which points 4 and 5 are repeated.
- When the debating time for the resolution has elapsed all delegates vote on the resolution. Delegates can vote in favour or against, or they can abstain.
Amendments are proposed changes to the resolution being debated. They may be submitted by delegates at any time during the debate using the delegates’ notepaper.
- In open debate, amendments may be debated at any time.
- In closed debate, they are debated during time against the resolution. An amendment can only refer to one clause. Also, each clause can only be debated once in a debate. If a delegate feels the need to change a clause to which an amendment is being submitted, he or she can propose an “amendment to the amendment” (Amendment of the second degree)
If a delegate has submitted an amendment he or she should raise his or her placard when the chair asks if any delegate wishes to take the floor.
If the delegate is called upon, he or she has two options:
- The delegate can present his amendment straight away by saying: “Motion to amend the resolution”.
- However, the delegate can also choose to first speak on the resolution. He or she then first gives an opinion on a certain operative clause, followed by the sentence: "Therefore the delegate proposed an amendment."
Following both options, the chair will say, “That is in order”, and then the chair will read out the amendment. The chair will then set the debating time on the amendment, which does not count as time on the resolution. The delegate will then have the floor to make a speech about the amendment, after which point four (Course of debate) will take place.
After the debating time for the amendment has elapsed, the voting procedure will take place. Delegates can only vote in favour or against an amendment. They cannot abstain. Following this, the debate on the resolution and the debating time on the resolution will commence.
In each forum there has to be a simple majority in order to let a resolution/amendment pass. A simple majority means that a resolution passes if there is at least one more vote in favour than there are votes against.
During the debate delegates are allowed to pass around notes to communicate with each other. Each delegation is supposed to bring its own note paper. The delegates can write their notes on this notepaper which will be passed to whom it is adressed by the Administrative Staff. The Admins are to decide whether the content of the note is conference-related and accordingly whether it can be passed to the recipient. If the Admins believe the note is not conference-related it can either be thrown away or passed on to the add-staff that will publish it on the closing ceremony.
To prevent the fraud of notepaper every delegation brings its own official notepaper. It should have an official letterhead and logo that identifies the delegation's country or organisation.
During the debate, various points and motions can arise. These concern the flow of the debate or can draw attention to a particular problem. Most points or motions cannot interrupt the speaker. If a delegate wishes to make a point they should raise their placard and state it. They will then be recognised by the chair. If other delegates agree with the motion they may shout “second!”. If not, they may shout “objection!”. There can be no seconds or objections to points, only to motions.
Point of Order: Refers to the rules of Procedure
A Point of Order is called if a delegate doesn’t agree to a decision/ruling made by the chair. It isn’t debatable and it can’t interrupt the speaker. It can refer to a current decision made by the chair or to a general procedural matter.
Example: “Point of Order!” Is it in order for delegates to yield the floor more than once, as the floor was just yielded to Japan?”
Point of Personal Privilege:
This point refers to the comfort and wellbeing of a delegate. When it is a point of personal privilege due to audibility, it may then only interrupt the speaker. It cannot refer to the content of a speaker’s statement. It is not a point that is debatable and doesn’t require any other delegate to second it.
Example: “Point of Personal Privilege! Could the Air Conditioning be turned on, as it is a bit warm in here?”
Point of Information to the Speaker:
Remember, when you ask your Point of Information, remain standing as a mark of respect. It is a question directed to the delegate, who has the floor about their delegation’s views or about the speech. It is a question to the speaker, not a comment! If you want to get some information on the topic across to the house, you can do so by formulating it as a question
Example: “Is the delegate aware that…” or “Does the delegate agree that…”
Do not ask another question to the delegate unless the chair has allowed you to (request /motion of/to follow up) as there is no direct dialogue between delegates
Example: “Does the delegate feel that the Six-Party Talks would be able to enforce the ideas in this resolution to DPR Korea?” … Motion to follow up?
Point of Information to the Chair:
This Point of Information is directed to the chair. It can refer to anything that doesn’t pertain to the Rules of Procedure or to Personal Privileges. A Point of Information to the chair can be a question or clarification on the issue being debated
Example: “Point of Information to the chair! Could the chair explain when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed?”
It can refer to scheduling and the committee’s agenda.
Example: “Point of Information to the chair! When will we have lunchbreak?“
Point of Parliamentary Enquiry:
A Point of Parliamentary Enquiry refers to the Rules of Procedure. It is a question on the Rules of Procedure.
Example: “Point of Parliamentary Enquiry! Could the chair explain what is meant by abstentions ?”
It isn’t like a Point of Order, as that is a question on the chair’s ruling. This is a question about the rules in general.
Request for a right of reply: Delegates may use this, if they have been addressed directly or offended directly by a recent speaker. This gives Delegates a chance to defend themselves without posing a point of information. If the Delegate has been seriously insulted, an official apology may be requested.
Motion to Move to the Previous Question:
This motion was known as “the motion to move to voting procedure”. This motion means that when discussing something in closed debate, if the house is in time in favour, motioning to move to the previous question, will move debate into time against. If debate was in time against, debate will then be moved into voting procedures In open debate, it means that the debate will be moved into voting procedures It may not interrupt the speaker. This motion can be moved by either a chair or delegate, but requires a “second”. Even if there are objections, it is up to the chair’s discretion to entertain the motion or not. The chair can overrule the motion if there is a lot of time left for the resolution and more debate can be created in the house. Remember to refrain from using “motion to move into voting procedure” as this motion no longer exists.
Motion to Adjourn the Debate:
This motion calls for the temporary stopping of debate. It may not interrupt the speaker. The caller of the motion will need to make a short speech on why debate should be adjourned, and therefore why the resolution should be tabled (put aside and debated after all other resolutions). The chairs recognize speakers in favour and against this motion (debatable). This motion is voted on and a simple majority is required for the motion to pass. Should the motion fail, debate will continue as normal. If a delegate wishes to re-debate the tabled resolution, they can appeal for it, but then a 2/3 majority vote will be conducted and the resolution will then be debated at the end.
Motion to Reconsider a Resolution:
This motion calls for a re-debate and a re-vote of a resolution, that has already been debated. It will be a resolution debated at the end, as other resolutions have priority, as they hadn’t been debated. It may not interrupt the speaker. It will be entertained faster if there are no other resolutions on that particular topic. A 2/3 majority is required for this motion to be entertained and isn’t a debatable motion.
Motion to Withdrawing a Resolution:
If a delegate wishes to remove their resolution from the committee, a vote will be conducted between all those who co-submitted (signatories) and the main submitters of the resolution. All of these delegates need to agree for it to be withdrawn. It can however, be reconsidered by any delegate of the committee. It may not interrupt the speaker
Motion to Extend Debate Time: This will be at the chair’s discretion and is not a debatable motion. It may not interrupt the speaker. Another delegate needs to “second” this motion. It might not be entertained due to time constraints or if other events have been planned for the committee.
Motion to move into open debate: Moves into open debate, where Delegates may give a speech either in favour or against the resolution or amend it. The motion must be seconded at least twice and my be overruled by an objection. This motion can only be proposed when the debate is in time against.
Motion to amend the resolution or motion to make a(n) friendly amendment: For more information see the amendment section. A friendly amendment fixes a minor mistake in the resolution, it may not change the content. The student officer will ask the main submitter if they agree to the changes – if he does, then the correction will be made.
Motion to follow up: This motioon can be used by Delegates to ask the speaker to clarify or elaborate on an issue related to the point of information. Delegates may only ask one follow-up question.
Motion to devide the house: Delegates may raise this motion when the result of the vote on the resolution is very narrow and there are large number of abstentions. The house votes again, but with no abstentions being allowed. It will be done by roll-call.
Abstain: When debate time elapses, delegates are to vote on the resolution or an amendment. Delegates who wish to abstain are those who do not support the resolution or clause and also do not oppose it. “Any delegates wishing to abstain from voting?”
Adjourn: When the debate session adjourns, it means that session time has ended. The chair announces to delegates that the committee will be adjourned, either for a break, lunch or for the day. “Delegates, the committee is adjourned for lunch. Please be back at 1:45 for us to begin debate on another resolution.”
Agenda: The agenda is the order in which resolutions, breaks and other events will occur in. It is the committee’s schedule. “The first thing on the agenda, delegates, is roll call”
Amendment: An amendment is a change (addition, removal or adjustment) to a clause or a resolution. It is submitted by delegates during debate and is debated upon in closed debate and is then voted on. “The delegate submitted an amendment to strike clause six”
Caucus: During a caucus, delegates may informally discuss a topic between themselves and lobby ideas on the current issue at hand and try to think of some constructive ideas to better the issue. “Delegates, the chair will entertain a five minute
Chair: A chair is one of those in charge of a specific committee
Debatte: The Debate is where delegates exchange their delegations’ opinions on an issue and try to resolve that issue by resolutions.
Draft Resolution: A Draft Resolution is a document that tries to solve a situation. It is written (drafted) by delegates together during the lobbying stage, and is then debated by the committee. If it passes in the committee, the draft resolution becomes a resolution as it has been amended and approved by the committee.
Floor: The Floor is a metaphorical area, which delegates can obtain to be able to speak on a resolution or clause.
House: When addressing ones committee, it is addressed as “the House”.
Member States are countries in the UN who are recognized countries by the UN. are apart of the UN and have the right to vote on resolutions and clauses.
Right of Reply
The Right of Reply is where delegates may reply to a speaker’s comment. It is requested by a delegate to the chairs when a delegate has been insulted, or was mentioned on a delegate’s speech and wishes to answer the delegate back on what they said about them.
A Second, is something called out by a delegate who agrees with a motion. If a delegate doesn’t agree, they call out “Objection!”. If a chair sees that a motion is in order, they’ll ask if there are any
delegates who second the motion, and if there are, the motion would be entertained.
Second Degree Amendment
Amendments to the Second Degree are amendments which change an amendment to the first degree. They can only be submitted in the “time against” the first amendment.
On Resolutions, Clauses and Amendments, only Member States can vote. This means that Observer Status delegates (organisations and unrecognized countries) cannot vote (this doesn’t apply to the Advisory Panel).
However, on procedural matters, all delegates have the right to vote. For example, if a motion to adjourn debate is called, the chair will ask delegates to vote on it. Here, all delegates have the right to vote as it is a procedural matter.
Yielding is where a delegate gives the floor to either another delegate or gives the floor back to the chair. Delegates can only yield once consecutively. One delegate cannot take the floor, speak, and yield to another and have them yield to a third delegate, as it restricts the house from hearing a varied range of delegates, who might not share the same views on that resolution and topic. Therefore, it will be allowed to yield, however, chairs can call it “out of order” after which, delegates must then yield the floor back to the chair.
Every Delegate has to write a position paper on the topics that are to be discussed in your forum. Each topic should be addressed briefly in a succinct policy statement representing the relevant views of the assigned country or NGO. You should also include recommendations for action to be taken by your committee.
- All papers must be typed and formatted according to the sample position paper .
- Length must not exceed three pages
- Font must be Times New Roman sized between 10 pt. and 12 pt.
- Delegation, school, author and forum need to be clearly labelled on the first page
- Agenda topics clearly labelled in separate sections
Position Papers need to be submitted via email. File Format:
PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format).
File name: [Forum (abbrieviated)] - [represented country/organisation etc. (short term, abbreviation.)].
Examples: "GA4 - Russia.pdf", "ECOSOC - UNHCR.pdf".
How to write a position paper
A position paper should be divided into three paragraphs to create an understandable structure and logic:
Describe the current situation:
Please give an outline of the current situation. Formulate what the problem in the affected countries actually is in the opinion of your country. Is there an urgent need to take action? Can the problem escalate to the neighboring countries, the region or the whole world? Why exactly is it important for your country to contribute to the solution finding process? It is also welcome to praise your current and recent efforts concerning this issue. Take care that the description of the problem represents your perception of the problem. The task is not to give a scientifically accurate account of the situation involving all possible factors and points of views, but to frame the problem in a manner favourable to your argument.
List all relevant documents, treaties, conventions and resolutions:
This is the part where you will have to do some research in the first place. Find out all documents, treaties, conventions and resolutions that already deal with the discussed issues, what their essence is, and list them up. As you don’t have the space to mention every single one, make a wise selection. Please state whether you support a particular document, and if you don’t give a short but plausible explanation why. Criticize everything your country rejects and praise all items your country supports. The essence of this part should be a guideline of how preambulatory clauses of a possible resolution should look like in your countries opinion.
Here is the right place to formulate your own ideas about how the above-mentioned and criticized documents, treaties and mechanisms should be improved or amended. Since you criticized the already existing structures in the second part you are expected to come up with solutions for the problem. Take care that you avoid double-structures and institutions through creative proposals that ask for solutions that already exist but had different names. This paragraph is comparable with operative clauses you want to have included inside a resolution.
Use active formulations: Prefer "Saudi Arabia rejects…" to "…is rejected by Saudi Arabia". Name your country as often as possible. It should at least be the beginning of every paragraph. Conventions, documents and treaties should be put in italics. Use sophisticated English – vary with expressions and avoid repetitions; make sure that expressions fit with the logic of your argument: no assembly of rocking words that render the content incomprehensible
Please don’t take the proposed guideline as a final advice. It is of course possible to interchange paragraphs II and I and start with the documents and follow up with the description of the situation. The important factor is that any third person should be able to get the essence of your argumentation structure at once.
In a country’s government, official documents are drafted, which aim to solve a specific situation. In the United Nations, similar documents are also drafted; these are called Resolution. Resolutions –in the UN and in MUN- are submitted by one member state, which is generally the largest contributor to the resolution and/or the most involved in the issue –out of the merging group. Resolutions are not written by one member state, but are a combined effort between different member states who’ve taken interest in that specific issue. Although a Main Submitter could contribute the most, that’s not to say that no one else can contribute, as every delegate has an equal opinion.
Resolutions, which are successful, are ones that can appeal to the majority of the parties (states) involved and doesn’t contradict. By giving solutions to both sides, which are just, and doesn’t punish one side completely, or favour the other side completely are more likely to pass as they can appeal to more member states in the house. Resolutions, which only touch on the factors involved in the issue, are generally more vague and less likely to pass, however, those that aim to resolve many or most of the factors involved are generally more vague and less likely to pass, however, those that aim to resolve many or most of the factors involved are more likely to pass as they offer incentives to the various problems, which contribute to the issue.
A resolution must be written as one sentence. For reasons of time draft resolutions should be no more than two pages in length. Final resolutions are usually much longer, because of merging with resolutions of other delegates, and amendments submitted during debates. A resolution needs to have a certain number of co-submitters and must be approved by the approval panel. This process will be explained in detail at the conference itself.
Components of a resolution
There are three components to every resolution:
- Heading: The Heading is a mandatory part of resolutions. Though they don’t contribute to the content of a resolution, they address the committee; state the issue being resolved, the submitter of the resolution, and those who’ve co-submitted the resolution (signatories).
- Preambulatory clauses: The Preambulatory clauses describe what the issue is. They explain what the past and current situation is and state facts about the issue. You’ll find during the Lobbying stage, that for delegates who haven’t researched that specific issue as their focussed one, they are more likely to sign onto your topic if you’ve addressed and explained the situation of that issue well and have accurate facts about it.
- Operative clauses: The Operative clauses are the most essential part of a resolution. Strong Operative clauses lead to more delegates voting in favour of your resolution. The Operative clauses explain what can be done to resolve an issue. Please note that successful and strong operative clauses not only explain what can be done, but give possible sub-clauses on how it could be achieved.
In All Clauses PLEASE DON’T PLAGIARISE:As Plagiarism isn’t at all tolerated at MUN conferences, even if one is trying to get ideas from resolutions. One can only use similar ideas, and rewrite them as ones own, not use that particular clause/ resolution! At MUN conferences, plagiarism is dealt with strongly and often results in one being removed from the conference, and problems between ones school/delegation and the conference management.
Words and phrases to be used in resolutions
Preambulatory clauses are used to introduce the problem. You may only use the following preambulatory clauses:
Bearing in mind
|Expressing its appreciation
Expressing its satisfaction
Having considered further
Having denoted attention
Keeping in mind
Noting with approval
Noting with deep concern
Noting with regret
Noting with satisfaction
Taking into account
Taking into consideration
Viewing with appreciation
Operative clauses follow the preambulatory clauses. They are used to express the action to be taken to tackle the issue in question.
You may only use the following operative clauses:
Draws the attention
Expresses its appreciation
Expresses its hope
Takes note of
These clauses can only be used by the Security Council
During an MUN Conference, one will be expected to dress in formal clothing and act professionally, as though being a member of Parliament. The Dress code for MUN conferences are strictly formal. One will be expected to dress in suits (if male) or in equally formal clothing (if female).
As conference attendees would receive a lot of paper due to notes, resolutions, conference manuals, program of events booklets and the MUN conference’s newspaper, it is advised that attendees carry a bag or a briefcase to the conference as that would allow one to carry all of the various documents accumulated during the course of the conference.
A Conference Folder, A Notepad, Pens, Notepaper, A USB Stick, A Laptop.
Transport and Accomodation
Baden-Baden has a good ICE connection (high speed train) to Basel/Zurich, Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg.
- Baden Airpark: Baden-Baden has a small Airport (Baden Airpark) which is used by Ryanair. There are direct fights to several European cities.
- Frankfurt/Main: You can reach Baden-Baden directly from the airport bye ICE. It will take approx. 90 minutes to get to Baden-Baden.
- Stuttgart: You have to switch trains twice (at Stuttgart Main Station and in Karslruhe). The trip will take approx. 2 hours.
There will be a pickup service from the train station in Baden-Baden or Baden Airpark.
You can decide whether you want to stay in a hostel or a hotel. Please contact us, so we can arrange a contact to our partner hotels, where you can get a special MUNOBB discount. We have a limited amount of host families, so please feel free to ask.