In Model UN, there will be a lot of discussion on topics that you may have never heard of. The topics were selected to be complex enough to where there would be reasonable debate, yet simple enough for you to understand after some research. These topics discuss relevant global issues that are typically aimed for professionals and scholars. However, these materials should make the research process significantly easier!
We recommend every delegate create a MUN research binder or at least attain a way to hold all research in one area. Not only does it make the process of researching easier, but organization will be a breeze. Keep in mind that this research binder should be put together before a conference as it should be utilized as a tool there.
By creating a research binder and extensively going through a topic, you can walk into committee armed with your binder which holds all the knowledge you need to represent your country, its policies, and people. This will, all in all, allow you to cooperate and write an amazing resolution.
Last but not least, have fun delegates! Researching is important but futile if you're not enjoying yourself! Good luck!
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
The first area of research should be your country and its profile!
Before you can debate the topics, it’s crucial to understand your country, what it stands for, who your allies are, what your type of government is, and more! Together, this will help you compose your “Country Profile.” Below are some areas of interest that you could start with when beginning your Country Profile.
Physical Geography - know your country's physical geography, such as: What region of the world is your country in? Who are your country's neighbors? What are your country's most prominent features and climate?
Politics & Government - Know the governmental logistics of your country: What type of government does your country have? Who are some of your country's leaders? Who are some of your country's allies/enemies?
Culture - Understand your country's cultural background and its population: What is your country's official language(s)? What is your country's ethnic composition? What is your country's population?
Economy - Know your country's economic background: How would you describe the quality of life in your country? What is your country's GDP? What are your major imports, exports, and trading partners?
Below are some helpful websites you can use to help create your "Country Profile."
CIA World Factbook Page is your go-to for an extensive background about the logistics of your country.
IMUNA (International Model UN Association) Country Profile has some quick information about your country.
BBC's Country Profile is similar to the CIA World Factbook, but it is easier to navigate and gives a clearer outline of the country.
The International Monetary Fund offers recent economic news and data about countries and other territorial entities around the world.
McKinsey Quarterly is a periodic report, prepared by one of the world's leading consulting firms, about economic and sociological developments in countries around the world.
The World Health Organization reports on health conditions and matters in all of its member states.
The next area of research should be your assigned topic’s background!
After knowing the basis of your country and what policies it stands for, it’s time to gain an understanding of the topic in order to adequately come up with a beneficial resolution. It’s crucial to look at resources that will be specific to your topic and its background.
An easy mechanism you should use when researching is M.U.N!
M - Make sure to define the topic. Clearly defining the topic helps clear up any muddled debate.
U - Understand any key terms related to the topic and key questions about the topic such as "what caused this issue" and "where is the issue most prevalent." Use "Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How?" to identify important terms and questions for you to answer while researching!
N - Never fall for false sources. Only use credible sources of information to understand the topic - refrain from using Wikipedia or blogs. Even news networks can be biased.
Look at articles, reports, background guides, and other sources to get a comprehensive view! Below are some helpful websites.
SEEK Education: iSeek is an excellent targeted search engine, designed especially for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers. Find authoritative, intelligent, and time-saving resources in a safe, editor-reviewed environment with iSEEK.
RefSeek: With more than 1 billion documents, web pages, books, journals, newspapers, and more, RefSeek offers authoritative resources in just about any subject!
National Archives: Check out this resource for access to the National Archives. Find online, public access to find historic documents, research, government information, and more in a single search.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications: Search through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find descriptive records for historical and current publications, with direct links where available.
Wolfram|Alpha: Using expert-level knowledge, this search engine doesn’t just find links; it answers questions, does analysis, and generates reports.
Past International Actions & Country Policy
Now that you understand both your topic and country, it’s time to look at past international actions towards the topic and past policies of your country!
It’s important to understand past actions from both the United Nations and the international community towards the topic. This way, when shaping your country’s policies, your solutions won’t be redundant and you’ll be aware of what the world has already done and hasn’t. Additionally, you must look at your “Country Policy”. This is what your country thinks should and shouldn’t be done about the issue and how the topic impacts your country.
This can found by looking at past UN resolutions, various reports from international organizations, and how your country may have voted in certain topics that pertain to you assigned topic.
Below are some helpful websites.
Past UN Resolutions: This is an excellent resource in learning past international actions and resolutions the United Nations has passed.
International Conventions and Treaties: This resource allows you to analyze past conventions and treaties which may be beneficial in seeing past actions.
Reports of the Secretary General: Reports of the Secretary General is beneficial in seeing a holistic perspective.
Member States on the Record: Speeches at the United Nations and Member State Votes on Resolutions allows for you to look at what your country has voted on in past resolutions and allows you to see past speeches.
Signature/Ratification Status for Each Country of Important Conventions and Treaties: This will show you every country’s policy and conventions that they have chosen to sign or ratify. It is beneficial in finding out what other countries share similar ideas and opinions.
After having all your research, it’s time to look and research some possible solutions.
Now the most important part is to research some possible solutions to resolve the topic. Be sure to not to find solutions your country can do, but rather solutions your country wants the United Nations to do about the issue globally. They must be realistic and can even build on past solutions that the UN have tried.
The most important resource for this part is your creativity and in-depth research. Try approaching the problem from a new direction!
Structure and Publications of the United Nations
|United Nations Main Page||UN Charter|
|UN Systems||UN Overview|
|UN Treaties||UN Library|
|UN Members||WWW Virtual Library: the United Nations|
|Universal Declaration of Human Rights|
General Assembly Committees & Main UN Organs
|General Assembly||Social, Humanitarian, and Culutral|
|Special Political and Decolonization||Economic and social Council|
|Security Council||International court of Justice|
|UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)||World Heath Organization (WHO)|
Sources by Region
|African Union (AU)||African Development Bank|
|The Economic Community of West African States||The Economic Community of Central African States|
|South African Development Community||WWW Virtual Library: Africa|
Asian & Middle Eastern Countries
|Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)||Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)|
|Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)||League of Arab States|
|Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)||South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)|
|WWW Virtual Library: Asia|
|European Union (EU)||North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)|
|Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)||Council of Europe|
|Western European Union||Policies of the European Union|
|WWW Virtual Library: European Union|
North & South American Countries
A printed copy of this research guide is made available here.