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Conference Preparations

Q: Will WA-MUN host an in-person conference in 2022?
A: Yes. The conference will be held in the Rhatigan Student Center on Friday, January 21, 2022. The safety of our participants and staff is of the utmost importance to us, so WA-MUN will continue to monitor public health guidelines. Any changes in format will be communicated with registered schools immediately and posted here on our website.

Q: How do I prepare my students for the conference?
A: There are Training Resources available on the conference website. Students should research their topic areas and their country's position on the issues, write position papers stating their positions, practice drafting resolutions, learn the rules and procedures for the committee, and practice making speeches. The Delegate Handbook provides a step by step overview of how the conference sessions will procede.

Q: What are Resolutions? How are they written?
A: A majority of the documents produced in the United Nations are resolutions, written to try to resolve a wide variety of global problems. These are documents that are written collectively by the member countries of the UN. They include two parts: Preambulatory clauses and Operative clauses. The preamble notes all of the work that has been done to address the issue in the past, and states why it is important to do more. The operative clauses are specific steps to be taken in the future to resolve the problem at hand. Delegates must work together through formal and informal discussions to clearly identify a problem that they want to resolve, and then come up with specific solutions to that problem. These solutions are then written in the form of a resolution.

Q: Where do I find information about my specific country's foreign policy?
A: One of the best places to look is on a country's UN webpage. This page should have links to speeches by the country's diplomats, as well as updates on their policy positions on a variety of issues. Another good place to search is the foreign ministry webpage for the country (google: United Kingdom foreign ministry).

Q: Are students required to write position papers for the conference?
A: No. Students are strongly encouraged to write position papers for the conference. Writing position papers serves enhance the quality of preparation of the delegates and to focus their thoughts on the topic areas. WA-MUN does give position paper awards if delegations choose to submit their papers in advance. (Each delegation is responsible for writing a position paper for Security Council topics).

Q: Do students bring pre-written resolutions to the conference?
A: No. Part of the learning experience at the conference is working to a draft document as part of a group that has varied interests on the topic. Students spend considerable time consensus building in their committees as they seek to find language that is agreeable to as many parties as possible. This work is done through informal caucusing rather than through formal speeches.

Q: Should students have their research accessible during conference?
A: Yes. If students have saved copies of various treaties and UN resolutions, these can be very useful in drafting new resolutions to address the issues. They should also have their Topic Guides available for reference.

 

Conference Structure

Q: How does WA-MUN differ from other regional conferences?
A: • Delegates in the committees all research the same topics (although they sit in different Security Council sessions). This makes preparation simpler for teachers and students.
• WA-MUN includes both formal committee sessions where students give speeches, and informal caucus sessions in which much of the resolution writing occurs. This gives students a more realistic experience of how documents are drafted within the real organs of the United Nations.
• Three students represent their country as a delegation. There will be duplicate General Assembly committees, with one student representing their country per committee. All three committees have the same topics.

Q: Do students get to make speeches?
A: Yes. Writing and delivering speeches is an important aspect of the MUN simulation. Speeches help delegates convey the positions of their Member States, help build consensus and start formulating resolutions. The committee time will be divided between formal session and informal caucusing. During formal session, students will make speeches stating their country's position on the topics, and on specific details that are going into the draft resolutions that they are writing.

Q: Is there a Security Council at the conference?
A: No. There will be no Security Council sessions this year.

Q: What is the difference between formal session and caucusing?
A: During formal session, delegates will be seated and must raise their hand to be recognized to make a formal speech. During caucusing, delegates are free to speak informally with other delegates, seeking to find common ground for drafting a resolution. Caucusing provides delegates a chance to build consensus / find support for the wording that they want to see in a resolution.

Q: Who will run the conference sessions?
A: WSU Model UN students will serve as the Dais Staff in each simulation. They will help participants understand the rules and procedures, and facilitate the work of the committees as they draft resolutions.



Conference Participation

Q: Is there a dress code for delegates?
A: Yes. It is requested that all delegates wear standard western business attire.

Q: Are school sponsors / teachers expected to attend?
A: Yes. Students should not participate in the conference without adult supervision. Teachers can assist students as necessary, but should encourage students to be independent and work through the sessions as best they can on their own and with the assistance of the Chair and other delegates.