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Handbook of the Simulation


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Handbook of the Simulation

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Handbook of the Simulation

  1. 1. Strong Youth – Peaceful Tomorrow International United Nation Simulation in Valmiera and Riga 2016 Organized by the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO and the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO in close cooperation with the Society Initiatives Institute (Youth organization, Ukraine). Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Riga, the Embassy of the United States in Latvia, the Embassy of Sweden in Latvia, NGO “Children‘s Environmental School”, Municipality of Valmiera City and others. Expert support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the Riga Technical University, the University of Latvia, Resource Centre for Women “Marta”, Latvian Debating Association “Quo tu domā?” and others.
  2. 2. 1. What is the UN simulation? Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an extracurricular activity in which students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. The delegates are divided into the different United Nations committees, and the young people are given the chance to take on the role of world leaders. The MUN aims to build an understanding of global challenges among young people that crosses borders of background, culture and nationality. Using the knowledge, experiences, and relationships they form through MUN, it is hoped that the next generation of world leaders and thinkers will be able to work effectively to find solutions to future global problems that are compatible with the aims and principles of the United Nations and promote the spirit of cooperation. Participants in Model UN conferences, referred to as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries which they represent during the simulation. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in committee, staying true to the actual position of the country they represent. At the end of a conference, the top-performing delegates in each committee, as well as whole delegations, are sometimes recognised with awards. 2. Time schedule Preparations for the simulation usually start in December, when enrolment to the simulation is opened. Important dates in 2016 are: 26th of February. Preparatory meeting for the Latvian participants in Riga. 4th of March. Preparatory meeting for the Estonian participants in Tallinn. More information about regional preparations will be sent to you by the local organisers. 2nd to the 4th of April. UN simulation in Latvia (local transportation from Riga to the venue of the event will be provided).
  3. 3. 3. Preparations before the simulation and homework In order to have a successful UN simulation (MUN), every participant should prepare comprehensively for the simulation. It is advised that all delegates inform themselves of these five areas in the following order: 1. United Nations. Research the history, structure and importance of the UN in the field of international organisations. Information can be found on the UN website or Wikipedia. 2. General background of the country you are representing, so you will not be embarrassed for not knowing the most important things about it. Read about your country’s history and geography (for example, location, neighbours, and population), background on the socio-economic and political situation of the state you are representing including the type of government, trade partners, etc. Information can be found in the CIA World Factbook and on your country’s Wikipedia page. 3. Your committee. The goal of a committee is to pass a resolution, which depends on what a committee can and cannot do, so read about the mandate, structure and role of the committee you are assigned to. Information can be found in the United Nations Handbook, your committee’s actual UN website or from UN Charter (for General Assembly and Security Council). 4. Committee topic. Research the topic your committee will be discussing. You will get general background information from the organisers during the preparatory meeting, but on top of that you should: ● research articles and news, such as Google News, BBC online, New York Times online archive or the UN global issues web page for current issues in relation to your topic; ● research previous conventions, resolutions and treaties in relation to you topic in UN research webpage. That will help you to understand what the countries have already agreed upon and how your country has been acting. 5. Country position. Finally, investigate your country’s position on the topic and possible solutions for the problem from your state's point of view. Information about your country’s position can be found on your country’s foreign ministry web page in the speeches and press releases section. Some also suggest1 that if your country’s leaders have not clearly articulated a policy on your topic, then you can infer it from how your country has voted on past resolutions, treaties, and conventions (or whether they were even present). Note that recent speeches may indicate a policy change from the way your country has voted in the past, especially if your government has changed administrations. For 1 research-binder/
  4. 4. possible solutions to the problem, look for bloggers, think tanks such as RAND, and academic papers with Google Scholar. Before the simulation, there will also be home assignments, which will help you to prepare for the simulation. More information about assignments will be sent to you by the organisers after the preparatory meeting. 4. Opening speech In the opening ceremony of Model United Nations, the leader of every delegation will hold an opening speech written with his/her teammates. The speech should aim to convey the delegation’s hopes and important standpoints regarding the simulation topics, concentrating only on the most important issues and most feasible solutions. The opening speech should: ● Be shorter than 60 seconds; ● Begin with the words “Honourable chair, honourable delegates”. The internet has many inspiring examples of an opening speech; we suggest you look them up! 5. National cuisines Every delegation should prepare at home at least one dish from their country’s national cuisine, that will be introduced to other delegates during the national cuisines evening. Do not worry – we do not expect you to offer an à la carte dinner, but be ready to explain to others why you chose this dish in particular, what its history is and what interesting stories or rituals you know in relation to it. Interesting recipes and ideas can be found online. Try Googling your country name and “national foods”. 6. What is a resolution? The countries at the UN Simulation have one aim: to create a document that reflects the UN’s viewpoint on a certain issue in order to solve important world problems. This document is called a resolution and creating one with your committee will be your goal. Resolutions are, in essence, simple documents consisting of short points (clauses), but have a few strict rules. A resolution summarises a UN committee’s ideas in its two parts: Introductory Clauses and Operative Clauses. Introductory
  5. 5. Clauses give an overview of the topic and explain the present situation in that area, and Operative Clauses propose actions for development and solving the problem at hand. The clauses should be concise and formally phrased. A resolution begins with the name of the committee, followed by the topic of the resolution and an alphabetical list of the countries presenting it. Then come Introductory Clauses in present continuous tense (Stressing the fact that… Noting with concern…), followed by Operative Clauses in present simple tense (Encourages the UN member states to… Calls for the creation of…). The Introductory and Operative Clauses must be compatible: if an aspect of the topic is mentioned in the first part, it should be addressed in the second. 7. What will happen during the simulation? After the delegates have finished their thorough preparations for the simulation, the actual three-day event may begin. You will firstly register at the front desk, where you will write down your name and signature in order to get a name tag and the schedule for the simulation. After setting your things down in classrooms where you will sleep, the simulation’s icebreaking and teambuilding part will begin: the chairpersons and you, together with all other participants, will have fun getting to know each other. After lunch, training on debate culture and the Model United Nations will take place. The evening of the first day will continue with dinner and end with each delegation presenting their national cuisines. The second day is dedicated entirely to working on the topic with the aim of finishing the resolution. Firstly, all the delegates will gather in the main hall to hold their opening speeches. After that, you will be divided into committees and from then on, your committee chairs will lead the work. The first session of committee work concentrates on the current situation, the second one on describing the ideal situation and the actual measures to achieve it. The third working session is the final one: you and your committee will finalise the resolution draft. The second day will come to a close with a vote in the committee over the entire resolution document. The third day will draw the simulation to an exciting close: at the General Assembly (GA), all of the resolutions will be discussed with all the other participants, using a completely different set of rules. After the General Assembly is over, you will have lunch. The MUN will be concluded with a closing ceremony. Your journey home will begin on Monday afternoon.
  6. 6. 8. How is work organised in the committees and during GA? Committee work will be led by the individual chairpersons in their committees and it will therefore be slightly different for each committee, depending on which specific methods the chairpersons use. The product of the committee work is a written resolution. In general, there are four key parts to committee work: 1. MAPPING: laying out and discussing the current situation in order to guarantee a common understanding and a ground upon which to base the following discussions. This can include both positive and negative developments. The Introductory Clauses will be formed based on this part. 2. DESTINATION: coming up, discussing, and agreeing on a common ideal vision for the future – the destination where the committee wants the world to arrive at when the problems of the topic area have been solved. 3. PATH: coming up with, discussing and agreeing on the specific measures to be taken in order to improve the current situation and solve the problems of the topic area, aiming to achieve the ideal future vision agreed on previously. The Operative Clauses will be formed based on this part. 4. PACKING: finalising the resolution, which involves going through the whole resolution, making sure that there are no controversies in the resolution or disagreements within the committee, implementing final changes if necessary, and voting on the finalised resolution with the whole committee. The General Assembly (GA) will follow strict rules of procedure, which are also used at UN assemblies. The working atmosphere will be professional and polite. The GA is divided into the following parts: 1. Roll Call A Roll Call is done after every break or whenever a new topic is going to be discussed. Every country has to state whether they are: ● present, which means that the country can remain abstaining during voting (except for when voting on the resolution as a whole. Deciding not to vote is considered a strong negative message to the proposing committee and is not advised.); ● present and voting, which means that the country has to vote during every voting either for or behalf of the resolution. If a country is late, they will notify the chairperson of their presence in written form, stating their participation as either present of present and voting. Otherwise, they will be considered absent.
  7. 7. 2. Agenda The first working task is setting the agenda, stating the order in which the draft resolutions are discussed. The order is decided by a Simple Majority vote, which means that half the committee members plus one must vote for the proposed agenda in order for it to pass. 3. General Debate When the agenda is set, the resolutions will be discussed one by one during the General Debate. Here, every committee will have the chance to express their opinions on the topic in general and the draft resolution by asking questions, making comments or proposing amendments (see point 5. for further information). The debate is led by the chairperson. Speeches by delegates must commence with the phrase “Honourable chair, honourable delegates”. The General Debate begins with the resolution being read out and explained by the proposing committee. The discussion during the General Debate (as everything else) will be held in English and will follow a structure consisting of three types of discussion: a. Formal Debate During Formal Debate, all the countries will have a chance to speak in alphabetical order. After their speech, a country can be added to the end of the Speakers List in order to get the floor once more after all the countries have finished speaking in the alphabetical order. This can be done by indicating the wish to speak by raising the country placard. Only one speech per country can be in the Speakers List at a given time and a speech can also be cancelled. The formal debate is moderated by the chairperson. Very often, one of the first countries will propose moving on to Moderated Caucus in their speech. b. Moderated Caucus During moderated caucus countries can have the floor according to the order in which their wish to speak was indicated. Moderated caucus is moderated by the chairperson. c. Unmoderated Caucus Unmoderated caucus is a break in the formal discussions, during which delegates can move around and hold direct unmoderated talks between countries. Delegates are not allowed to leave the room during unmoderated caucus. 4. Procedural Questions In addition to questions on the content of resolutions, delegates may raise points of order when they have procedural questions. To do so, one must raise their hand – not the country placard – and they will be given the floor
  8. 8. immediately after the current speaker has finished. There are three kinds of procedural questions: i. Proposal to switch from one mode of discussion to another, to begin voting or to end the debate (motion). Switching between modes of discussion, moving to voting on amendments, ending the debate and moving to voting on the whole resolution will only take place after a motion has been proposed to do so. The motion will pass by a Simple Majority vote where countries can also abstain. The chairperson retains the right to reject amendments due to time constraints or other reasons. The following phrases can be used for motions: “Honourable chair, honourable delegates, we propose to move to unmoderated caucus for 3 minutes.” “Honourable chair, honourable delegates, we propose to end the debate.” “Honourable chair, honourable delegates, we propose to move to voting on the amendment.” ii. Organisational question (point of personal privilege). A question that concerns the organisational aspects – either opening a window, closing the door, or inaudibility of the current speaker. iii. Questions about the format (clarification). If an aspect of the discussion format or the organisation of the event is unclear or confusing, you should always ask about it – the chairperson will gladly answer. 5. Amendments In addition to debating the committee topic as a whole and resolution clauses separately, a key means of work during GA is proposing amendments. These can be used in order to change the resolution that is being discussed. Countries can propose to add, remove and change clauses. Amendments must be submitted to the chairperson in written form by filling out the amendment form. Each time an amendment is submitted there will be a break in the debate in order to discuss the amendment until a delegation proposes to move to voting over the amendment. Processing an amendment begins with an explanation from the delegate who submitted the proposal, describing the reason behind the amendment. This This is followed by a discussion where the proposing and opposing delegations have the chance to defend their opinions.
  9. 9. Voting follows when the motion for voting has been made and approved. Voting over an amendment, once again, requires a Simple Majority and countries can abstain during the vote, unless they have stated otherwise during the roll call. If the amendment only concerns formal changes (correcting grammar mistakes etc.), which do not seem to require a discussion, the amendment can be processed in expedited procedure. In this case, the delegations are asked only if anyone is against the amendment. If not, the amendment will be passed, but if there is at least one delegation against, a discussion will follow. However, an expedited procedure tends to be rather exceptional and discussions are usually held for every amendment. 6. Voting Procedure When the discussions over the resolution seem to be finished, any delegation can propose to move to voting over the whole resolution. A Simple Majority vote follows over this proposal and if passed, voting over the whole resolution begins, otherwise more discussions will follow. It is also possible to vote over each clause separately, if such a motion is proposed and successfully voted on. For the resolution to be passed, a two-thirds majority must vote for the resolution, and abstentions are not allowed. If the resolution is not passed, delegations will return to discussing and work continues until the resolution is passed. When all the proposed resolutions have been discussed and passed, they will become official UN positions on the discussed matters and the General Assembly will be over. 9. Etiquette during the simulation Model United Nations is a simulation of different diplomatic processes. Although ours has been put together so that the majority of the work would be informal and allow more spontaneity, directness and self-governance, the simulation will call for some rules regarding etiquette, especially at the General Assembly. The following chapter will explain the more specific rules alongside with general recommendations for conducting yourself in a manner that maintains mutual respect and order and facilitates communication between delegates, chairpersons and organisers.
  10. 10. Addressing the Committee and the Chair As a sign of respect, “parliamentary procedure” should be followed, which means always starting your speeches with “Honourable chair, honourable delegates” and referring to your fellow delegates in your speeches in third person and using the polite forms “Honourable delegate” or “Fellow delegate”. Diplomatic Language ● Instead of using stereotypes like “The West” or “Third World countries” use the correct names for the countries or the more specific geographical locations of these countries. ● Instead of joking about the sensitive topics or taking them lightly, treat the severe problems such as war, poverty or inequality with the respect and sensitivity they deserve. Your fellow delegates might be personally affected by these issues. ● Instead of intimidation or exclusion, do your best to include and sympathise with your fellow delegates. Behave and argue in a manner that supports those surrounding you and your common goal – coming up with a great resolution. 10. Useful English terms and phrases Beginning of speech: „Honourable chair, honourable delegates...” Beginning of proposal: „I propose...” „Is the delegate from __________ not aware…” „Does the speaker not realise...” „Does the speaker not agree...” „Would the delegate from ___________ please explain...” Listing arguments: „Firstly... secondly... finally...” „To begin with... next... lastly...” „First of all... and also...” „Let me begin by pointing out... and besides...” „In addition to this...” „Furthermore/moreover...” „Essentially...” „Besides...” „Above all...” „What is more...”
  11. 11. Considering several aspects: „On the one hand... on the other hand...” „There are two sides to this question:…” „An argument for this would be… however/yet...” Concluding remarks: „To conclude…” „In conclusion…” „To sum up…” „Therefore...” 11. Example of resolution Resolution GA/3/1.1 General Assembly Third Committee Sponsors: United States, Austria and Italy Signatories: Greece, Tajikistan, Japan, Canada, Mali, the Netherlands and Gabon Topic: „Strengthening UN coordination of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies” The General Assembly, Reminding all nations of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity, equality and inalienable rights of all global citizens, Reaffirming its Resolution 33/1996 of 25 July 1996, which encourages Governments to work with UN bodies aimed at improving the coordination and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, Noting with satisfaction the past efforts of various relevant UN bodies and nongovernmental organizations, Stressing the fact that the United Nations faces significant financial obstacles and is in need of reform, particularly in the humanitarian realm, 1. Encourages all relevant agencies of the United Nations to collaborate more closely with countries at the grassroots level to enhance the carrying out of relief efforts;
  12. 12. 2. Urges member states to comply with the goals of the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs to streamline efforts of humanitarian aid; 3. Requests that all nations develop rapid deployment forces to better enhance the coordination of relief efforts of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies; 4. Calls for the development of a United Nations Trust Fund that encourages voluntary donations from the private transnational sector to aid in funding the implementation of rapid deployment forces; 5. Stresses the continuing need for impartial and objective information on the political, economic and social situations and events of all countries; 6. Calls upon states to respond quickly and generously to consolidated appeals for humanitarian assistance; Requests the expansion of preventive actions and assurance of post-conflict assistance through reconstruction and development. References
  13. 13. NOTES