Taking on specialized committees - for delegates

February 1, 2017

 

Model United Nations started as a simulation of the United Nations only. Originally, it included mainly General Assembly Committees and other main organs of the Organization. Over the course of years, and as the needs of the global community expanded, conferences decided to expand their spectrum of committees not only for academic but for marketing reasons as well. And this is how specialized committees came to life. To simplify, I have divided them into actual and fictional Model UN committees.

 

1. Actual committees: Usually, in big organs with an endless list of topics to go through every annual session, smaller, separate committees dedicated to examining one issue of the agenda thoroughly or to deepen in the technicalities of a topic are created. These are specialized committees-ie the Economic and Social Council with 14 specialized ones. When one found in these committees, there is nothing to worry about; simply the agenda is slightly more cornered towards a certain aspect or direction. Attention should be given in cases where the jurisdiction of the committee is differentiated, always check it out before entering the session!

 

2. Fictional Model UN originated committees: But, as we already know, in the twisted MUNiverse within we strive to excel we had to let our imagination wild and create everything we could think of-indicatively:

 

2.a. Completely fictional special organs: Doctor Who’s Council as exciting as it may seem is not a UN organ. In the majority of situations, these sorts of committees are found in crisis cabinets. Different RoP is used (mostly giving you liberties and challenges your creativity). Tricky part; you have to be into “special” stuff in this case, movies etc.

 

2.b. Partially fictional: Historical crisis - i.e, you need to know what happened in order to decently represent your character if in a crisis cabinet.

 

2.c. Model UN turned fictional: Sometimes, committees such as International Criminal Court are characterized as fictional ones which is an entire misconception.

 

And this is where we go to the difficult part - how to excel at them. Well, it’s pretty simple; all you have to do is to adjust to the needs of the committee! Competence/ mandate/ portfolio = what your committee can do/decide/authorize. How can be used to your benefit? Will it give you a hard time?

 

Then, the powers of the chairs - do they vote, do they deliver statements? It would depend on the committee, and the way the organizers choose to set it up. 

 

Moving on to preparation, which is inarguably the key to success. Don’t expect to walk into a historical crisis on feminism in the 1960s US and have no idea about who Rosa Parks is!

 

So, there’s nothing really special to write here other than that you have to adjust and expect the unexpected, the rest is pretty much classical MUN preparation!

 

 

 

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