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Preparing for Model UN


A crucial part of being delegate at any Model UN conference is a deep understanding of the topic of discussion, which includes being fluent in your delegation's foreign policy. To accomplish this, every delegate is expected to conduct extensive research on the subjects at hand. This might seem scary at first, but don't worry, we're here to help



Many conferences require delegates to submit a position paper which details your delegation's policies on the topics that will be discussed in committee. If you need help on drafting position papers, let UNAUSA provide you a guide on how to write a position paper. 


All position papers must be submitted to for substantial edits. We will send position papers to conferences on behalf of a delegate. 




"Decorum delegates, the dais will now open the primary speaker's list" Did you get all that? Model UN is full of strange words, and it's important that you understand them! Let UNAUSA explain the glossary of MUN. 





It's intimidating, unwieldy, and essential. Your research binder is a crucial part of preparing for Model UN. Every delegate is recommended to prepare research before they attend any conference. Let Best Delegate help you out with their great article. 





The University of Calgary Model United ​Nations Team (UCMUNT) offers extensive training sessions. These are meant to prepare members on the art of debate, specifically in the context of Model UN. We cover everything from front and back room strategies to resolution writing. Throughout the year (normally before every conference), the Events and Training Officer leads several training sessions to prepare delegates for debate. Check out our Events Calendar or sign up for our mailing list to get caught up. 




  1. Read the background guide of your committee.

    • They provide a thorough introduction on the topics of your committee which will set the tone of debate. Preliminary information on the topics of your committee will guide the direction to the bulk of your research. Determine what central issues are being raised and how they affect your country. Predict which countries do the issues concern the most and how your country will interact with others in committee. 

  2. Research your country. 

    • Your primary duty is to represent your country as best as possible. Immerse yourself in their history, culture, and society. Develop a deep understanding of the people of your country. By doing so, you can better relate to your country's domestic and foreign policy, especially as they relate to the topics of your committee. Some important things to consider are: 

      • political and economic system, geography and administrative divisions, and the composition of government (e.g. head of state, head of government, governing political party etc.); 

      • official government policy concerning the topic and relevant legislation, actual results of government policy and its effectiveness (i.e. is there positive or negative change), assessments of government policy by third parties (e.g. non-governmental organisations, domestic and international press, advocacy groups etc.); 

      • national demographics and statistics (e.g. population, gender ratio, income distribution, ethnicity, religion, education and literacy rate, life expectancy etc.); 

      • human rights issues, levels of freedom (e.g. press, political and democratic etc.), and key social problems (e.g. poverty, income inequality, ethnic conflict, regionalisms etc.); 

      • economic classification (i.e. developing or developed country) along with important economic indicators (e.g. gross domestic product, gross national income, median wage, employment, poverty rate etc.), level of human development, and standard of living; 

      • key economic sectors, major exports and imports, and important trading relationships;  

      • membership in regional and international organisations, major bilateral relationships (i.e. who are your most important allies) and international conflicts (i.e. who are your enemies), and relevant international treaties;   

  3. Research your topics and your committee.

    • Build on the information given by the background guide by exploring the topics in greater depth. What is the historical context of them and how did they arise? How has the topic changed and what is the current situation? How have relevant state and non-state actors dealt with issues at hand? What UN resolutions, international treaties, or domestic laws have been enacted in response to this issue? 

    • Furthermore, it's critical to understand how your committee can affect meaningful change on the matter while also considering its limitations. What is the mandate of your committee and what power does it yield and how is it applied? Explore previous resolutions made by your committee and assess their effectiveness. It's important to understand what your committee has already accomplished so you can decide what more can be done without repeating past actions. 

  4. Prepare possible solutions.

    • Start thinking of possible ​solutions that your committee can do that will address the issues at hand. It's important that you DO NOT make pre-written resolutions (most conferences prohibit this). Rather, developing a list of proposals that agree with your country's policy will become important when conducting diplomacy in committee. By doing so, other countries will understand what your country's desires, while also ensuring that you do not stray away from your country's official policy. 



Country Introductions

BBC News Country Profiles (BBC News)

BBC News Country Profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. 

EIU Country Reports (The Economist Intelligence Unit) 

EIU Country Reports provide an in-depth analysis of a country's current affairs, politics, and economy.  

Encyclopaedia Britannica 

Encyclopaedia Britannica is an the oldest English-language encyclopaedia which has served as a traditional resource for introductory research for centuries. 

The World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency) 

The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.


Wikipedia is an open encyclopaedia that is editable by anybody. Academics might caution its use, but it does provide an indispensable source on country information. 

General Statistics

Human Development Report (United Nations Development Programme) 

The Human Development Report (HDR) provides insight into human development around the world. Rather than focusing on richness of the economy, it examines the richness of human life with a focus on people and their opportunities and choices. 

List of National Statistical Services (Wikipedia) 

Wikipedia's list of national statistical services show national agencies devoted to producing, harmonising, and disseminating official statistics to run, monitor, and evaluate policies. Every country collects statistics and data on their own citizens, and are usually found on their respective website. 

OECD Data (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 

OECD Data uses its wealth of information on a broad range of topics to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability. 

World Bank Open Data (The World Bank Group)

The World Bank Open Data provides a platform for free and open global development data. Consider various indicators on a individual country-level or examine the progress of countries on one indicator. Such indicators are agricultural land (% of land area) and population growth (annual %).

Foreign Policy

List of National Ministries of Foreign Affairs (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia's list of national ministries of foreign affairs show governmental departments responsible for a country's diplomacy for its citizens at home and abroad. Official foreign policy is usually found on each country's respective website. 

International Indices and Reports 



Gapminder makes statistics and other information easy to understand. It compares social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

Human Development Report (United Nations Development Programme) 

The Human Development Report (HDR) provides insight into human development around the world. Rather than focusing on richness of the economy, it examines the richness of human life with a focus on people and their opportunities and choices. 

Our World In Data

Our World In Data is a creative commons online publication which empirically examines long-term changes in living conditions on a global-level. Trends such as health, food, income, energy, education and development, and more are empirically analysed and visualised on this publication.

Economy and Trade

Global Competitiveness Index Report (World Economic Forum)

The Global Competitiveness Index assesses the competitiveness landscape of 137 economies, providing unique insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. 

Global Enabling Trade Report (World Economic Forum)

The Enabling Trade Report evaluates 136 economies based on their capacity to facilitate the flow of goods over borders and to their destination. 

Index of Economic Freedom (The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal) 

The Index of Economic Freedom is a annual index that measures the degree of economic freedom among the world's nations. It considers economic freedom based on the classical liberal principles of free markets, free trade, and individual economic rights. 

IMF Country Information (International Monetary Fund)

The IMF Country Information provides a general overview as well as country specific reports on the state of the economy in every world nation. 

Human Rights 

Amnesty International Annual Report (Amnesty International)

The Amnesty International Annual Report monitors the states of human rights at the national and the global level. They provide in-depth human rights reports on every jurisdiction in the world.

Freedom in the World Annual Report (Freedom House) 

Freedom in the World is Freedom House’s flagship annual report, assessing the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world.

World Annual Report (Human Rights Watch) 

The World Report is an overview of human rights around the globe. 


Good Country Index (The Good Country)

The Good Country Index is simple. It measures what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size. It shows whether a country is a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.

Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics and Peace) 

The Global Peace Index ranks all the world's nations according to their nation's and region's level of peacefulness. 

Political Institutions

Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International)

The Corruption Perception Index scores countries based on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. 

Democracy Index (The Economist Intelligence Unit)

The Democracy Index measures the state of democracy among the world's countries based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

Fragile States Index (The Fund for Peace) 

The Fragile States Index accesses states' vulnerability to conflict or collapse. It was formerly known as the Failed States Index.

Ibrahim Index of African Governance Annual Report (Mo Ibrahim Foundation)

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance measures country performance in delivering governance across four key components: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

Rule of Law Index (World Justice Project) 

The Rule of Law Index measures how the rule of law is experienced and perceived by the general public across the globe. 

Press and Speech

Freedom on the Net Annual Report (Freedom House) 

Freedom on the Net is a new project which measures the level of freedom on the internet based on obstacles to access, limitations of content, and violations on users' rights. 

Freedom of the Press Annual Report (Freedom House)

Freedom of the Press is an annual report on media independence around the world, assesses the degree of print, broadcast, and digital media freedom in 199 countries and territories. 

World Press Freedom Index (Reporters Without Borders)

The World Press Freedom Index evaluates the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations, and netizens have in each country, and the efforts made by authorities to respect this freedom. 

United Nations Documents

UN Documentation Research Guide (United Nations Library) 

UN Documentation Research Guide by the UN Library provides key GA resolutions that established some of the most important concepts, documents, offices, and bodies of the UN. Search by subject, UN body, and much more. 


Annual Reports of the Human Rights Council (Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights)

Charter of the United Nations (United Nations) 


Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations)

General Assembly Resolutions (General Assembly)


Security Council Resolutions (Security Council)

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