Cleveland Council on World Affairs Model United Nations Program Advisor Manual table of contents

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Cleveland Council on World Affairs

Model United Nations Program

Advisor Manual

1. Helping Students Prepare for Model UN

  1. First Steps 1

  2. Preparation 3

  3. Practice 5

2. Position Papers

  1. Position Paper Guidelines 7

  2. Sample Position Paper 8

3. Parliamentary Procedure

  1. Rules of Parliamentary Procedure 9

  2. Explanation of Rules 15

  3. Points and Motions: Short-Form Chart 17

4. Resolutions

  1. Resolution and Amendment Writing 19

  2. Sample Resolution 21

  3. Formal Voting Procedure 22

5. Explanation of Scoring 23


Even before the end of World War II and even before the United Nations had officially been established (October 24th, 1945), sixteen Cleveland area schools met at CWRU to plan the world that would emerge at the end of the worst conflict the world had ever known. This simulation was the first of over sixty years of simulations sponsored by the Cleveland Council of World Affairs. CCWA is proud to continue this tradition in a world ever more needful of the peaceful resolution of global affairs.
First Steps
1. Overview - Before meeting with students, the Model UN advisor may wish to visit the Cleveland Council Model UN website and read through the other sections of this manual. If there are any questions, the advisor can call the CCWA Education Center for help. . Exploring the United Nations website itself might also be useful.
CCWA Website:

United Nations Website:

2. Meet with Students - Whether your students are new to Model UN or experienced delegates, it is important to get a count of who will participate in the next upcoming simulation. The first CCWA high school simulation is in the fall term so an organizational meeting should be held as soon as possible after the beginning of the school year. Know the registration deadlines!
The first step is to create a Model United Nations team. Your school might already have a pre-existing team or club. If not, you should begin recruiting students at once. You can put out a school-wide announcement or publicize the opportunity to groups with a common interest, such as international affairs clubs, law or government clubs, and debate teams. Please note, the more students involved, the better the experience will be for everyone involved.
It is important that students be ready to make a commitment to participate and to follow through with this commitment to attend the conference and to be prepared. Students may be asked to sign a sheet indicating their intent to participate, their willingness to find someone to replace them should an emergency develop, and their understanding that they will still be billed for the conference fee should they not attend. A parent signature may also be required at this time. Students might be given a week or so to decide whether to participate. It's important that students fulfill their commitments because it can be very uncomfortable for a partner if one half of the partnership cancels. Early sign ups also enable students to make sure there are no conflicting scheduling demands and to talk to each of their teachers about making up work which will be missed.
Mostly, students work in partnerships; therefore, the advisor needs to determine how the partnerships will be formed. Should students be allowed to request who their partner will be? Should a group of student leaders decide? The advisor? In general, allowing students to request partners and assigning those who make no request works well, especially if a few older students help with the assignment. You may have delegations of only one student, but you may not have any delegations of more than two students.
3. Sign Up for Countries - The next step is to choose the countries the students will represent. You will need to choose a combination of countries whose committee memberships will equal the number of delegations your school will send to the simulation. The country matrix (a listing of countries and which committees they sit on) is available on our website so you can choose your countries based on that information. Registration policies include the following:

CCWAMUN Registration Policies:

a. A registration form must be submitted. It is available on our website (

b. All students must be registered.
c. Fees must be paid for all students registered.

Please mail the check to the following address:

Global Youth Programs Officer

Cleveland Council on World Affairs

812 Huron Rd. Suite 620

Cleveland, Ohio 44115


d. Students must sign the Code of Conduct/Photo Release form (available on our website) and bring these to the first day of the conference.

You may only sign up for only one of the countries which are permanent members of the Security Council: US, UK, Russia, China, and France. Committee delegates representing these five countries should be chosen from your most experienced MUN students. It doesn't really matter too much, however, which countries are chosen, for any of the countries will provide students with the opportunity to participate equally in the deliberations of the committees.
4. Taking Care of Details – Early registration is advised to assure the best selection of countries. Students may also wish to write for information to the embassy of their country and will need sufficient lead time. Handling other tasks associated with the simulation and helping students to prepare for absences from class will result in a better experience for both students and advisors. Publishing a field trip form for teachers whose classes will be missed well in advance of the date may be helpful. Sometimes explaining to your faculty what Model UN is and what students can gain from the experience can encourage faculty and administrative support. Student leaders might even speak briefly at a faculty meeting about the value of the activity. Arranging transportation to the conference is vital. Signing up for computer time during the day or after school may also help students to do research and writing.
5. Learning about the United Nations and Model United Nations - Do not assume that students know about the United Nations and its activities or about what to expect at a Model United Nations simulation. It might be good for students to do some research about the UN and its committees and structures before they start researching their specific countries and delegations. The UN website is a very useful resource, and it will continue to be useful once students start their research.
It may also be useful for students to find out a little more about Model United Nations, and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.

6. Finding out about the Country- Each delegation is required to complete a Country Profile (a blank copy of which is included in this manual) which will be submitted to CCWA along with a Position Paper (guidelines and a sample of this are also included later in this packet) for each of the topics the delegation’s committee will consider. Thus, each delegation will complete one country profile and two position papers. Beginning with the country profile makes sense. The best place to get the information for this Profile is at the following website:

The CIA Factbook isn’t the only source for good information about countries and their policies. The Cleveland Public Library, recognized as one of the best libraries in the nation, is another wonderful source because the Cleveland Public Library has been designated the United Nations Depository for the state of Ohio. This means the Library is responsible for receiving and maintaining the documents of the core United Nations bodies. The Library's collection of UN documents dates from 1946, and is located in the Social Sciences Department.
The library has a variety of databases, websites, and documents pertaining to the countries and activities involved with the United Nations. AccessUN, a data base, allows searches by subject, keyword, document type and date. You can also access this data base from home and from other branches of the CPL system, not just downtown. All you need is a library card!
Writing to the embassy or the consulate of the country students are representing is also a good idea. Frequently if you tell them what issues your committee is representing, they will send you actual speeches or policy positions for your country. They will usually be quite happy to send you all kinds of information about the country in general. After all their goal is to represent their country well and to present it in the best possible light.
Delegates should start a file of news clippings that relate to the current state of their nation and its relationship to the rest of the world.
7. Learning about the Issues – There is no substitute for knowing about current affairs, but many high school students are not well informed. Getting ready for Model UN offers an opportunity for the teacher to encourage regular listening to NPR (90.3 on the Cleveland radio dial), and read news magazines like The Economist. If your school subscribes to a service like Electric Library, your students will be able to find many articles on their topic which are from very reputable sources. You may, however, want to begin the research process by discussing with students the problems of bias, oversimplification, or partisanship they may find. Other good news sources include the Washington Post, New York Times, Independent, as well as something like World Press Review, a weekly newsmagazine, reprints articles from all over the world and can often provide a useful non-Western perspective. With the Internet, it is now very easy to check the news from papers and magazines which were very hard to access even ten years ago.
A very useful source is UN Wire, a kind of newsletter which is sent out daily by the UN Foundation, founded by Ted Turner of CNN fame. What UN Wire does is to provide short summaries and links to the stories in the world’s major papers which pertain to the work of the United Nations and the issues it addresses. The subscription is free for everyone. Students would do well to sign up as one of their first research activities.
Knowing the country’s position on the issue which will be under discussion at the conference is sometimes difficult for students. In fact, it is often difficult to find out what a country thinks about a particular topic. You will have students asking you what their country’s position is on nuclear waste, for example. And you need to explain that articles explaining this don’t exist. Usually students must figure it out from what they do know about the country. Some important determinants include the following:

Is the country a donor or a creditor?

Is it rich or poor?

How do most people earn their living?

Who are the country’s most important trading partners?

Does it need special protection for its exports?

Who are the country’s enemies?

Answering these and other questions should enable your students to at least determine the limits within which the country policy can be made. The United States, for example, would be unlikely to accept resolutions or policies limiting free trade. Israel isn’t going to be joining too many blocs calling for condemning the United States for its intervention in Afghanistan or Iraq. Probably most every country is going to be in favor of helping refugees – but the details on where they should go and who should pay may be somewhat different. Discovering what a country’s position on an issue is comes from compiling facts.

8. Writing the Position Papers - Each delegation is required to a write a position paper for each of their topics, which will include a profile on the student's country, background of the topic, and their country's current policy on the topic. So as a general guideline, the first paragraph of the paper should indicate the desired program or solution of the delegation and the reasons why that solution is preferred by the particular state that is being represented. Reasons may be those of geography, economic means, politics, or perhaps even historical experience. The second paragraph of the paper would give some history of the issue and previous actions on the issue, perhaps evaluating the success or failure of those actions. Finally, the third paragraph would detail alternatives and the country’s current policy. A quotation from a country’s policy makers on the issue might be appropriate here.
A good position paper should be approximately one typewritten page, single spaced, but it can go over to another page, particularly for a complex issue. It’s important for students to follow the model or sample for how to include the information at the top of the paper. As the sponsor, you will want to emphasize the necessity of presenting the names of themselves and their committee, as well as the issue in the correct form. A list of the position paper guidelines is included on the following page, and after that there is a sample position paper so you can help your students do their best.
9. Public Speaking - Delegates should be comfortable speaking in front of people; they will need to do so during the conference in order to make proposals and voice their country's opinion. Often delegates will have little to no time to prepare their speeches and should be able to respond spontaneously to remarks made or questions asked by others. New delegates should be taught about the format of debate that the United Nations uses. Familiarity with this technique can make the conference flow much smoother and focus more on achieving solutions rather than on procedural matters. The students should also practice giving both prepared and impromptu speeches before attending the conference. Students need to become comfortable making spontaneous or near-spontaneous speeches in front of large groups; therefore, the practice sessions do not have to be formal or MUN-related. One possibility is to have impromptu speaking contests with all your school's delegates. Have a student go in front of the classroom, give him or her a topic (preferably an amusing one that will be difficult to think and talk coherently about), give the student one minute to consider, then have him or her give a speech on the topic for around a minute and a half. Later, you can increase the amount of speaking time and decrease the amount of preparation time as students improve.
10. Parliamentary Procedure – Parliamentary procedure sounds more complicated than it really is. The rules are outlined in the delegate manual, and additionally, a sample dialogue of how a session should flow can be found in the chair manual (both packets are available on our website). The committee chairs are well versed in the procedure and realize they need to be patient and helpful with new delegates. Students pick up parliamentary procedure quickly as they participate in the deliberations of the committee. There are two factors you may want to emphasize. First, the student will choose to “yield” his/her time at the end of each speech either to the chair, to another speaker, or to questions. Secondly, the students can capitalize on other opportunities to speak– by asking questions, by seeking yields from other speakers, and by making sure they are constantly signing up for the speaker’s list as soon as they have completed each speech.
11. Talking about Negotiation Skills - Each country has its own policy that is most likely going to conflict with other countries' policies on the same issue. A major challenge for each delegation is to find a way to either join or form a bloc of countries with similar policies and support a resolution that best correlates with their country's policy. Delegates will have to strike a balance between their attempts to pass a resolution and their attempts to not make compromises that would go against the wishes of their government. On one hand, delegates want any resolution passed to benefit their country as much as possible but will most likely need to make certain concessions in order to ensure that their resolution passes.

Delegates need to be encouraged to be involved completely during every moment of the conference. When they arrive, they should introduce themselves to other delegates before the conference begins. During negotiations, informal debate and caucusing, they will meet with other delegates and listen to those delegate’s concerns as well as expressing their own. Willingness to write up ideas may also aid in developing a leadership position.

Most of all, it’s important to communicate that Model United Nations can be fun as well as being educational. Though it might be sometimes frustrating, the rewards in knowledge gained, skills practiced, and new friends met are really worthwhile.

A position paper is information outlining each delegation's policies on the topics being discussed in their specific committee. The position paper helps the delegates organize their ideas and share their foreign policy with the rest of the committee. Position papers are typically one page in length for each topic, and contain a brief introduction and a comprehensive breakdown on a country's position.

Each delegation in each committee (regardless of the number of delegates: 1 or 2) will prepare a country profile and two position papers –one for each committee topic.

What the paper should include:

The position paper should include a brief introduction and a comprehensive breakdown of the country's position on the topics that are being discussed within the committee. An excellent position paper must include:

  • A clear statement of policy on each topic;

  • The country's background on the topic;

    • Political and/or foreign policy

    • Action taken by the specific government in relation to the topic

    • Conventions, and resolutions that the country has approved

    • Quotes taken from speeches made by heads of government

  • The type of resolution the country hopes to accomplish.

Use the outline below as a suggestion for how to write the position paper, but not as a roadmap:

  1. Country Policy

    1. Summarize political and/or foreign policy concerning the topic

    2. Mention past actions the nation has taken to address the topic

    3. Include short excerpts of speeches by heads of government and ministers

  1. Solutions

    1. Propose solutions for the future

    2. Explain information/language the nation requires for any resolution to pass

    3. Conclude with a brief policy statement about the topic

Submitted by: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Committee: DISEC

Topic A: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space

Delegate: [Excised]

The simultaneous research into both space exploration and nuclear weaponry during the Cold War by the United States and Soviet Union has led to an advanced understanding of outer space as well as a real threat of nuclear warfare. These two technological achievements have merged into a theoretical “Star Wars” type scenario. With our current and upcoming technological developments, it is conceivable that one nation could launch a weapon of mass destruction, nuclear or otherwise, into outer space. By positioning weaponry in the upper atmosphere, nations can gain a strategic advantage over their enemies. Due to this concern the United Nations has passed numerous resolutions generally condemning the expansion of weapons systems into outer space, and it, with the assistance of other nations, has developed a number of treaties limiting and/or prohibiting the expansion of nuclear weapons technology, in particular the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. In addition, the United States and Soviet Union agreed to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972. However, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the treat in 2001 so that it might advance its missile defense program. Furthermore, the United States has either withdrawn from or refused to agree to a number of treaties. Such actions have raised tension, particularly because the United States is widely seen as having a monopoly on outer space.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is committed to peaceful use of outer space. However, the DPRK has a responsibility to the Korean people to defend them against the dangerous or oppressive actions of foreign governments. The DPRK will use space-related technological achievements for the purposes of defending its people but will never exploit this technology in order to slaughter innocent lives. Rather, the DPRK will seek to develop defensive military systems. It has become necessary to develop such a system because of the persistent and growing threat from the United States which has not only withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty but has labeled the DPRK a rogue state and part of the “axis of evil.” This is intolerable, and the DPRK will not allow itself to be oppressed by the military power of the United States. The DPRK is furthermore committed to the restoration of a single Korean nation and the relieving of the imperialistic oppression of its brethren in the South. The DPRK will seek to achieve this goal by peaceful means but will not allow the West, particularly the United States, to exploit the Republic of Korea for their own benefit. The DPRK does not believe this policy should be exclusive to itself, but recognizes the right of all nations to self-defense. Finally, the DPRK recognizes the concerns of other nations with regards to its programs. Therefore, it is fully willing to negotiate bilaterally with the United States regarding all weapons programs, including space-related activities. However, the United States has refused such negotiations and has, instead, attempted to intimidate the DPRK by approaching its allies.
The DPRK encourages the United Nations to intervene in the present situation with the United States and recognize the need for bilateral negotiations between the DPRK and United States. The DPRK recommends that the UN address this concern at its source and eliminate the threat faced by nations such as the DPRK. If the UN helps to put an end to oppressive imperial regimes, nations will have no reason to make the costly investment in space-based defense programs. Resolutions must discourage space-based military programs, but recognize them as a necessity in some situations. The DPRK is committed to peace, recognizes the necessity of self-defense, and is willing to cooperate the international community regarding the military applications of outer space.

Rules of Parliamentary Procedure

Adapted from the Lake Erie International Model United Nations corporation (LEIMUN)
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