Tips for Preparation

In preparation for an incredible time at conference this year, please read the Guide to Delegate Preparation that the HMUN India Team has thoughtfully prepared so that you can excel at conference. If you have questions about position papers, take a look at our Guide to Position Papers.

Like any activity or sport, Model UN takes practice and skill. We hope that you will have the opportunity to improve your Model UN skills both before and during your committee at HMUN India. If this is your first conference, not to worry! Many of our delegates are first timers to Model UN and this webpage and your background guide are your first resources to build the skills necessary to prepare and debate effectively. During conference, you will have the opportunity to take part in specialized delegate trainings based on your skill. During committee, your committee director is trained to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask any of the committee dais staff or Secretariat about any questions about procedure, your topic area, or about Harvard life. Committee director e-mails are listed on the Committees page.

Topic Preparation

Students should spend time researching the topic areas their committees will be considering. Once background guides become available in April, the background guide will provide an extensive background and overview of the topic areas to be discussed. The background guide should be your first stop for committee information as the Director of the committee has compiled, organized, and presented all information that he or she expects the committee to discuss. Take note of the “Questions A Resolution Must Answer,” helpful guiding questions of the committee and questions that are expected to be answered in the final resolution. All of our background guides also include a bibliographic essay as a starting point for additional student research.

Country Preparation

Delegates should learn as much as possible about the country they will be representing – both in general and in relation to the topics they will be discussing. While our background guides include an analysis of bloc positions on topic areas, students should also learn about the specific positions of their respective nations.

General HMUN India Preparation

Students should familiarize themselves with the the Guide to Delegate Preparation, which will be released in the summer. Our training materials help both experienced and first-time delegates learn about the goals, accomplishments, limits, and powers of the UN and the international system.

Thorough preparation is essential to making HMUN India an excellent educational experience. Pre-conference research makes committee more fun and rewarding, as delegates can then immerse themselves in their roles as high-ranking diplomats.

Position Papers

Delegates will be required to submit position papers on their topic areas prior to the conference. General guidance for HMUN India position papers will be listed in the background guide as well as the Guide to Delegate Preparation.

If you are in a GA, ECOSOC or Regional Body, Please write a position paper of 1-2 pages stating how your country or position views the issues at hand in the background guide. Think about what historical perspective your country or position brings, and what that might imply for what you (as a representative of that country or position) will aim to accomplish in committee. Your position paper should be submitted on MUNbase under the file name [committee_position_school]. Please submit as a .doc, .docx., or .pdf. In addition, keep in mind HMUN India's policy against plagiarism. Any delegates with plagiarized position papers will not be considered for awards. If you have questions about your position paper or what constitutes as plagiarism, please email your director. You can also watch our webinar on the topic plagiarism.

NOTE: Specialized Agencies committees will often submit position papers in a different, specialized format from those of the GA, ECOSOC, or Regional Bodies. More information will be available in the delegate preparation guide provided above. The conference-wide position paper deadline is July 25, 2018.

Webinars


HMUN India 2018 is excited to bring to you a month of webinars on the ins and outs of Model UN, presented by our directors. Delegates may log-in to chat with directors live on topics ranging from parliamentary procedure to effective communication, from committee-specific tips to guidelines for effective leadership. The list below will be updated in the weeks that follow, so please check back frequently for the msot recent information! The webinars will be broadcast live HERE according to the schedule below. All times are given in IST.

Topic Director Date Time (IST)
Introduction to Crisis Committees Pedro Farias, HSC Saturday, June 30 6:30 PM
Collaboration & Compromise in Blocs Angie Cui, UNHRC Monday, July 2 5:30 PM
Communicating with the Dias Jayant Gopalan, Cabinet of Pakistan Friday, July 6 6:00 PM
Citing Sources & Avoiding Plagiarism Rosan Bishwakarma, SpecPol Saturday, July 7 2:30 PM
Speech Giving & How to Structure an Argument Cora Neudeck, World Health Organization Wednesday, July 11 8:00 PM
Holistic Judging: Awards Criteria at HMUN India Jenna Wong, USG Committees & CSW Cancelled Thursday, July 12 5:00 PM
Introduction to the Security Council Safa Salem, UNSC Friday, July 13 6:30 PM
Effective leadership in Model United Nations Sunaina Danziger, DISEC Saturday, July 14 9:00 AM
Debate v. Discussion: how to disagree without being disagreeable Adil Bhatia, USG Operations & Arab League Saturday, July 14 5:00 PM
Introduction to the General Assembly Nick Stauffer-Mason, SOCHUM Sunday, July 15 8:00 PM
Effective Research & Preparation for HMUN Selena Zhao, UNDP Tuesday, July 17 5:00 PM
Model United Nations 101 Eliza Ennis, Secretary General Wednesday, July 18 6:00 PM
Introduction to Press Corps Frankie Hill, Press Corps Thursday, July 19 5:00 PM
Working Papers & Draft Resolutions Dylan Parker, Legal Friday, July 20 8:00 PM
Introduction to the ECOSOC Kathryn Kuhar, UNICEF Saturday, July 21 7:00 PM

Delegate Preparation Program: Resolve


HMUN India is bringing back Resolve, our hands-on leadership and Model UN development curriculum. This is an exciting opportunity for delegates to join a community of other talented students who share their enthusiasm for Model UN and foreign relations and learn from conference directors before meeting them in August.

Resolve is offered to a select number of HMUN India delegates who demonstrate their dedication to learning and their passion for improving the skills that matter most in Model UN and the world beyond.

RESOLVE is a tailored leadership and Model UN-skill development program built by the Secretariat of Harvard Model United Nations India. In its second year, this program connects delegates with HMUN India directors, who provide mentorship in the months leading up to conference. Each director works with a group of delegates who will be asked to submit a series of assignments, some of which will require collaboration with other delegates in their group and others of which can be completed individually. To qualify for recognition at the closing ceremonies of HMUN India, delegates must complete all assignments and maintain strong communication with their assigned groups and directors. Directors will provide feedback at the end of each assignment to help each delegate learn from their work.

If you would like to learn more, please refer to the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or email us at info@hmunindia.org.

Applications for RESOLVE 2018 have closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

When must applications be submitted?

Applications must be submitted by 1 May, 2018. Applications for RESOLVE 2018 have closed.

Who is eligible to apply to Resolve?

Resolve is only open to applicants who have already registered for the conference through our online registration system.

How is Resolve different from the HMUN 101 webinar series during the summer?

The HMUN 101 webinar series is a set of live videos available to delegates before conference. These are recorded by the Harvard committee directors and may cover a broad range of topics including rules of procedure, public speaking skills and position papers, for example. This is a great overall introduction to Model UN, and delegates who participate in this will be sufficiently prepared for the conference this summer. More information regarding the webinar series will be released later.

Resolve is a more rigorous program intended to immerse delegates in actually applying many of the skills discussed in thes webinars such as research, negotiation, and debate. As a Resolve participant, you would be assigned a director responsible for offering you personalized advice in a stress-free learning environment. Through Resolve, not only will you be even more prepared for the conference, but you will also have the chance to make lasting friendships and build skills for the world beyond MUN.

If delegates participate in Resolve, should they also participate in the HMUN 101 webinar series?

Resolve is intended to supplement the other resources available to delegates through HMUN India. Although Resolve builds skills we think are important, we encourage delegates to use the webinar series to ensure they are comfortable with all aspects of conference including public speaking and rules of procedure.

What is the approximate time commitment for each assignment?

The time commitment per assignment will vary depending on the size of the group and the strengths of each delegate. However, the assignments will be designed to take no more than 2-3 hours over the course of each two-week period.

How are groups assigned?

The HMUN India staff will assign all group teams. We will strive to ensure that all groups have a broad range of experience levels and interests. These decisions are final, and may only be changed under extenuating circumstances. If you are curently participating in Resolve and have questions regarding your group assignment, please email us at admin@hmunindia.org.

What are the due dates for assignments?

Timeline:

1 May 2018: RESOLVE Applications due

15 May 2018: RESOLVE mentorship groups established

31 May 2018: First Assignment due

14 June 2018: Second Assignment due

28 June 2018: Third Assignment due

12 July 2018: Fourth Assignment due

26 July 2018: Fifth (last) Assignment due

Where do I submit assignments?

Please email all assignments to your assigned director's email (see Committees tab for details) and admin@hmunindia.org.

Conference Structure


At HMUN India 2018, each delegate will partake in a simulation of the United Nations or another international body and gain better insight into the subtleties of international affairs. Each HMUN India committee will address issues of international importance. The wide range of committees provides for topics to suit each student’s interests. HMUN India simulates four types of committees: the UN General Assembly (GA), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Regional Bodies, and Specialized Agencies (SA). In addition, HMUN India offers opportunities for students to participate in the conference as part of the Press Corps.

General Assembly

General Assembly committees deal with a wide variety of issues, ranging from disarmament and security to law, health, and development. The United Nations GA is grounded in the principle of “one nation, one vote,” as all 193 member states and two observers of the United Nations take part in GA discussions. Every nation plays an important role; delegates from the United Kingdom to Botswana negotiate and debate as equals on issues of great global importance. Debate in the GA is spirited, as delegates attempt to balance their responsibilities to their nations, regional blocs, and the committee as a whole. Delegates emerge from a GA committee with a thorough understanding of the promises and pitfalls of international diplomacy. GA committees are resolution-based at HMUN India 2018.

Economic and Social Council and Regional Bodies

The committees of the Economic and Social Council concentrate on providing specific solutions to a wide array of pressing social and economic issues such as human rights protection, criminal justice, economic development, international trade, and more. To achieve this goal, delegates will work with a medium-sized group of their peers. The ECOSOC committees are large enough to foster animated and informed debate, but small enough to guarantee delegates the opportunity for constant substantive involvement, interacting with and challenging each other. The end result for delegates is a comprehensive awareness not only of viable solutions to important global concerns, but also of individual nations’ roles in an ever-changing, increasingly complex world. The Regional Bodies, also mid-sized committees, focus on addressing international issues with a particular focus on one region of the world. Both Regional Bodies and the Economic and Social Council will be resolution-based this year.

Specialized Agencies

Specialized Agencies provide delegates with an opportunity to delve into detailed and often complicated issues in a small-group setting. The SA consists of the world’s most powerful and dynamic bodies in which delegates are forced to confront volatile international conflicts requiring immediate resolution. Well-informed and well-researched delegates who are not only unafraid of speaking and writing extemporaneously, but also thrive on the challenge presented by the most demanding committees the high school circuit has to offer, will find their match in the SA. The fate of the world is in the SA delegates’ hands; whether the globe is shattered or preserved lies squarely on each SA delegate’s shoulders.

Press Corps

The Press Corps will simulate real news organizations by reporting on the proceedings of HMUN India 2018. Using weblogs and multimedia, the Press Corps will cover all committees and other conference-wide events. While maintaining professionalism and journalistic integrity, the press will learn from experience about the challenges of gathering facts, analyzing information, and presenting them in an clear and efficient way. Additionally, Press Corps delegates will engage in a committee simulation to discuss pertinent issues to journalists around the world. All delegates at HMUN India 2018 will be encouraged to follow the Press Corps coverage of the conference on HMUN India's website..

Committee Dynamics


Debate

Every HMUN India committee holds six sessions over the four days of the conference for a total of nineteen hours. Committee sessions are designed to keep the delegates engaged and thinking on their feet. The substantive aspects of the committee are coordinated by a committee director, who also serves as a moderator to guide debate according to formal rules of parliamentary procedure. The delegates usually spend the first committee session setting the agenda by deciding which topic area to discuss first. Delegates then move into a mixture of formal debate and caucus aimed at formulating a resolution that addresses problems relating to the chosen topic areas. Formal debate provides delegates with the opportunity to address the entire committee in order to clarify their positions. During caucus, rules are suspended to allow for informal debate: delegates have the opportunity to share their ideas with other delegates so that ideas begin to coalesce outside of the constraints of parliamentary procedure. In debate, delegates are challenged to reach a consensus within the committee while accurately representing their countries’ policies.

Committee Topics and background guides

Every HMUN India committee director spends a significant period of time researching and compiling an extensive and comprehensive background guide. Background guides are the ideal starting point for delegate research, providing a detailed bibliography of further sources. However, additional, self-directed research is the cornerstone of the delegate experience. Delegates are encouraged and expected to conduct outside research to increase their participation in and enjoyment of committee. Background guides are made available online to students beginning in April. When your school receives its country assignment, you will also receive a brief description of the topics being discussed by each committee.

Working Papers and Resolutions

Working papers are used to collect and circulate delegate ideas. The ideas in a working paper are debated and eventually molded into formal documents written in the style of actual UN resolutions. After formal introduction in committee, resolutions are debated, amended, and voted on by the body. Passed resolutions represent hours of debate, negotiation, and compromise.

While it is satisfying to see the hard work of the committee culminate in a resolution, HMUN India’s philosophy emphasizes the process of negotiation rather than the resolution itself. A committee must not necessarily pass a resolution to be considered a success. HMUN India does not have official sponsors of resolutions and, in order to maximize the incentive for compromise, only one resolution on a given topic area can be passed.