Making a Research Binder or a Delegate Package
Research binders (also known as delegate packages) are optional but highly recommended, especially since many simulations do not allow the use of technology inside the committee.
An organized Research Binder will be your go-to resource during the conference as new terms, previous resolutions and treaties, and possible solutions are mentioned.
These are some things that, according to bestdelegate.com, might be very useful for you to have on your Delegate Package or Research Binder:
From the simulation:
1. Awards Policy.
Rules tell you how committee is going to operate, and what you can and cannot do. They differ for every conference — not just what the rules are, but how they are applied.
2. Rules of Procedure.
Rules tell you how committee is going operate, and what you can and cannot do. They differ for every conference — not just what the rules are, but how they are applied.
From your committee:
3. Your committee’s actual UN website.
The goal of a committee is to pass a resolution, which depends on what a committee can and cannot do. You want to understand your committee’s mandate (why it was created), powers (what it can do), organization (how it fits into the UN and the larger international community), and membership (who’s in it).
4. UN Charter.
If you are in a GA Main or ECOSOC Main committees, then the source of your committee’s power is the UN Charter. If you are in a regional organization like NATO or OAS, then you are still affected by the Charter, particularly Chapter VII on international security and Chapter VIII on regional arrangements.
From your country:
5. CIA Factbook.
Every MUNer go-to source for essential information on their country. You want to know your country’s location, neighbors, population size, type of government, type of economy, trade partners, and the international organizations it’s a part of. Not knowing this information as your country’s representative can be potentially embarrassing.
Information on your country’s history and its recent controversies. There should be articles on your topic, too. Wikipedia might not be edited as rigorously as a print publication, but you are not writing a paper – you’re attending a Model UN conference. Just take note of any potential issues that are listed at the topic of Wikipedia pages, e.g. “This article needs additional citations for verification.”
From your topics:
7. Background Guide.
Either you, another delegate, or your chair will inevitably refer to something written in the committee’s Background Guide during a conference. Also, what your Chair has written about is what he or she will focus on in Committee. Use that knowledge to craft speeches and operative clauses that grab the Chair’s attention.
8. News Articles.
You want to know the latest news on your topics, as well as your own country. The simplest way to do this is to run searches on Yahoo! News and Google News, and print out the headlines. BBC Online also features easy-to-use timelines and profiles on your issues and country. Large publications like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal also have in-depth coverage on their websites.
9. Resolutions, Treaties, and Conventions.
Before you can do anything on the topic, you need to know what’s already been done. You can find past resolutions through the UN documentation center, although it can be difficult to navigate. Once you’ve found the latest resolution, the perambulatory clauses should direct you to other resolutions. Also, the most relevant piece of international law on your topic might not be a past resolution, but instead a treaty or convention.
10. Academic Papers.
These are tough reads and the information is way too dense for Model UN. But they are probably the most insightful and rigorously edited sources you will find online. You can use Google Scholar to find papers. Don’t spend time trying to process a paper the way you would do for a class. Read the abstract and skim the paper for ideas that you can use in committee.
11. Your Ideas.
Include in your binder your position papers, working papers, notes, thoughts, as well as blank lined paper – Don’t rely on a conference to bring enough paper for draft resolutions and note passing. You can do all the research you want, and you can be really fast and efficient at it, but none of that matters until you boil down what you’ve read into ideas that you can explain in your own words.
Coming with a Research Binder to UDEMUN will facilitate a lot the work for you as a delegate, especially since you will be more prepared than the rest, and you will be able to check it any time you want to, in case you want to mention something from a resolution or a news article that you found, if you have any doubt, or if you forgot to say something. It is a very useful source and it definitely gives you an advantage and a head start.
Best Delegate RSS. (2010, September 29). MUN Research Made Easy: 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in their Research Binder. Best Delegate (Resources). Retrieved on June the 8th of the 2014 from http://bestdelegate.com/mun-research-made-easy-15-things-every-delegate-should-have-in-their-research-binder/