Guide to a perfect debate

Participating in a MUN debate can be a bit tricky at first, and the Remun Organization Team wants every participant to feel at ease on D-Day. Under the Tips & Tricks section, we have shared some tips on how to debate perfectly, how to write clauses, and much more.

As scary as it may sound, a MUN conference is in reality not much more than a simple debate over a particular topic. Delegates are asked to follow certain procedures and a particular language is adopted to fully create a United Nations atmosphere. Keeping these particularities in mind and armed with a bit of knowledge over the topic in discussion, debating in favor of your country's point of view is a piece of cake!

Vocabulary

Throughout a MUN, a special language is adopted by the delegates and chairs, corresponding to some of the vocabulary found in real United Nations sessions. You can find a comprehensive list of words, motions and points used here: [...].

A couple of important words to remember:

  • Delegate/Delegation: The participant/Group of participants representing a country. Note: Personal pronouns (I, we, you) are not allowed. The speaker must refer to themselves as a delegate or delegation.
        • Example: I do not agree with you. The delegate of South Korea does not agree with the delegation of Nigeria.
  • The floor: Area from which delegates deliver their speeches. In Remun, the stage of the amphitheater.
        • The delegation of France may take the floor.
  • Point of information: A question that is asked by a delegate after a speech is delivered.
        • Is the delegation open to any points of information?
  • Clause: This is the text that will be entertained (debated) by the delegates during formal debate. Different delegations must submit these texts to the chairs before or during a debate. Before this, however, the submitter needs to ask fellow delegates to sign their clause; This is as simple as writing their country's name on a list of signatures, but remains an essential step, as a certain number of signatures are required before being able to submit a clause.

The flow of a formal debate

The Debate

Two types of debates exist: An informal debate and a formal debate.

Informal debate

Also known as unmoderated caucus or most commonly lobbying, this is the part of a MUN in which delegates are able to move around freely and socialize with fellow countries. With this freedom, this is the delegate's chance to get as many signatures to their clauses.

Formal debate

During formal debate, delegates are asked to stay seated in their seats. The chair moderates the discussion, and decides what happens. To speak, delegates must raise their placards when there is the opportunity to do so, and wait for their turn.

Following the speech of the clause's submitter, the debate is divided into two parts:

Open debate: During this time, a clause is entertained. Delegates take the floor to speak in favor or against it. In addition, amendments are in order, meaning that delegates may send a request to modify the clause.

Voting procedure: This moment, lasting only a couple of minutes, determines the passing or not of an amendment or the clause itself.