CIMUN XVI Delegate Preparation Guide

Is this your first Model United Nations Conference? Are you nervous about the unique nature of CIMUN? Want to brush up on your skills? Here are some of the frequently misconstrued topics surrounding CIMUN.

CIMUN Philosophy

CIMUN highlights an immersive, realistic, and professional experience to delegates during their weekend at the beautiful Hilton in Chicago. CIMUN wants delegates to accurately portray their country based on what would happen in the real world through avenues such as cross-committee debate, unique media opportunities, and interactions with our home government.

Awards Criteria

Each country has its own way of applying all of these policies. You wouldn’t expect Switzerland to use the same rhetoric as China, which should be visible during committee.

Dais staff will be monitoring the representational accuracy of delegates. This includes rhetoric in speeches, documents, caucusing, and bloc formation.

The ability of delegates to relay their country's policy in the correct terms, as well as the manipulation of dialogue to persuade other delegates towards their position.

The ability of a delegation to develop substantive documents (e.g. working papers, resolutions, amendments) with the proper structure, grammar, skill, and context.

The ability to manipulate the rules of procedure and institutional legality to the advantage of your country and its policies.

The ability to work across committee lines to create political leverage, using the press as part of public policy, etc.

Understanding Your Position

The first step that all delegates should take is to read the background guides provided on the CIMUN website. These are carefully crafted by our staff to provide key knowledge on the issues and narrow the topic so that delegates can research the correct information. Next, especially for General Assembly committees and any U.N. bodies, the most research should be done on the U.N. website. Once there, delegates can find former U.N. resolutions, public statements, and information such as funding, participation, etc. Delegates in cabinets should research their position before researching the person they are representing. Once you have a clear understanding of what powers the position has (such as the minister of the interior), it is then important to understand how the person who holds that position uses their power. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State certainly had different policy agendas than Mike Pompeo currently does, and it is important to know the distinctions.

CIMUN heavily weighs accuracy of policy when deciding awards; therefore, it is important to understand your position and portray it accurately. If your country is actively engaged in the topic, such as the United States talking about drone strikes, then the Chair expects that delegate to use strong rhetoric and a strong, biased resolution while in committee. However, if your country is Hungary and you are discussing drone strikes, you should identify your allies’ policies and craft policy with tame rhetoric while in committee. Although you may not be able to be aggressive with your rhetoric, you can take the role of a mediator and bring both parties to a compromise, which the Chairs are trained to notice and award points for. Essentially, do not compromise accuracy of policy just to attempt to stand out to the Chair.

White vs. Black Position Papers

A white paper is an official statement of policy from a national government, similar to a national press release. It is intended to be a public statement, and will often include political rhetoric and posturing. A good white paper will attempt to "spin" your country's position on controversial topics to defray any criticism. Submitted white papers will be available for all other delegations to read online.

1 page, single-spaced per topic

White papers are similar to position papers delegates would write at other conferences. It should outline your country’s public policies on the topic, and address how your country has dealt with, and will continue to deal with the topic in the future. You should write this paper knowing that other countries will be able to read it. Don’t give away your true intentions; save that for the black paper! Cabinet positions do not need to write a white position paper.

A black paper is a confidential, internal document that discusses a country's strategic interests for a particular topic, which may differ significantly from what your government discusses openly. Whereas the white paper is a public statement, the black paper can be compared to a confidential policy memo for your diplomatic corps. A good black paper will demonstrate a sound understanding of your country's internal motives behind a policy decision. Black papers will only be viewed by the CIMUN staff and will not be accessible by other delegates.

1 page, single-spaced (all topics)

A successful black paper should articulate a political victory for your nation/ cabinet. You must ask yourself what constitutes a political victory. A successful black paper will also take a firm stance. In your black paper, you must let your government know your stance on the issues that face your committee. Remember that this paper is meant for your government.  It may be seen by head delegates and possibly more.

UN Ambassadors (Formerly Head Delegates)

U.N. Ambassadors serve as the on-the-ground managers of a country’s policy. They should be thinking about developing a strategy across committees and stay informed on policy decisions in cabinets. They are also tasked with assisting delegates in other committees to represent their national interests. As the expert on national policy, U.N. Ambassadors may receive directives from Home Government, which empower delegates to achieve a political victory.

It is preferable for U.N. Ambassadors to serve in a U.N. Committee. When a country is represented by a cabinet, there will be a Foreign Minister who communicates directly with the Head of State. U.N. Ambassadors cannot serve in the cabinet for their country. The U.N. Ambassador will be in contact with the home government. There will be seperate U.N. Ambassadors for the Present Day and Historical cabinets.

Foreign Ministers are allowed to enter any committee that is represented by their country. To do so, they should inform the Head of State before departing.

How to Access CIMUN Media & Utilize the Press

Delegates, advisers, and parents can keep up with conference developments through CIMUN News Network (CNN) broadcast programming; The CIMUN Chronicle, a digital newspaper featuring stories written by the International Press Delegation (IPD); and the IPD and CIMUN social media accounts:

At CIMUN, IPD delegates are assigned a publication (e.g., Chicago Tribune)—to write columns that mimic their publications’ editorial views—and a beat (e.g., Global Health/Ebola and Zika). In news jargon, a beat is a topic or region a journalist is assigned to cover. For beats, IPD delegates will identify relevant committees and delegate sources, and produce news stories. Although IPD delegates are not limited to their beats, the purpose of the assignment is to produce comprehensive coverage of the conference.

IPD delegates are allowed to move around the hotel and visit various committees throughout the conference, similar to ambassadors. However, IPD delegates are not allowed to enter cabinets unless instructed to do so by a CIMUN staffer. Delegates’ credentials, which must be worn at all times, will indicate if a delegate is a member of the IPD. IPD delegates are encouraged to use unmoderated caucuses to converse with committee delegates or politely take conversations to the hallway. Committee delegates are encouraged to use interviews with IPD delegates to advance their nations’ agendas. Coverage in CIMUN’s digital newspaper can bolster support for a draft resolution, enable delegates to publicly respond to actions by other delegates, or help pressure fellow committee members to adopt certain positions or shift debate topics. Committees may vote to hold a “closed session” where non-members, including IPD delegates, are cleared out of the room.

To enable cabinet delegates to interact with the IPD, all IPD delegates will be gathered for a press conference near the end of each committee session. A representative from each cabinet will have a limited period of time to deliver a statement to the press. Following those statements, the representatives will take a limited number of questions, then everyone present will be able to speak freely in a “gaggle” setting.  It is vital that cabinet representatives are able to confidently answer IPD delegates’ questions and determine what information can be shared versus what must be kept secret. The press conferences may be treated as an opportunity to manipulate the press—through lies or misdirection—but such behavior can also provoke greater scrutiny and interest. IPD delegates often quickly detect dishonesty, and providing false information during press conferences or interviews can lead to distrust as well as negative or reduced coverage.

United Nations General Assembly

The 2019 General Assembly at CIMUN is different from any GA committee at a different conference. We have adopted the real United Nations style of breaking up the General Assembly into the separate subcommittees, and then joining together in plenary session during several points throughout the weekend.

During the first committee session, delegates will be in plenary, but will be in their separate subcommittees to engage in substantive debate for the next 2 days. During these subcommittee sessions, delegates are expected to debate and write resolutions that will then be discussed and voted on in plenary session with the entire General Assembly present. With so many countries in one committee, it is important to stand out to the Chair in both sessions. There will be awards given in both the subcommittee and the plenary.