Preparing for Conference

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. 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 HMUN. Committee director e-mails are listed on the committees page.

The Guide to Delegate Preparation is a comprehensive resource for you to begin your journey to become an excellent delegate at HMUN 2018. While this Guide to Delegate Preparation will certainly serve you in your achievements at the conference, it is also intended to help you develop a better understanding of the history, structure, and philosophy of our conference. It is written for audience of all experiene levels, whether HMUN will be your first model United Nations simulation or your umpteenth.

Topic Preparation

Students should spend time researching the two topic areas their committees will be considering. Once background guides become available in December, the background guide will provide an extensive background and overview of both 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 Preparation

Students should familiarize themselves with the Guide to Delegate Preparation. 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 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 position paper requirements for HMUN will be listed in the background guide as well as the Guide to Delegate Preparation. Specialized Agencies committees will often submit position papers in a different, specialized format from those of the GA, ECOSOC, or Regional Bodies. Please refer to the Position Paper guidelines listed in each background guide for specific information. The conference-wide position paper deadline is January 16, 2018, uploaded via MUNbase.


The open exchange of ideas plays a crucial role in debate. However, it is important for all delegates to acknowledge clearly when they have relied upon or incorporated the work of others. It is expected that all materials submitted to the committee staff before and during the conference will be the delegates’ own work. Delegates should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources through the proper citation of all quoted and paraphrased material. Delegates who are in any doubt should consult their Faculty Advisor, Director, and/or Under-Secretary-General before the work is prepared or submitted.

More information regarding Harvard's plagiarism policy can be found here: Harvard Plagiarism Policy