The Model United Nations and Model Congress programs are designed to ask for a lot from you. In order to be able to represent the viewpoints of elected officials and of United Nations delegates, you will need to research important policies and positions. But more than just learning how a particular congressman voted on a given bill, or how whether or not Zimbabwe signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, you will need to begin drawing conclusions about future decisions. Are you representing a nation that firmly upholds human rights? Does your state have a stable economy or is it suffering from regional recession? As a Southern conservative, how would you react to the government becoming more internationally isolationist? What if you were a New England liberal?
Preparation for conferences will take some work, but we at IDIA have put together some important resources for you. First and foremost, turn to your committee director for support. These individuals have done extensive researching, resulting in the 20-page topic brief that you have been given. If you are not sure how your assigned role would react to a particular issue, your director can offer some important guidance. Contact the person you are representing. If you are assigned to the role of a senator from Colorado, call the offices of the actual senators from Colorado to try to better understand their positions. UN Missions are valuable resources in representing countries from around the world at a Model United Nations conference.
The IDIA Conference Portal is an important t in your preparation. Once you are registered for an IDIA conference, you will receive login information to this unique and valuable tool. Here, you will find a host of web links relating specifically to the topics that you are addressing. You will have direct access to your committee director and to other students in your committee. Once you have developed your position on a given topic, you will post your position paper in your conference portal so that others can understand your viewpoint. And you can read theirs, too. Before you even arrive at the conference, you can start to talk with your counterparts about their ideas, and you can start finding allies and people to persuade to your cause.
The IDIA Conference Outreach Program is also an opportunity for both you and your school. Conference staff will visit your school and talk with you and your advisor about important topics, such as researching for the conference, writing resolutions, debate tactics, and will answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in meeting with our staff before the conference, have your advisor schedule a convenient time.
Regardless of how you prepare for the conference, it is important that you do so. Students who have put in the necessary work before the conference will have a considerably more rewarding experience when they arrive. No level of preparation can be exhaustive - but the more you do ahead of time, the more you will get out of the program.