I'm participating in a Model UN (MUN) conference. How can I research a country's position on a particular topic?
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Model United Nations (MUN) participants usually play the role of a representative of a UN Member State in a debate on a topic or agenda item in a UN body. They may take part in a mock debate in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) or in another body, such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
In order to prepare for the debate, participants research the position of their member state on various topics.
One strategy to search for a member state's position is to search for documents or statements in the UN Digital Library. The following sample search strategy will find letters, statements, and draft resolutions sponsored by the member state.
- search: author:"MEMBER STATE" AND topic
- example: author:"United Kingdom" AND (climate OR environment)
- example: author:Thailand AND (wom*n OR gender)
Another way to research a member state's position is to look at their voting on a topic. The UN Digital Library has voting data for resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council. Select Voting Data from the main search page, enter keywords, then review results to find a country's vote.
- search in Voting Data: keyword
- example: nuclear
- example: migra* (will search for migrant, migrants, migration, migratory, etc.)
- member states may not express explicit positions on all topics or agenda items before the UN
- try a variety of keywords for your topic-- sometimes UN documents use unusual vocabulary or UN jargon
- many resolutions are adopted without vote in the General Assembly
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.