Planning for your MUNA Debates

The following suggestions will help you to prepare for successful participation in MUNA.

Attend a workshop.

The MUNA Committee holds workshops for students (delegates) who have been nominated to participate in MUNA. Due to the size of our region there are 2 held, one in east and one in west Gippsland. All delegates are expected to attend one workshop of their choice (feel free to attend both).

Counsellors and other interested teachers and parents, as well as Rotarians are also invited to attend.

Our twin aims are:

  • To promote a high standard of presentation and debate at MUNA through appreciation and understanding of the background and intent of each resolution, and

  • To enhance the representation by the delegates of their country’s position on each issue.

Each resolution will be analysed in turn, to clarify the issues and the recommendations, and their possible impact. Delegates will be encouraged to
identify workable solutions consistent with their own country’s position. A particular focus will be on practical measures that could improve the
chances of the aims and objectives of the Assembly’s recommendations being achieved, and not simply on passing the resolution.

Get to Know your Country Profile: Geography and History.

There are four main areas of a country that you should research:

  1. Physical Geography (“defined territory”)

  2. Cultural Geography (“permanent population”)

  3. Political Geography (“government”)

  4. Economic Geography (“capacity to enter into relations with the other states” e.g. trade)

Geography represents different features about a country today, but delegates should also learn how those features have changed over time and why. In addition to country geography, delegates should study a country’s history. This combination of geography and history amounts to a country profile.

To help students explore their country, have prepared this handout. It features 20 frequently asked questions about country geography. It also has directions for preparing a brief presentation about their country. This handout can be used to help practice their research skills, as well as public speaking. The text from the handout is below so you could also Copy & Paste the text.

Country Profile Activity

Part I. Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.

Physical Geography

  • 1. What is your country’s official name?

  • 2. What region of the world is your country located in?

  • 3. How big is your country in square miles?

  • 4. Who are your country’s neighbors?

  • 5. How would you describe your country’s physical features and climate?

Cultural Geography

  • 6. How many people live in your country?

  • 7. What is your country’s ethnic composition?

  • 8. What is your country’s official language? What other languages are spoken in your country?

  • 9. What is your country’s capital? What are some of its major cities?

  • 10. How would you describe the quality of life for the average person living in your country?

Political Geography

  • 11. When was your country founded?

  • 12. What type of government does your country have?

  • 13. Who are some of your country’s leaders?

  • 14. How many people serve in your country’s military?

  • 15. Who are your country’s allies? Who are your country’s enemies?

Economic Geography

  • 16. What is your country’s total gross domestic product (GDP)?

  • 17. What are some of your country’s natural resources?

  • 18. What is your country’s currency?

  • 19. What are your country’s major exports and imports?

  • 20. Who are your country’s biggest trading partners?

Part II. Prepare a brief presentation that answers the following the questions.

  1. How do you say “Hello!” in the official language of your country?

  2. Briefly describe the history of your country.

  3. Name one major difference between this country and Australia.

  4. What is one important problem facing your country?

Know all you can about the country your delegation represents so you can debate the resolutions with facts and skill.

In addition to resources available from your school, public library, internet etc. contact your country's local Consul, or their Embassy in Canberra. It may be useful to read books (fiction, non-fiction, biographies, etc) by authors who live in your country. They may offer insights into the culture you're learning about. Consulates/Embassies have been known to go all out to support MUNA Delegates.

Learn about your country's viewpoints on as many of the issues to be discussed at MUNA as you can. There are links to interesting web resources, including the CIA and United Nations below.

Know your allies and your opponents.

In order to properly represent your country during MUNA you will need to interact with delegates from other countries. Knowing their positions on your topic helps you to predict their arguments during debate.

This will be very useful in helping you decide in advance where it might be useful to seek cooperation or compromise. Be familiar with current statistical data on your topic and your country. The MS-Word document Planning-Tool-for-Resolutions.doc will help your delegation plan for each resolution.

Understand the Assembly Procedures

Review the Rules and Procedures for MUNA. These rules are intended to allow each country to accomplish it's individual goals in speaking about their policies while maximising opportunities for the group to reach agreement or consensus on each issue. Our Rules of Debate are derived from those used by the UN and reflect UN protocol and procedure.

The Assembly Rules exist to give attendees boundaries and to assist in the smooth running of the weekend.

Some information stays the same year to year, but each year the Program, Delegation List, Bloc Country List and any other useful information is posted on a page for that year

Get the most out of the MUNA weekend - Be prepared!