Microsoft word - research guide revised.docx

Research your committee: In order to understand what issues your committee is authorized to debate and what ideas it can implement, you should start by researching the background of the committee itself. Knowing the purpose, powers, membership, procedure, and structure of a committee will allow you to best simulate your country within the committee. Consider when and why was your committee founded? What are its established powers? How many members does your committee have and who are they? How does your committee vote? Does your committee have sub-committees or report to a larger U.N body? What is the role of your committee in the entire U.N. organization? Make sure that you understand the UN system, as the measures that certain committees are very strictly regulated. For example, the General Assembly’s resolutions to the Security Council are only recommendations for international action; it cannot mandate such actions itself. The Security Council, however, can enforce its decisions. Research your country: Learning about your country begins with researching general information, like what type of government your country has, its religion, and its economic structure. You should also look at more specific information. Find out about the primary issues affecting present-day society. What about its past? What issues have influenced the status of your country today? Was it a former colony? Has it undergone a political or social revolution? In all your research, keep an eye out to determine what factors hold the greatest influence in shaping your country’s policies on the topic at hand. A thorough understanding of these points will enable you to reason out your country’s stance on any issue that may arise, even if you haven’t explicitly researched it. In addition to reading various country profiles from established think tanks and government agencies, be sure to stay up to date on the current events happening in your country. Research your topic: The first step to researching your topic is to understand the problem. Ask yourself: What are the main facets of the issue? What are the points of debate? Why are those points contentious? Start by researching the issues broadly (even using Wikipedia as jumping off point is fine, as long as you do not then cite it in your position papers), and then proceed to your committee’s website or other general resource. Read news articles, talk to friends and teachers who may be knowledgeable about the issue to learn as much as you can. As a general strategy, look at the bibliographies of various articles that you read; often, they provide precisely the topic-specific information you are looking for. Make sure you start by reading the topic guides on the YMUN website. Your dais staff has worked hard to explain the issue so that you may best be able to understand and debate it. Pay particular attention to the “Questions To Consider” at the end of each topic section and make sure that your research addresses these questions. The “Suggestions for Further Research” and “Citations” sections are also invaluable resources. Once you have an adequate understanding of the problem at hand, begin to brainstorm solutions to the problem. Consider the pros and cons of each. Look at examples of past actions (e.g. U.N. resolutions, government programs, other multilateral actions) and analyze their successes and failures. One very useful source can be the website of your country’s regional body, which in many cases has dealt with the exact same issues but in a more targeted manner. The regional website can even improve your understanding of your country’s own policy, especially in situations when your country seems to be indifferent about an issue. Another source of solutions can be the websites of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although the information they present often supports a very specific policy position, it can be very useful to help you understand how others have proposed solving the problem. Many notable think tanks and NGOs put out reports with policy recommendations to a given problem. These policy recommendations can help Be sure to compare your ideas to your country’s policy to determine a viable course of action that your country would support. Here is where all of your research will coalesce. Given what you know about your country, figure out which policy options it would support, and equally as importantly, which it would explicitly oppose. Look at your country’s voting record in the UN and other bodies. Understand the reasons for your country’s stance to help you convince others to follow suit. Note that not all countries will have an explicit policy for every topic. It is up to you to extrapolate from past actions and draw inferences from your country’s stance on other issues and its relations with other countries. If you have any further questions about research, please contact your dais staff. They would • UN Member States • UN General Assembly • UN Economic and Social Council • UN Security Council • UN Charter  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights • UN Document Center • Your committee’s website  • CIA World Factbook‐world‐factbook/  • State Department Background Notes • Library of Congress Country Profiles • Kidon Media‐Link Foreign Newspapers‐link/index.php  • United Nations Issues Page  • United Nations Mil ennium Development Goals enniumgoals/ • Global Policy Forum • New York Times “Topics” • Economist Topics Index  • The New York Times • BBC • The Times of London • The Wal  Street Journal • Financial Times • The Economist • The Washington Post • Foreign Affairs • Foreign Policy  • Brookings Institute • Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs • Council on Foreign Relations: • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace • Center for Strategic and International Studies • Rand Corporation • International Crisis Group: • Peterson Institute for International Economics www.i • International Institute for Strategic Studies www.i • Heritage Foundation • Cato Institute: • American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research: • Center for American Progress: • United States Institute for Peace: • Atlantic Council   •  Global Policy Forum • International Relations Security Network  • Amnesty International  • Bil  and Melinda Gates Foundation • Human Rights Watch • Ford Foundation • Transparency International • Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA) • Council for a Community of Democracies • Human Rights Watch  • International Committee of the Red Cross 
• Doctors Without Borders 
• United Nations Associations of the United States of America  • United Nations Cyberschoolbus  • Best Delegate 


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