SOME MUNA DOs AND DONTs
The Model United Nations Assembly is a learning simulation designed to approximate the UN General Assembly in its structure and proceedings, conditioned, of course, by local limitations. It is, if you will, a production in which delegates, counsellors, and table officers (Assembly President, Secretary General, deputies, committee chairs) are actors.
The success of a production depends entirely on how closely the actors follow the script and act out what it says. The MUNA script is rooted in the assumption that delegates and counsellors are not what their names and addresses suggest; they are ambassadors of the countries they represent. Like real life ambassadors, they are sworn to represent their country, its government, and its policies. They are required to act, while participating in the proceedings of the assembly and /or committees, with dignity, decorum, and within the written and un-written UN protocols of behavior and conduct.
To conform to the above scenario, and to provide a meaningful MUNA experience, the script prescribes the following.
* Delegates and Counsellors must at all times observe the dress code while participating in the proceedings of the Assembly and its committees.
* When addressing the Assembly, a speaker should address only the presiding officer as Mr. or Madam President, as the case may be, and nobody else; not fellow delegates, not the secretary general, not the deputies, and most certainly not the audience.
* In committee meetings, delegates should address the presiding officer as Madam Chair or Mr. Chair, as the case may be, and no one else.
* When making a presentation to the Assembly, or in committee meetings, delegates speak on behalf of the government of the country they represent. It is customary, therefore, to make statements with reference to the country’s government such as “my government believes”, “my government thinks”, or “my government will do this and such” rather with reference to oneself such as I, Me, or We.
* The protocol in the UN General Assembly is for only one country delegate at a time to approach the podium to address the Assembly. To give both MUNA delegates in a delegation the opportunity to participate in the debates, they may take turns or alternate. The UN General Assembly does not hear a relay presentation.
* In committee meetings, delegates should address only the presiding officer as Madam Chair or Mr. Chair, as the case may be, and no one else.
* When casting a voice vote in the assembly or committee meetings, it is customary to say YES or NO or ABSTAIN. Embellishments of any kind whatsoever are unnecessary and considered un-parliamentary and rude.
* A counsellor is like a non-participating head of delegation. As such, he/she is expected to ensure that members of the delegation observe the rules and protocols of the MUNA script. The performance of a delegation also reflects on the head of the delegation; its counsellor.
* No food or drink is permitted in the Assembly hall or committee meeting rooms except water in the water bottles supplies by MUNA at the time of registration. Lap tops and Tablets are permitted but no cell phones as these could disrupt the proceedings. Please turn off the cell phones if you carry one and step out of the meeting if you wish to use it!
Have a great MUNA experience!