Being a Model UN Permanent Representative

Being a Permanent Representative at Model UN
Speaker at American Model United Nations Conference

This AMUN Accords post provides some tips and tricks for students serving as their country’s Permanent Representative. While this post will include general advice on being a Permanent Representative, it will be most useful for students serving as Permanent Representative at AMUN. In addition to this post, you can find additional information about being a Permanent Representative in Chapter 2 of the AMUN Rules and Procedures handbook.

Try to Avoid Being Assigned to a Committee

Your role as Permanent Representative is one of responsibility to your delegation rather than a specific simulation. Ideally you should be able to be on hand at short notice to help your delegationas needs arise. You can’t do that effectively if you’re supposed to spend all your time in one simulation. It can do the committee a disservice when you can’t be there to contribute to the debate. It absolutely does do your team a disservice if you’re not available to help them when you’re needed. If you have to be part of a simulation, don’t do a security council simulation and do make sure to have a partner that can stand on their own. If Committee action is what you’re really craving, don’t worry., The Permanent Representative usually takes lead on either the Combined General Assembly Plenary or the ECOSOC Plenary sessions on Tuesday afternoon.

Share Your Experience

Permanent Representatives are typically one of the most experienced Model UN participants on the team, and that’s great because being a Permanent Representative is a great way to share that experience. As Permanent Representative, you are a recognized member of your State’s delegation in every simulation. You can make speeches, call for motions and cast votes. You’re your delegation’s advisor on terms of policy and a mentor to your group. So, if some of your newer Model UN team members need a hand, you can be available to help them or show them what they need to do. But you also need to…

Trust Your People in The Room

When you check in with your team, trust your people. They have been present for all the debate, for all the resolutions and understand the nuances of the debate. It’s human nature to want to go in and fix everything, especially in situations we don’t control. But before interfering, hang back and offer advice when asked for it. If you have to help your team course correct, let them catch you up before you get to work. Plus, like wee baby birds, they’ll never learn to fly unless they’re ruthlessly chucked from the nest as part of a Darwinian skills assessment.

At AMUN, Don’t Forget About the Extra Meetings

At AMUN, you’re invited to additional meetings as Permanent Representative. We strongly recommend that you attend all of them, especially if you’re a Permanent Representative who is unaccompanied by a Faculty Advisor. These meetings will provide you with vital information about the simulations in the succeeding year, allow you to provide constructive feedback to the AMUN staff, and select your country(ies) for the next year. With great responsibility comes a lot of meetings:

  • Permanent Representative and Faculty Advisor Meetings. There are three of these. One covering AMUN Rules of Procedure and the Committees (Mayfair Room, Sunday 19 November, 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.), another on Hotel Issues that will be attended by Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Staff (4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.), And a third one on all other issues (Mayfair Room, Monday 20 November, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.).
  • Committee on the Agenda. This meeting allows you to provide feedback on the topics from this year’s Conference and to suggest topics or state preferences for the topics to be debated in simulations in the following year (Mayfair Room, Monday 20 November, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.).
  • The Delegation Lottery. Participation in the Delegation Lottery allows you to select your country for the following year. It’s the best way to ensure that you’ll have a country that’s seated on one of AMUN’s premiere simulations (Mayfair Room, Monday 20 November, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.).

Let AMUN Know How to Reach You

There are several reasons why AMUN Staff might need to get in touch with a Permanent Representative. Make sure that we have your phone number (including a backup number for someone on your team who can find you quickly) and an idea of where (what simulations are you likely to spend your majority of time at?) and how to find you if we need to. Reasons for needing to get in touch might include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Medical emergencies for someone on your team,
  • Questions about your Delegation Lottery submission, Conference Registration or fees,
  • A representative from your country is needed for an ICJ appearance,
  • The Security Council is asking for a representative from your country as a Party to the Dispute,
  • Your country’s representative on the Council may not be present, and the Security Council cannot start without quorum, or
  • Another school might be trying to get in touch with you.

But Most of All, HAVE FUN!

A lot of people who serve as Permanent Representative are participating in their final year of Model UN Conferences. Being a Permanent Representative can be a huge change from the frantic action of being a representative in a single simulation. Make sure that you take time to make this year a memorable one for you, especially if it’s your last. Give a couple speeches in simulations. Make some motions. Being a Permanent Representative can feel a bit more isolated from the proceedings of a Conference, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Be helpful to your team, and give them room to fly, but you can definitely be engaged and active, too.

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