The Role of Role Players
A unique resource Representatives can utilize at AMUN is the roleplayer request. Home Government (HG) provides roleplayers as well as information and briefing requests. Roleplayers are meant to broaden the information available to the body by providing expert information or perspectives that otherwise may not be available at AMUN. Roleplayers can represent an expert from a non-governmental organization or specialized agency who can provide factual analysis, represent the experiences of a group or faction involved in a conflict, offer a historical perspective on past efforts to address an issue or a Member State not represented at the Conference.
Past Roleplayers have included the Director of the International Court of Justice, speaking on the powers of the Court allowed under the UN Charter; a representative from the International Committee of the Red Cross, speaking on the importance of funding a particular initiative to eradicate malaria; and a researcher from the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaking on nuclear power plants. Potential roleplayers during this year could include an expert involved with the United Nations Market for Change (M4C) Project, who could talk about their six year initiative in Fiji to empower women entrepreneurs, or a member of an indigenous tribe that has given a river personhood in order to combat climate change.
Occasionally, a roleplayer is requested to represent a Member State that is not represented at AMUN but whose presence in a committee could affect a committee’s debate. This request usually occurs when a topic or subtopic focuses on a particular Member State. If the Member State is not represented at Conference, an HG staffer could be called in to role play that country in any Committee or Council. HG will only roleplay a country when the country is not represented at Conference, not when a country is not represented in a particular committee. There are special cases where the present delegation is unable to be to provide committee representation and HG may be requested to role play in their place.
In order to have a roleplayer address the body, a representative must first fill out a Roleplayer Request Form found on the documents table in each committee room. Then, the form must be signed by that committee’s Rapporteur or Simulation Director. The Rapporteur or Simulation Director may ask the representative their reasoning or goal for requesting the roleplayer. Next, the representative and Rapporteur must go to the Home Government Room, located one floor beneath the hotel lobby, to deliver the request. For Security Council Simulations, the Simulation Director will deliver the request to HG. Roleplayers will then speak before the body after they have completed their preparation. Depending on the nature of the role, the body will usually be given an opportunity to ask points of inquiry of the roleplayer. If, after the roleplayer leaves, representatives have follow-up questions, representatives can come to HG and fill out information requests.
In some cases a roleplayer may not be able to go before the body if a request is submitted and the body switches topics before the roleplayer is ready to address the body or if the request is submitted too close to the end of the conference. Home Government and the AMUN secretariat will try to be as transparent as possible if these cases occur. Usually, barring special circumstances, these preparations take thirty to ninety minutes for a HG staffers to research and prepare in order to provide the best role plays; please be aware of this as you consider when to call for a roleplayer.
An HG Staffer will address most bodies at Conference to remind representatives they have the ability to request information requests, briefings or roleplayers. For any questions about any of these processes, feel free to ask the Rapporteurs or come to the Home Government Room.
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