Learn how to Debate

How to successfully prepare for ILYMUN

To guarantee the excellence and the effective functioning of our ILYMUN debates, prior to the event, we greatly encourage all students partaking in the conference to thoroughly prepare themselves. This will enable all to reap benefit from the experience!

To help our delegates in preparing for the conference, we have produced an effective five-step plan of action, to enable students to arrive at the conference in full confidence.

1. Investigate your country’s background profile:

Better start somewhere! Try looking into the following:

- Political situation and active positioning;

- Its interaction with neighbouring countries, the former’s influence, conflicts…;

- Statistical facts and data: life expectancy, literacy rates, CO2 emissions, access to water…

Tip: remember to follow current and ongoing actuality around your country, grasping current political tensions, newly introduced measures…

2. UN Committee basics:

Be sure to research your committee and its particular relevance with ILYMUN’s general theme, ‘Water: a thirst for change’. Look into:

- How does it differentiate itself from other UN committees?

- What are the committee’s current activities, actions and engagements?

- What is your country’s involvement and interactions with the UN committee?

3. RRR: Read the Research Reports:

Your committee’s research reports have for objective of supplying a general background and impression of your allocated UN committee’s topic, actuality and basic data. This step is crucial for understanding the topic at hand. Look out for:

- The core issues of your topic; Key terms;

- Data concerning other countries in the committee;

- Future steps and issues to tackle;

- Further reading linked in the research reports by your chairs.

4. Grapple your country’s positioning:

During the debate, you’ll be representing your country and promoting its engagements. Look into:

- Active engagements and policies;

- Past issues revolving around the topic;

- Identify allied countries and research accords;

- If there is lacking information for your country, research neighbouring countries’ situation(s).

These steps will enable you to begin thinking of potential resolutions to exhibit during the debates. Bear in mind, you should aim to produce action! How can this follow through in your resolutions?

5. Familiarise yourself with the rules of procedure:

This is a key component towards guaranteeing a delegate’s effective preparation towards the ILYMUN conference. Bearing in mind, the delegates are free to question their respective chairs before and during the conference for all their doubts and concerns. Chairs are here to help!

- Peer below to find an exhaustive explanation of procedures during an ILYMUN type-debate;

- The following video equally provides a helpful visualisation of the main rules of procedure.

Click here to view the pdf version of the ILYMUN rules and procedures

Must know Concepts

Points & Motions: What are they and how are they used?

This is a guide for first time delegates who aren’t completely familiar

with all the different points or motions at an MUN conference.

The difference between a motion and a point is who it concerns. A motion involves the entire committee, while a point only involves a chair or delegate. For this reason a motion requires a vote.  When a delegate proposes a motion, the chairs ask if there are any objections to the motion. If there are none, the motion is voted on. Neither points nor motions can interrupt speakers, unless it is a point of personal privilege to do with the audibility of the speaker.

- Motions:

When a delegate proposes a motion, another delegate must second it before the chairs will consider it and ask if there are any objections to the motion.  If there are objections, then the motion is dropped. If there aren’t any objections, there is a vote, without abstentions.  The motion passes if there are more votes in favour of the motion than against. All motions can be overruled by the chair.

Motion to extend debate time

If passed this motion extends the amount of time allocated to the current clause or amendment.

Motion to table the amendment or clause

If this motion is passed debate on the current clause or amendment is stopped without a vote or postponed until later.

Motion to reconsider an amendment or clause

If this motion is passed debate on an amendment or clause that failed or has been tabled is resumed.

Motion to move to previous question

If this motion passes debate on the current amendment or clause is stopped, there is a  vote and the debate moves on.

- Points:

Point of information

This is a question for the delegate who has the floor. The chair will ask the delegate if she is open to any points of information. If she is, she can state how many questions she’ll entertain or even say “any and all”. The chairs then ask if there are any points of information in the house.

Point of personal privilege.

This point is only used if a delegate is experiencing discomfort or cannot hear the delegate talking. This is the only point or motion that can interrupt the speaker, if it refers to the audibility of the speaker.

Point of parliamentary inquiry

A point of parliamentary inquiry is a question about the rules and procedures of a debate, and can only be asked when there is nobody on the floor.

Point of order

A point of order refers to when a chair or a delegate makes a mistake. For a chair, this could be that he has made an error in the procedures, and for a delegate, it might be that he is doing something that his country would not do.

MUN Support:

Finally, to ensure a high quality of debates, an External MUN Development team is dedicated to offering full assistance in building and/or developing MUN clubs for participating schools in need. If you are concerned, you may contact them through the ILYMUN support email address: [email protected]