At the conference

a. Lobbying at the Conference 
Day one of SAIMUN is a day for meeting delegates representing other countries and talking informally to them. Your aim must be to gather support for your resolution. You may decide to add or drop a clause to make it better or to obtain the support of a country. You may decide to merge your resolution. If you do either of these then you will become a co-submitter of the new resolution.

There are no committee meetings during day one. The talking and negotiating is done in the lobby, hence the term “Lobbying”. Lobbying is a vital part of any MUN and you will find that the rest of the week will hinge upon it.


  • Do bring plenty of copies of your resolution so that you can hand them out to other delegates to read.
  • Do merge your resolution if this will make a better one.
  • Do not support a resolution which your country would not agree with.

Once you have attained support for your resolution and adjusted it as necessary you must hand four copies into the Approval Panel.

b. Opening Speeches
On day two of SAIMUN the General Assembly (GA) opens. Every country has an opening speech. This is made by the ambassador who has one minute to address the G.A. He/She should state the issues which are of major concern to his/her country. The ambassador should not try to speak on every issue, but should highlight the one or two most important issues of concern to their country. You only have one minute.

This was the opening speech for Cape Verde in The Hague MUN in January 1994:

“Cape Verde is an island country off the coast of Africa . It is a nation of few people which has not been pulled apart by poverty. It is a small player in the world of international politics, and yet it is like many who find themselves on the Security Council; a beacon of hope against an increasingly unworkable block of countries who must be held accountable for the perceived malaise which has become the UN, – witness Bosnia 1994.

If it is true that the longest journey begins with the first step then today the UN should begin reassessing its role and methods of resolving international crises such as wars of nationalism, gross violations of Human Rights or discrimination against indigenous peoples. The UN should start a process in which those on the perimeter of power are consulted and listened to.

The UN will have to change. Cape Verde wants to begin this long journey and we call on other smaller nations to take the first step with us. We want our voices to be heard and to contribute to the badly needed improvement in UN effectiveness.”

A simple well prepared and well delivered speech will mark you out as a delegation of importance.

c. Your Council or Committee
Formal debate begins when your committee opens on day two, usually after lunch. The meeting will be in the charge of the chairperson or deputy chair.

Your goals in committee are simple. You must represent your country by speaking, asking questions and voting as you see fit.

Permission to speak can be obtained by raising your placard when the chair “opens the floor.” It will be your task to raise your placard! In general, you are permitted to speak when you “have the floor” (i.e. the chair gives you permission to come to the front of the committee room), or when you are “rising to a point of information” (i.e. you want to ask the speaker a question).

A delegate who shows that he/she understands the arguments well and is able to put his/her country’s views effectively, will do well!

d. Rules of Debate
The best way to learn how to use your committee time effectively is to watch how other good delegates operate. There is no substitute for this. To help you in your first conference the following explanations may be of help.

The chair: The student officer in charge. His/her word is final.

Time for/against: Time allocated for/against a resolution.

To have the floor: To be given the right to stand up and address the meeting.

Yielding the floor: A speaker may give the remainder of his/her speaking time to another delegate or to the chair.