Forming Blocs in Model UN

by Dhruva Nistane on December 5, 2017

Group of People

Blocs are at the heart of Model UN. They are where ideas are nurtured, where people collaborate, where working papers are formed, and where leaders can step into their roles. Forming a bloc is the cornerstone of succeeding in Model UN for any delegate. However, when a delegate walks into a GA or ECOSOC and sees rows and rows of unfamiliar faces, the goal of building a bloc can seem so unreachable. This is where the leaders are separated from the followers. The delegates who become leaders during the conference understand that every delegate is in the same boat: no one knows each other. The leaders act as catalysts, bringing people together and giving them a voice to outlet their ideas. Those same delegates who were nervous and hesitant at the start of the conference are empowered by the leaders. Being part of a bloc is easy, but being the leader who actually forms the bloc takes significant effort. There are a few important events that leaders need to capitalize on to form a robust bloc.

The first opportunity is before the committee even begins. If you get to the committee room long before the first session begins, you will have the opportunity to connect with people in your committee on a personal level. Do not use this time to badger people on their positions in committee. Instead, use it to make friends and meet new people. When you are talking to different people, it is also a good idea to have a group conversation. During this time before committee, you should start to get to know a substantial number of people. You should memorize their names and remember their faces. Furthermore, you should find the people that you genuinely relate to. If seating is not assigned, ask some of these delegates if they want to sit with you or, if seating is assigned, pass notes during committee.

 

FullSizeRender-2

Building off of this first step, your second opportunity comes during opening speeches. Give a strong opening speech, which will show delegates that you are a capable leader in both knowledge and confidence. Moreover, listen to the delegates who give speeches and be attentive to the ideas they are presenting. Send out notes to them and include in the note what points in their opening speech you agreed or wanted more information about. Especially send notes to the people you met before committee started and use their actual names in the notes. Start off your notes with questions and reactions to their points and get a line of communication started. As conversation through note-passing progresses, let the delegates that your position lines up with know that you would like to work with them. Pick a location in the room and let them know that you want to meet for discussion there. During the first unmoderated caucus, bring all of these people together in the specified location. The people that you personally made friends with before committee will join you without question.

During the first unmoderated caucus, there will most likely be wandering delegates—delegates who are unsure which bloc to pop into. Send a few trusted bloc members to extend an invitation to these delegates for your respective bloc. Showing delegates that you care to listen to their points will increase your bloc numbers.

 

Bloc

When your bloc has formed in the first unmoderated caucus, get a list of all the countries in the coalition. It would also behoove you to obtain their contact information, preferably phone numbers so that you can start a group chat later on. Furthermore, you should keep the atmosphere light and encouraging. Have people introduce themselves and then have some conversation before jumping into ideas and opinions. Make sure you write down ideas proposed and also which delegates proposed them.

The next way to sustain your bloc is through moderated caucuses. You should constantly give your ideas and your bloc air time, speaking on what progress has been made and what has been discussed within your group. Moreover, speak on the ideas of delegates in your bloc, acknowledging their work. By giving strong speeches, other delegates will be inspired join your initiative and will end up working with you. By showing respect to delegates in your bloc, they will stay loyal to the coalition. After the first part of the conference, the goal changes from forming the bloc to leading the bloc to success, which compounds on the efforts made in forming the bloc.

Forming a bloc at the start of committee is often the most daunting task for any delegate. However, overcoming this nervousness is the first step to becoming a leader. Leaders who form blocs become the nucleus of a group of people, where everyone is connected to each other through a common relationship with the leader. At the end of the day, Model UN is about connecting with others. This simple idea is key to forming a bloc. Although there is no set formula for being a strong leader, there are important events at the start of a conference that are vital to a leader’s success.

 

Previous post:

Next post: