Lessons from MUNI: How to Write a Crisis Directive

by Caroline Bello on March 28, 2016

_MG_8729How to Write Crisis Notes (Personal Directives)

Crisis Notes are the dominant medium for taking individual action in committee by using your portfolio powers. Delegates will continually sending Crisis Notes to shape the crisis at hand, to both fix the issue and bring more power or prestige to themselves.

Main Components of a Solid Crisis Note

  • Memorable Title (can be funny or serious, but needs a name)
  • Addressee (Somebody under your command, or just their title)
  • Specific orders or actions that you would like to see undertaken
  • What you expect/hope will be the result (So the Crisis Staff can figure out what the result will be if they don’t understand your goal)
  • Signature, with your title

Goals

  • Demonstrate expertise and thorough planning to impress Crisis Staff
  • Clearly state what you want, and why, so they can decide to grant or deny it
  • Do it so well that the crisis staff is afraid to shoot you down without good reason
Operation Nautilus

TO: Admiral of the 7th Fleet, Thomas Fitzwallace

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Under my authority as Commander, USPACOM, move the following ships from the US base in Yokosuka, Japan to 15 nautical miles NE of the Straits of Malacca in the South China Sea:
    • 2 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers: Fitzgerald and Stethern
    • 1 Virginia Class Submarine: USS Texas (SSN-775)
    • 1 Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier: George Washington
  • They will be moved on the 15th of September, 2015 at 21:30 (GMT+9)
  • They will patrol the area and protect oil trade to the Philippines, a close US ally

Through these measures, I expect all piracy against commercial and military vessels in the area to cease, and any pirates to be captured and reported to me.

SIGNED: Commander Harper, US Pacific Command

 

*Branding Tip- Write your notes on colored paper so the crisis staff always knows its you, and you can keep track of your notes as they circulate through the room!*

 

How to Write Committee Directives (Public Directives)

While Crisis Notes are how you take individual action, Directives are how you take committee action, instead of long-form resolutions. Just like in any Model UN Committee, the goal is to sponsor (write) as many strong directives as possible.

Main Components of a Solid Committee Directive

  • Memorable Title (can be funny or serious, but needs a name)
  • Specific orders or actions that you would like to see undertaken
  • What you expect/hope will be the result (So the Crisis Staff can figure out what the result will be if they don’t understand your goal)
  • Signatures, with portfolios of all signatories (Note: In different committees, the Chair may require different numbers of signatories, anywhere from three to half the committee)

Goals

  • Demonstrate innovative ideas that the rest of the committee isn’t thinking of
  • Position yourself as the leader of the idea, and defend it against opposition
  • Pass it as a committee to positively impact the crisis with your ideas
Directive: Seoul Food
In light of the alarming humanitarian situation mounting in the Northern end of the country, the cabinet will:

  1. Release emergency food stores to the Korean public, to be distributed by police forces over the next two weeks, to reduce rates of malnutrition and starvation from this conflict;
  2. Request assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross is providing clean water to residents of Seoul, Incheon, Uijeongbu, and Ansan as needed;
  3. Establish emergency lodging centers in non-essential government buildings for individuals that have been displaced due to recent violence;
  4. Temporarily cease exports of agricultural products and order mandatory sale of all foods to the Ministry of Agriculture for 50% below market value to help mitigate the current food crisis.

Through these steps, we hope to stem the humanitarian crisis in our country and regain the trust of the public.
Signed: Minister of Commerce, Minister of Culture, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Want to learn how to lead your committee and have the more creative plans in any crisis? Check out the Model United Nations Institute Crisis Program– hosted across the United States every summer!

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