MUN Made Easy: The Power of Notes

by Cem Ozmen on December 16, 2015

One of the easiest ways of taking part in an ongoing debate is sending out notes to other delegates. The power of these is often underestimated, thus note papers’ possibilities are not being used efficiently. Notes contribute to your appearance in the committee, a fast delivery of your ideas to others, communication with your allies and proposals to those who oppose you. Beside formal debate and unmoderated caucus, note passing is considered a “silent” way of convincing people. I will talk about some specific elements that will show you how these pieces of paper actually can be of use.

Form blocs, political groups. It is quite hard to form a block that is (and will mostly be) in favor of your ideas, right? Here is where you can make use of note papers. Just list your ideas, add a legitimate justification and send out a formal greeting; that’s it! Think about the moments you receive messages in the committee, you feel like that message is created just for you, and you consider it a one-to-one communication. The delegate(s) that will receive your message will think exactly the same. Consequently, you can be much more influential and convincing among the countries present. Thus, you will be more powerful and may even get a draft resolution passed.


Adjust the timing. By starting to use note papers more and more, you will develop a feeling for timing. It is important when to send each note, sometimes it even can be a game changer! Some prefer to send out a bunch of notes at the very beginning of the session (which I call blind-shooting); others check out the other delegates first and comprehend what they think, and then try to assemble them in an alliance. Both methods surely have their pros and cons, the best is to find out yourself when to send what. Just keep in mind that your fellow delegates will not be waiting for you to send them notes, everyone will take his/her action. So, if you are too late; this may cost you an alliance sometimes.


Keep it simple & organized. We all know that note papers must be written in a formal language and should be related to the agenda being discussed at that moment. However, there are some ways by which you may make your notes look more professional and organized. Try to use basic English, and don’t dig into the vocabulary too much. Have a clear and understandable handwriting, make sure your argument/proposal strikes out and is clearly legible. Try not to be too demanding and do stress the fact that both parties are equally strong. If the recipient feels like his/her idea is being cared about, it will be easier to come to common grounds.


Be unique. Do not ever send the same note to more than one delegate; prepare each message separately. Even though it seems like a little more work, you will benefit from it during committee proceedings. It may harm your plans if the recipients find out that they have been sent the same note when they gather to discuss your proposal. Try to play the game of diplomacy by being specific to each country. The best way of doing this is surely having done your research and by acquiring satisfactory knowledge regarding your allies.


Lastly, do not forget, many other delegates will apply similar techniques as you may do. Always remind yourself that the key to a comprehensive resolution is cooperation and coordination. Note papers may help you achieve these goals in a faster and easier way than you may have thought.

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