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  This module is a resource for lecturers  

 

Roles of simulation participants and their functions

 

MUNs are student-run and usually extra-curricular activities in which students roleplay delegates to United Nations meetings. MUNs require a moderate amount of preparation time on the part of participating students; the role of the teacher is to guide and support the students as necessary in this process. In a larger MUN, it is recommended that students from various disciplines participate in the simulation, in order to enhance the learning experience for everyone.

In this Model Conference of the Parties to the Organized Crime Convention, the aim is for students to simulate the deliberations of the Working Group on International Cooperation of the Conference, as it deals with very practical aspects of the Convention which, in real life, are used in numerous different subject-matters and types of crime. The topics for discussion suggested in this Guide are tailored for this Working Group; however, the teacher and students may of course decide to simulate any other Conference working group, or even the Conference itself. Detailed information on all Conference working groups may be found here.

The roles indicated below are simplified versions of the actual roles of participants, but are complex enough to provide students with a general understanding of the workings of a UN intergovernmental meeting.  Likewise, please note that the rules of procedure of the actual COP and its Working Groups are different and more complex than the ones normally used in a simulation. In order to properly prepare and run an MUN, it is recommended that, once the roles for the Secretariat and Bureau have been decided, for example halfway through the course, these students should sit down together and prepare the rules of procedure for their simulation exercise. Thereafter, the rules of procedure should be shared with the rest of participants to the simulation so that everyone has enough time to prepare. The rules of procedure for the simulation should be based on the actual Rules of Procedure for the Conference.

To plan and prepare the simulation, teachers and students should also consult the  E4J Resource Guide for Organizing Model United Nations Conferences that Address Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice and Other Aspects of the Rule of Law .

Roles for the simulation

 

States parties (SPs)

SPs are those that have ratified the Organized Crime Convention. Each SP sends one or more representatives. The representative(s) shall constitute the SP's delegation that will speak and/or act on behalf of their country, reflecting their foreign policy. Each SP can be represented by one or more students.

SPs are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Deliver statements
  • Receive the documents of the Conference
  • Submit their views in writing
  • Participate in the deliberative process
  • Adopt (vote on) decisions on substantive and procedural matters.

The full list of States Parties to the Organized Crime Contention can be accessed here.

Signatories

Signatories are States that have signed the Organized Crime Convention but have not ratified it. Interested signatories may send representatives to the COP and its Working Groups. Each signatory can be represented by one or more students.

Signatories are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Deliver statements
  • Receive the documents of the Conference
  • Submit their views in writing
  • Participate in the deliberative process.
 

Observer States (OS)

OS are States that have neither signed nor ratified the Organized Crime Convention. These may also include  non-member States of the United Nations that have received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions of the UN and its agencies. Each OS can be represented by one or more students.

OS are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Deliver statements
  • Receive the documents of the Conference
  • Submit their views in writing
  • Participate in the deliberative process.

For the list of non-member States, consult the Blue Book (pp. 352-353).

Observer entities and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)

This category of observers are representatives of entities and organizations that have received a standing invitation from the General Assembly to participate as observers in the sessions of all international conferences convened under its auspices. Each observer can be represented by one or more students.

IGOs are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Deliver statements
  • Receive the documents of the Conference
  • Submit their views in writing to the Conference.

For the list of entities consult the Blue Book (pp. 356-411).

Observer non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

This category of observers are NGOs with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and those without such status that can apply to be observers. Each observer can be represented by one or more students.

NGOs are entitled to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Upon the invitation of the President and subject to the approval of the Conference, make oral statements at such meetings through a limited number of representatives on questions relating to their activities
  • Receive the documents of the Conference.

See the full list of current NGOs here.

Secretary-General

The Secretary-General of the simulation shall act in this capacity in all meetings. She or he may designate a member of the Secretariat (i.e. a "Deputy Secretary-General) to act as his or her representative, will lead the Secretariat staff and will be responsible for all the arrangements that may be necessary for the meetings.

The role of the Secretary-General is to:

  • Make written or oral statements concerning any question
  • Call the attention of the delegates and meet privately with the Bureau to review the proper application of the rules of procedure and/or to discuss the course of the debate.

The Secretary-General shall not directly guide the discussions but is entitled to provide some direction and guidance to participant delegates, whenever needed.

Secretariat (Officers of Secretariat)

The Secretariat acts as the organizing committee of the simulation and provides support to the Secretary-General.

The role of the Secretariat is to:

  • Distribute, publish and circulate as appropriate, all background and in-session documents that are required
  • Perform other duties that may be required before and during the meetings (e.g. drafting and distributing the provisional agenda, creating a list of speakers, passing notes among delegates during the meetings, etc.).
 

Bureau

The Bureau is in charge of the conduct of business during the meeting. The Bureau is composed of a Chair (or President, in the case of a Conference simulation), a Vice-Chair (or Vice-President) and a Rapporteur.

  • The Chair (or President):
    • Declares the opening and closing of each meeting
    • Grants the right to speak (gives the floor to delegates)
    • Ensures observance of procedural rules
  • The Vice-Chair (or Vice-President) assists in this regard and should also have ample substantive knowledge of the topic being discussed in order to provide background information when/as needed.
  • The Rapporteur is responsible for the report of the meeting.
 

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