Janette Kim — USG of Marketing
November 23, 2018
What are they?
Mock sessions are the staple of a functioning MUN club. They simulate the regular sessions held by the United Nations where delegations from a multitude of countries discuss a variety of world issues. In essence, it is a great opportunity for students to practice their speaking skills and join discussions on pressing current events.
There are four steps to keep in mind before running a mock session:
Preparing a dais
The dais team consists of 2 members: a chair and a director.
The chair is the mouth of the dais. They are responsible for keeping the mock session in order in case debate gets out of hand, and fluent in carrying out the rules of procedure
The director is the mind of the dais. They should be well researched on the topic in order to guide the discussion as well as being aware of what is going on the committee to provide feedback.
Finding a topic
Finding a topic for a mock session is very easy. Any current event in the world such as the militarization of the Arctic, or rise of neo-colonialism in Africa will do. For any specific U.N. topics, you can check the agenda of the assemblies or committees online. In addition, picking topics from MUN conferences is also an option as a lot of research is already done in backgrounders.
Click here for a list of topic ideas for mock sessions.
Letting people know about the mock session
The club should have a centralized system to inform students about meetings. Having media platforms like a facebook page and chat for the club is an easy way to communicate with people and share files. You will need to make sure that people can pick delegations to represent and will be informed about the topic.
Making sure people are prepared
You should let people know about mock sessions a week in advance to allow them to research and prepare. Although it’s mainly up to students themselves to research the respective topic, it’s handy to recommend certain sites or have a short paper on the topic for people to start with.
Running the mock session
First and foremost, it is crucial to be familiar with the Rules of Procedure for civilized debate (refer to the section below). This is especially the case for the chair who must recognize when the situation gets out of control and ensure ROP is followed. Click here to get a refresher on the ROP.
It is also extremely important to keep discussion civil. Students are representing the perspective of nations and thus should keep an open mind while focusing on providing solutions (unless your country wills you not to).
An important role for the chair is to ensure people get equal speaking time and that discussion remains dynamic. There should never be a case of two delegates going at each other back and forth. Everyone should remain respectful regardless and be encouraging of their peers.
Flow of Debate
Discussion must not grow stagnant. Your speech doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least try to speak with the intent of adding something to the debate rather than speaking for the sake of it. An important role of the director is to call out when debate has become repetitive or unconstructive. This comes down to the delegates as well. Don’t be afraid to speak and learn to present your opinion.
Remember, although the goal of the discussion should be to arrive at the resolution of an issue, it also should be a chance to allow everyone to learn.