GA committees are always the most crowded committees in MUN conferences and due to this, it can be said that leading a bloc might be challenging. Big GA committees mostly separate into at least two blocs. So, to be successful in a GA committee you need to have a strong bloc.
MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Making a good first impression will always benefit you in all kinds of ways in MUN conferences, and it will help you build a strong bloc. Showing that you came prepared and ready for the conference will make your fellow delegates understand that you are professional and that you are a strong delegate, thus you are a good delegate to lead a bloc.
During the first round of the speaker’s list and moderated caucuses, you should be paying close attention to what other delegates are bringing to the table. Yes, it can be painful to listen to the same redundant speeches, and that might make it tempting to zone out. Refrain from doing so, as it will put you at a distinct disadvantage to your opponents. Your first priority is sending notes to delegations who express similar approaches to the topic, as you could potentially recruit them to your bloc. Send them a note: introduce yourself, outline what you have in common with them, encourage them to keep communicating with you, and give them a designated location to meet with you during your first unmoderated caucus. This is a critical step in bloc development because once the first unmoderated caucus breaks out, chaos will take over the committee.
The biggest and most common mistake made by bloc leaders is getting too big, too fast. If you expand too quickly and try to take over too much of the room, you will not be able to maintain stability, and disorganization will be inevitable: delegates will start splintering off around the edges, and join new blocs that are small enough to put them to work and make them feel needed. During that first unmoderated caucus, focus on gathering together a small, focused discussion circle. This original bloc should be composed of only 5-7 delegations connected by a common ideology, as this size allows for maximum efficiency and productivity. Don’t worry if a few people trickle in and out of the circle, things will settle soon and you will be left with a small group of dedicated delegates. Once you have this core group of delegates who are committed to the bloc, give everyone a role, and then begin the process of recruiting more delegates.
GET TO WRITING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Projecting ideas and solutions are always important but without taking notes it means nothing. Without writing them down you will forget them and you will be back to square one and that would waste precious time. As solutions come to you and your fellow delegates’ mind, write them down. This way you won’t forget anything and you will be able to debate whether or not you’ll use those solutions and ideas in your resolution paper.
By starting your bloc small, you have created a space that is safe and fair, where all voices can be heard. This atmosphere will come in handy later on in the committee when you are faced with tricky mergers that threaten the survival of the bloc’s ideas and work. Being a bloc leader should not be an uphill battle, it should come naturally by way of contributing positively more than any other member of the bloc. Outside of delivering quality speeches, writing well-crafted clauses and speaking up during unmoderated caucuses, establishing positive leadership is about getting to know your fellow bloc members. Know their real names –no, their country names do not count– and crack a joke or two. Taking time between committee sessions to chat casually with bloc members can often be more effective than ruling with an iron fist.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, never, ever, lose sight of the collaborative value, even as the bloc expands and paper grows. With so much pressure in the committee room, there will likely be delegates who fall away from their original blocs, turned off by “power delegates” or toxic behaviour. These people are looking for a place to contribute their hard work, a bloc free of the toxicity that plagues many competitive General Assembly committees. Your goal is to be that place. Welcome people with open arms, and be the bloc that everyone feels comfortable approaching. Kindness is attractive to shy or novice delegates, plus your chairs and other delegates will appreciate the positive contribution to the committee. Diplomacy plays a huge role in deciding awards, and a positive reputation in committee will give you the votes you need to pass your paper. These small acts will give your bloc the reputation of being “the sanctuary,” the one bloc null of drama and the one that will have gradually accumulated masses of delegates as a result of that reputation.
All in all, bloc management comes down to substantivity, likeability, and strategy. Start building a bloc as early in the committee as possible, and build a brand from there. Follow your gut, be a good person before being a good delegate, and people will flock to you naturally.
Content Producer Team Member