Lobbying 101: How to Win From Day One by Izzah Elif Zamir Khan
One of the most critical parts of an MUN conference is definitely the moment you step into your committee: all of your fellow countries are there and you’re expected to familiarize yourself according to the politics and international relations of your country. This process is what will get your resolutions passed and what will bring you the Best Delegate award. Lobbying is the key to a successful MUN session, and I’m going to tell you exactly how it is done.
The first thing you’ve got to know is that lobbying starts before an MUN conference, during the research phase. It is imperative that you are familiar with your country’s trade deals, imposed sanctions and other agreements, as well as neighbouring countries and any specific allies. The delegates representing these countries will be your resolution co-submitters and signatories. The more of these you have, the higher the chance of a successful resolution; so get researching! Look at your country’s Wikipedia page, but also refer to your country’s official website. Each country will have a website dedicated to foreign affairs and international relations on which you can find out which country to ally yourself with. Another source, albeit a bit trickier to use, is the tourism guide of the country. Travelling sanctions are appropriate means of weeding out unfriendly countries.
Once your research is done, and it is time for the conference, it’s time to activate the second phase of lobbying. It may seem pretentious, but you have to drop any embarrassment or worries you might feel aside. Bear in mind that it is everyone’s first day in the conference, and very few people actually know each other. It is highly likely that all the other delegates have already researched their own allies and are looking forward to talking to you. The key to success here is adopting a friendly, but professional approach: while one of the biggest parts of lobbying is to get signatures on your resolution, another big part is making friends. Arm yourself with your draft resolution and a smile, take a deep breath and approach your potential co-submitter! A tactic I used in my own MUN conferences was to learn how to say “Hello” and “How are you?” in my allied countries’ languages. It worked perfectly as an icebreaker, and made me quite popular, however, being popular is not enough for a successful MUN session. You need to know how to make an impression on someone.
A key to making an impression on people is to talk about things that will interest them. Point out parts of your resolution that might be particularly interesting to your ally, offer to add a clause they might have in mind. Bear in mind that a resolution will pass only if it appeals to as many people as possible, so be open to constructive criticism. It may be tough and unpleasant to see your ideas be opposed, but this is the only way to appeal to people. No matter what people say, keep a polite smile on your face, however, don’t just accept everything people might want to add. Keep the motive of your resolution in mind, don’t allow unrelated clauses to blur the focus. MUN is a place for constructive arguments. Do not be afraid to defend your ideas if you feel you are on the right. This approach will present you as a confident person with solid leadership qualities, and will, therefore, win the confidence of many countries. All you’ll have to do after this point is make sure you’re well-researched and able to defend your ideas during the committee sessions.
To sum everything up, let’s briefly go over the list of things we need to do: first, we need to know which countries we should approach through research, next, we need to approach the delegates in a friendly and open-minded manner, and finally, we need to work together to make the resolution appeal to as many people as possible. Holding grudges or insisting on keeping unsuitable clauses because of personal reasons are definitely not advisable. Objectivity is key.
That’s all I can tell you for today. If you have anything you might want to hear in detail, feel free to contact me over Instagram or email, I’ll make sure you receive a response.
The Writer of MUNTurkey.com