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Model United Nations at GU-Q: Getting Started...

This guide includes resources to prepare those students preparing for the Model United Nations (MUN) Conference and includes social, political and economic resources.

Starting your research...

Congratulations on joining Model United Nations! The Georgetown Library in Qatar has a number of resources available to help delegates on their research journey.


As a delegate you will be asked to accurately portray the views and interests of your assigned country. To achieve this you will have to become familiar with many aspects of not only your country, but the topics and committees you will be participating in. 

Following these research steps will help prepare you for your MUN conference:

Learn about your country

  • Governmental system?
  • Economic system?
  • Development status?

Learn about your committee

  • How many members?
  • What are the committees mandates?

Learn about your topics

  • What's the history behind the issue?
  • Who are the relevant parties?
  • Is your country involved?

Committee Research

A working knowledge of your committee’s focus, history, and operations will be an asset during the conference.  Delegates will enjoy a more realistic experience if they understand the mandate and scope of the committee, and will be better able to produce accurate proposals to address the issues being discussed. Delegates are encouraged to go beyond the information the background guides and survey the committee’s actual website.

Committees for the 2017 MUN conference include:

  • Human Rights Council
  • Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
  • United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)
  • Commission for Social Development
  • Security Council
  • Historical Security Council
  • International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Country Research

One of your first steps should be familiarizing yourself with social, political, and economic characteristics of the country you'll be representing.

Free Resources Available Online

The following resources are free and can be accessed from anywhere:

CIA: The World Factbook  Political, geographic, economic, and sociological summaries organized by country.

Country Profiles. (BBC)  Guides to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions. They also include audio and video clips from BBC archives.

Library of Congress' Country Studies  
Description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world from the US Library of Congress.

US Dept. of State's Background Notes
Facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations.


Georgetown Library Resources

To access these resources, delegates will need to visit the Georgetown Library in Qatar.
Provides up-to-date information and news on the 191 countries of the world. Includes, in a concise and useful form, a key set of political, economic, and business information for its clients in the form of Country Reviews and the Country Wire. Country Reviews provide a political and economic survey for each of the 191 countries of the world, updated continuously online. Country Wire is an online information update from ten international news organizations, as well as periodic data updates from the staff which provides the latest political, economic, corporate and environmental news on a country by country basis as it occurs. Combines breaking country-specific news developments with substantial geopolitical and business background information and data on individual countries.

CQ Press Electronic Library
The online hub for all of the CQ Press products, including CQ ResearcherCQ WeeklyCQ Press State StatsCQ Political Reference Suite / Online Editions.

Country Profiles (EIU)
Annual analysis of major trends in economies of over 180 countries. Includes forecasts for the upcoming year and evaluations of foreign trade data and background data on political developments in each country.

Europa World Year Book
Narrative and brief statistical information on the political, economic, and commercial conditions of the countries of the world. Updated annually. Includes web addresses for country statistical offices when available. Europa Guides to regions of the world offer more detail on countries in a region; ask at the Reference Desk.

OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) featuring its books,  papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data.

Topic Research

It is important for delegates to conduct thorough research on the topics being discussed during the conference. Particpants should focus not only on understanding their country's views, but those of fellow member states.

Here are some key resources delegates can use to gain familiarity with their topics:

  • AccessUN
    This database indexes United Nations documents and publications from the six main bodies of the United Nations. Of particular interest to researchers are treaties in the UN Treaty Series, citations to UN resolutions, Masthead documents (formerly referred to as mimeographed documents), Official Records, limited and restricted documents, and documents emanating from sessional and standing committees, functional commissions, conferences, and regional bodies. 
  • Declassified Documents (GU-Q Library Only)
    Provides access to post- World War II papers from the CIA, the FBI and many other agencies, which have been gathered from presidential libraries. Major domestic and international events of the post-World War II world are covered, including the Cold War, Vietnam, foreign policy shifts, and the civil rights movement. Documents display in a digital facsimile format or ASCII text.
  • Digital National Security Archive (GU-Q Library Only)
    A full-text database of 35 core collections of primary documents acquired by the George Washington University based National Security Archive. The collection has been acquired through extensive use of FOIA. Each core collection is focused on one topic, e.g. Iran-Contra, Terrorism and U.S. Policy. Each topical collection includes diverse policy documents supplemented by contextual and reference material on chronology, glossary and bibliography.
  • Evaluation Resource Center - UN Development Programme
    Fulltext database for UNDP project documents, 1990s-present. In part, a successor to AccessUNDP.
  • International Court of Justice
    International Court of Justice official site. The Court is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, headquartered at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Court rulings reflect its role to settle legal disputes submitted to it by States, and to advise on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies.
  • ODS: Official Document System
    ODS provides access to many official United Nations documents, beginning in 1993, including major Security Council documents from 1946-1992, and resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council from 1946 onwards.
  • United Nations
    Official UN site. Access provided to sections for Conferences & Events, General Information, UN Documents (full text), Publications & Sales, Databases, UN News (including the UN Journal, Daily Highlights & Press Releases), UN Around the World, and What's New.
  • United Nations and Decolonization
    More than 80 nations formerly under colonial rule have joined the United Nations as sovereign independent states since 1945. This web site provides some historical background and links to relevant primary documents.
  • United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
    This site gives access to research, lectures, and archives generated through the United Nations. It is useful for individuals doing research on international law, and on UN sponsored publications and discourses.
  • United Nations Treaty Collection
    This collection includes five categories of treaty-related data: Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General; United Nations Treaty Series; Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties; Photographs of Treaty Signature Ceremonies; Titles of the Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General in the UN official languages 
  • UNdata
    Over 300 sets of economic, social, and financial statistics from a wide assortment of United Nations agencies and other international organizations. Most data are available in time series from 1970 or 1980 to the present. (Statistics for some items lag by several years.)

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Helpful Tips for Advisors...

In addition to this guide, there are a number of resources available to you to assist you as you prepare your team prepare for their conference.