You are on page 1of 4

The rights of religious minorities STUDY GUIDE: (read the whole post) The file attached is a guide for

research on the topic. It's important to read to get a good idea of the topic as a whole. However, to make it easier for you guys, we'll tell you explicitly what issues you should focus on (meaning research on in particular): 1. 2. 3. 4. The existence of blasphemy laws and the extent of freedom of speech The death penalty and other punishments for associated 'crimes' Rights of Affiliation and Conversion and their safeguard Discrimination of minorities in the workplace, home, etc.

You can discuss matters beyond this mentioned in the guide obviously, but you should have these bases covered. In your research, you should take precedence from past actions - either by UN institutions or individual governments, and propose solutions that are not only effective, but are also acceptable to other countries so that you can get support on them. The thing about solutions is that, whether it be confidence building measures, raising awareness or any institutional reformation, implementation is pivotal. And so, these are mechanisms through which your solutions can be implemented. They play a massively important role, and your objective should be to employ their existence: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Media Education Special Rapporteur or other UN bodies NGOs and IGOs Governments and Law Enforcement Agencies

You can go beyond these, too. Documents that you should have somewhat of an idea about, for reference purposes, are: 1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 2. United Nations Declaration on Human Rights 3. Cairo Declaration In your research, even if you're a country that no one has ever heard of much, there's always some sort of foreign policy that you can find. Either through what happened internally or how they reacted to an international development, you can gauge a country's opinions and ideas. You'll likely fall into one of two or three blocs. Firstly, countries that are very liberal, mostly Western and have low accusations of mistreatment of religious minorities. The second would be the opposite, comprising mostly of conservative and middle-eastern countries. There may be a third, more neutral block that may be instrumental in being the key negotiator between the two blocs. You should more or less follow this order when researching individual issues under the topic: Identify the problem Identify causes and reasons Identify past actions and their possible shortcomings Analyse current needs for change Propose solutions and proper methods of implementation POSITION PAPER GUIDE: I assume that your research is well under way. You may remember the mention of a Position Paper. It's essentially a one-page document that each of you is expected to submit at the first session on Day 1. A Position Paper is a policy statement in which

delegates clarify the committee topics, state their representatives position, and suggestions solutions that fall in line with their national stance. The general contents comprise of: Overview of topic and relevance to your country

Important aspects you wish to discuss Past Actions -successes and failures Possible blocs Suggested solutions

Hello, delegates. Here's more or less how committee moves: Since there's only one topic, there'll be no setting of the agenda. We know this is the first MUN experience of many delegates so we won't be THAT crazy about the procedure, but it is necessary to know it. Basically when you walk into committee, this is how things will flow: 1. The Chair takes roll call. You reply in either of the following ways: i. Present: In this way, you can vote yes, no or abstain from the vote on a resolution. ii. Present and voting: In this way, you can only vote yes or no on a resolution. Most delegates just say 'present'. Oh, and there's roll call at the start of every session. If you're late for a session - which you shouldn't be you send a note to the chair asking them to mark you as present. 2. There is a "Motion to Open the Floor to Debate" raised by a delegate. 3. A delegate must then raise the following motion: "Motion to establish a general speakers list." A General Speakers List is established with an individual speaking time of one minute. The speakers list is written on the blackboard and exists for the whole conference. In a speakers list speech, you basically have a minute to talk about anything. You talk about the topic in general, or what topics you think the committee needs to discuss, or why you think the committee is doing well/failing. HOWEVER, in the first speakers list speech, every delegate gives their POSITION STATEMENT. This is a one-minute, preprepared speech about what your country feels about the topic. You talk about what actions your country has taken, the issue in general, and most importantly (a large part of your speech must be devoted to this) SOLUTIONS. Provide one or two solutions that you feel will solve the issue. After you've given a SL speech, send a note to the chair asking them to place your country back on the speakers list. And another thing. In all SL speeches, there are yields. If you have time left over from your speech, i.e. if you speak for 20 seconds out of the 1 minute, you must yield. There are three types of yields: i. Yield to the chair. This means you're done speaking and want to sit down. ii. Yield to the delegate of Antarctica. You yield the remainder of your time to a specific delegate. If you want another delegate to yield their time to you, send them a note asking them to do so. iii. Yield to the committee for questioning. Self-explanatory. Use this only if you're 100% confident about the outcome, as it's quite a bold move. All this sounds complicated, but trust me, it really isn't. 4. Then, after all the position statements have been heard, the chair will ask the following question: "Are there any points or motions on the floor?" Now, a delegate may propose a Moderated Caucus or an

Unmoderated Caucus, which will be put to a vote and will need a simple majority (50%+1) to pass and be enacted. A ModCaucus is one in which the subtopic is specified (e.g. the trust deficit between Pakistan and India and how to solve it, or Pakistan's nuclear policy, or the role of China in Kashmir), the total time of the caucus is specified (5,10 or 15 mins) and the individual speaker time is specified (30, 45 or 60 seconds). Mods are formal debate where Delegates will raise their placards and the Chair will pick who should speak upon his discretion. Delegates should speak on the sub-topic at hand, listening to other delegates speeches, either refuting or agreeing to them, and definitely moving forward with solutions. Also, the delegate who proposed the ModCaucus that passed will be the first person to speak on the topic. This is the template to raise a ModCaucus: "Motion to propose a Moderated Caucus to discuss total time x minutes, individual speaker time x seconds/ 1 minute." An Unmod Caucus only requires specifying a total time-no need of specifying a subtopic, this is because in Unmods, the rules of procedure are suspended-you are allowed to get up and walk around, rally allies or negotiate with the opposition, basically: informal debate. It is important to be involved in Unmods, as this is where blocs are made and important issues discussed. This is how an Unmod is raised: "Motion to raise an unmoderated caucus of total time x minutes." If a point in time arises where there are no delegates proposing Caucuses or no Caucuses pass the vote, then the committee automatically reverts to the Speakers' List (where delegates may speak on what they think is important) until the Chair wants to entertain Motions for Caucuses again. 5. Points are tools in MUN. There are three points, though you will probably only be using the first two. Points cannot interrupt a speaker. To raise a Point, you just raise your chair and say the type of Point you have, i.e. Point of Parliamentary Inquiry, etc., then the chair will address your point. i. Point of Parliamentary Inquiry: This is probably the most important point. It is to ask the chair about rules of procedure, or to ask what's going on at that particular moment, or to ask specifics about the caucus you're in or the topic. Basically, if you have any questions, you use a PPI. ii. Point of Personal Privilege: Use this if you can't hear a speaker, if you need to leave the room, if you need to take a call outside, or if you want a fan turned on/off. It's pretty self-explanatory. iii. Point of Order: This is used if the Chair is violating the rules of procedure in any way. If the chair calls for voting upon the wrong caucus first etc., you call for a Point of Order. 6. At the end of each of the first two days, there must be a motion to "suspend debate" by a delegate, formally calling off the day till tomorrow. At the end of the last day, there will be a motion to "adjourn debate". 7. Lastly, when we get to Working Papers and Draft Resolutions (documents containing all things agreed to in committee), your chairs will explain the minor procedure for introducing, discussing and voting upon them. Here's a flow chart to simplify everything: 1. Roll Call. 2. Motion to open the floor to debate. 2. Motion to establish a general speakers list. All position statements are heard. PREPARE THESE IN ADVANCE. The SL exists as a backdrop for the length of the whole conference in case the caucuses don't pass. 4. Motion to propose a moderated caucus/unmoderated caucus... 5. Motion to suspend debate till the next day. Lastly, as I said, it's not necessary for you to memorize the procedures of a committee session. GRAMMUN is meant to train you, and during the committee session, you'll learn manifold more by

experience. But there's no harm in watching youtube videos to get a better idea. Happy researching and ask us anything! Just a note. Never in any of your speeches, will you speak in first person. Never say "I believe". Always say the Delegate of Antarctica believes, or Antarctica believes. Also, don't address other delegates as 'you'. Say "The delegate of the Arctic stated".