Conference Structure

At HMUN China 2019, each delegate will partake in a simulation of the United Nations or another international body and gain better insight into the subtleties of international affairs. Each HMUN China committee will address issues of international importance. The wide range of committees provides for topics to suit each student’s interests. HMUN China simulates four types of committees: the UN General Assembly (GA), the UN Economic and Social Council (EcoSoc), Regional Bodies, and Specialized Agencies (SA). In addition, HMUN China offers opportunities for students to participate in the conference as part of the NGO Programme.

General Assembly

General Assembly committees deal with a wide variety of issues, ranging from disarmament and security to law, health, and development. By espousing the principle of “one nation, one vote,” all 193 member states and two observers of the United Nations, the GA remains true to the original premise of the UN. Every nation plays an important role; delegates from the United Kingdom and Botswana negotiate and debate as equals on issues of great global importance. Debate in the GA is spirited, as delegates attempt to balance their responsibilities to their nations, regional blocs, and the committee as a whole. Delegates emerge from a GA committee with a thorough understanding of the promises and pitfalls of international diplomacy.

Economic and Social Council

The committees of the Economic and Social Council concentrate on providing specific solutions to a wide array of pressing social and economic issues such as human rights protection, criminal justice, economic development, international trade, and more. To achieve this goal, delegates will work with a medium-sized group of their peers. The EcoSoc committees are large enough to foster animated and informed debate, but small enough to guarantee delegates the opportunity for constant substantive involvement, interacting with and challenging each other. The end result for delegates is a comprehensive awareness not only of viable solutions to important global concerns, but also of individual nations’ roles in an ever-changing, increasingly complex world.

Regional Bodies

HMUN China 2019 will include Regional Bodies that facilitate international discussion and cooperation on issues specific to particular regions. The issues presented to the Regional Bodies will include education, health, natural disasters and climate problems, peace, security, and region-specific social and economic development.

Specialized Agencies

Specialized Agencies provide delegates with an opportunity to delve into detailed and often complicated issues in a small-group setting. The SA consists of the world’s most powerful and dynamic bodies in which delegates are forced to confront volatile international conflicts requiring immediate resolution. Well-informed and well-researched delegates who are not only unafraid of speaking and writing extemporaneously, but also thrive on the challenge presented by the most demanding committees the high school circuit has to offer, will find their match in the SA. The fate of the world is in the SA delegates’ hands; whether the globe is shattered or preserved lies squarely on each SA delegate’s shoulders.

NGO Programme

HMUN China 2019 offers a unique delegate experience in addition to our standard committee offerings: The Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Programme. The NGO delegates enrich and offer fresh perspectives to the resolution-making process in committees by representing the views and policies of an assigned NGO. Unlike other delegates, NGOs have the chance to experience many committees over the course of the conference–giving them a new perspective on the scope of the United Nations’s activities as well as a look at the operations and actions of their own NGO.

Committee Dynamics

Committees at HMUN China are run in accordance with parlimentary procedure. All delegates should familiarize themselves with the rules and procedures of debate before conference.


Every HMUN China committee holds six sessions over the four days of the conference, each lasting three to five hours. Committee sessions are designed to keep the delegates engaged and thinking on their feet. The substantive aspects of the committee are coordinated by the committee director, who will also serve as the committee's moderator to guide debate. Delegates engage in a mixture of formal debate and caucus aimed at formulating a resolution that addresses problems relating to the chosen topic areas. Formal debate provides delegates with the opportunity to address the entire committee in order to clarify their positions. During caucus, rules are suspended to allow for informal debate: delegates have the opportunity to share their ideas with other delegates so that ideas begin to coalesce outside of the constraints of parliamentary procedure. In debate, delegates are challenged to reach a consensus within the committee while accurately representing their countries’ policies.

Committee Topics and Background Guides

Every HMUN China committee director spends the summer researching and compiling an extensive and comprehensive background guide on their committee's topic area. Background guides are the ideal starting point for delegate research, providing a detailed bibliography of further sources. However, additional, self-directed research is the cornerstone of the delegate experience. Delegates are encouraged and expected to conduct outside research to increase their participation in and enjoyment of committee. Background guides will be available under the "Committees" tab beginning in November. Please note that delegations will not be granted access to the background guides until they have paid their fees in full.

Working Papers and Resolutions

Working papers are used to collect and circulate delegate ideas. The ideas in a working paper are debated and eventually molded into formal documents written in the style of actual UN resolutions. After formal introduction in committee, resolutions are debated, amended, and voted on by the body. Passed resolutions represent hours of debate, negotiation, and compromise.

While it is satisfying to see the hard work of the committee culminate in a resolution, HMUN China’s philosophy emphasizes the process of negotiation rather than the resolution itself. A committee must not necessarily pass a resolution to be considered a success. HMUN China does not have official sponsors of resolutions and, in order to maximize the incentive for compromise, only one resolution on a given topic area can be passed.

Tips for Preparation

Like any activity or sport, Model UN takes practice and skill. We hope that you will have the opportunity to improve your Model UN skills both before and during your committee at HMUN China. If this is your first conference, do not worry! Many of our delegates are first timers to Model UN and this webpage and your background guide are your first resources to build the skills necessary to prepare and debate effectively. During conference, you will have the opportunity to take part in specialized delegate trainings based on your skill. During committee, your committee director is trained to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to ask any of the committee dais staff or Secretariat about any questions about procedure, your topic area, or about Harvard life. Committee director e-mails are listed under the "Committees" tab.

Click here for the Guide to Delegate Preparation

Topic Preparation

Students should spend time researching the topic area their committees will be considering. Once background guides become available in November, the background guide will provide an extensive background and overview of the topic area to be discussed. The background guide should be your first stop for committee information as the Director of the committee has compiled, organized, and presented all information that he or she expects the committee to discuss. Take note of the “Questions A Resolution Must Answer,” helpful guiding questions of the committee and questions that are expected to be answered in the final resolution. All of our background guides also include a bibliographic essay as a starting point for additional student research.

Country Preparation

Delegates should learn as much as possible about the country they will be representing – both in general and in relation to the topic they will be discussing. While our background guides may include an analysis of bloc positions on topic areas, students should also learn about the specific positions of their respective nations.

General HMUN China Preparation

Students should familiarize themselves with the the Guide to Delegate Preparation, which will be made available in the fall. Our training materials help both experienced and first-time delegates learn about the goals, accomplishments, limits, and powers of the UN and the international system.

Thorough preparation is essential to making HMUN China an excellent educational experience. Pre-conference research makes committee more fun and rewarding, as delegates can then immerse themselves in their roles as high-ranking diplomats.

Position Papers

Delegates will be required to submit position papers on their topic area prior to the conference. General position paper requirements for HMUN China will be listed in the background guide as well as the Guide to Delegate Preparation, which will be made available in the fall. Specialized Agencies committees will often submit position papers in a different, specialized format from those of the GA, ECOSOC, or Regional Bodies. Please refer to the Position Paper guidelines listed in each background guide for specific information. The conference-wide position paper deadline is February 25, 2019, uploaded via MUNbase.