You are a delegate at the Security Council. Suddenly, you are called to speak at a press stakeout. You have the opportunity to explain to the world, through the media, what the Security Council’s agenda is on a given issue. Camera lights are flashing, it is your time to shine, and show what part you have played in the intense debate at the Security Council table.
If you have participated in a simulation of the Security Council at a WIMUN conference in the past, you may have participated in a press stakeout. At these stakeouts, delegates deliver a press briefing to several members of the WIMUN press team who follow with a series of questions regarding their statements and general position on the Security Council’s agenda item. The unique experience of the press stakeouts has become a staple for delegates attending WIMUN. At the real UN, Secretaries General, Special Envoys and delegates of the Security Council have spoken at press stakeouts. The fact that WIMUN delegates get to do the same adds to the realism of the WIMUN Real UN simulation.
As a member of the press team, I have had the privilege of asking many of the questions that delegates answered to the best of their ability. When preparing questions for the various country representatives, I consider their role in the conflict being discussed by the Security Council and any official policies they have regarding that specific conflict. Delegates have the opportunity to think on their feet and formulate answers that do not contradict their country’s previous actions while simultaneously preserving a favorable image of their country.
Delegates are often a bit nervous when they begin their press briefing, after all it is a brand new kind of public speaking experience for them. Once they get accustomed to the bright lights and cameras facing them, they quickly find themselves answering questions with confidence. Even when delegates are unaware of the correct way to respond to a certain question, they will find creative responses that do not necessarily answer the question but relate it to something they are more comfortable speaking on. Delegates who successfully deflect questions that if truthfully answered may harm their national image are always impressive.
At these press stakeouts, delegates display their expertise on their country’s policy and ability to respond with appropriate answers to difficult questions. If you’re participating in a Security Council simulation in Geneva or any of our other conferences, do not hesitate to volunteer to deliver a press briefing because it will only serve to improve your public speaking and improvisation skills.