Cooperative Problem Solving

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A proposal will have general appeal if all delegations like it.

It may however also be accepted if some delegations like it and no others particularly object to it.

Consider the following two statements: The first statement has less appeal for an international audience than the second statement.

Both formulations make it equally clear that country X delegation supports freer trade in agricultural products but the second formulation explains why many others should support it as well.

In that case the buyer wants to pay as little as possible, while the seller wants to receive as much as possible.

A gain by one party means an equal loss by the other.This type of negotiation is sometimes referred to as ‘competitive bargaining’.It has been extensively studied over the centuries by traders everywhere and, more recently, in business schools.If a proposal is cogently expressed, it starts with considerable advantages.If beyond that it reflects the wishes of as many other delegations as possible, it is well on the way to being accepted.The challenge for you is to develop a proposal or see to it that one is developed, which meets these requirements and also reflects your wishes.As pointed out earlier, each negotiation can be thought of as a search for a solution to the conundrum posed by the fact that different delegations have different objectives and ambitions.Likewise principles and precedents can be very important considerations, well worth referring to; but only those principles and precedents which are widely known and respected by those whom you are trying to persuade to support the outcome you want.In preparation for MUN simulations, delegates can learn about important principles and precedents that they could refer to in negotiations by studying records of speeches given by actual delegations during General Assembly or Security Council meetings on the agenda items of interest.Each party is concerned primarily to maximize its own gains and minimize the cost to themselves.Then some important tactical principles come to the fore: Precepts of this kind can readily generate a competitive or even combative spirit and encourage negotiators to consider a loss by their counterparts as a gain for themselves.


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