What is an MUN Conference?
Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the United Nations General Assembly and its Committees, which catapults students into the world of diplomacy and negotiation. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of UN member states, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to debate current issues on the Organization’s vast agenda. The students, better known as delegates in Model UN, prepare positions and speeches, plot strategies, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, debate and seek to resolve conflicts, while navigating the UN complex “rules of procedure” – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth.
Before playing out their delegate role in a Model UN conference, students do research on the particular global problems that will be addressed in their committees. The problems are drawn from today’s headlines, thus allowing students to become acquainted with how the international community acts on its concerns about peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, health, globalization, and more… Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, foreign policy of the country they will “represent” at the conference. The insights gained from exploring the history, geography, culture, economics and society of their assigned country contribute to the authenticity of the simulation, and ensures a lively and memorable experience.
The benefits of this learning experience are tremendous, as students are encouraged to develop skills that will be useful to them throughout their lives: researching and analyzing, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, cooperation and compromise, leadership, etc…
Several websites can enlighten the newcomer to Model UN conferences:
THIMUN – The Hague Model UN, main conference in Europe:
UNA-USA – American United Nations Association:
CANIMUN – Canadian International MUN, whose site is bilingual