What is Model United Nations (MUN)?
When you hear the words Model United Nations for the first time you may have many questions running through your head.
- What is Model United Nations?
- Who is Model United Nations?
- Where is Model United Nations?
- What does Model United Nations do?
- Is MUN a person? A place? A central organization?
- Is Model United Nations a Modeling agency?
- Can I model for the UN?
Model United Nations goes by many names like Mock United Nations, Model UN, and MUN. Model United Nations is not a singular organization nor does it happen in just one place. The following article will answer all of your basic questions on what is Model UN, how it works, and where to find a MUN club and MUN conferences around the globe!
What is MUN All About?
Model United Nations definition is a system of simulations to imitate the procedures of the United Nations finding solutions for real-world problems. This is done through an academic simulation of the United Nations procedure learned through negotiation, discussion and lively debates, which is the cornerstone of UN activity.
Model UN aims to educate students about current events, international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations agenda. Along with knowledge of the world we live in, participants will develop skills including public speaking, presentation, persuasion, situation analysis, research, and critical thinking.
What is the United Nations?
The United Nations (UN) was founded in 1945 right after World War 2. The underlying principle of the UN was to maintain peace and make sure such a war never happened again. Thus was created the United Nations, as a forum for all nations to come together to discuss and solve global challenges.
The UN Charter sets out four main purposes:
- Maintaining worldwide peace and security.
- Developing relations among nations.
- Fostering cooperation between nations in order to solve economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian international problems.
- Providing a forum for bringing countries together to meet the UN’s purposes and goals.
The United Nations has 193 member countries and two observer countries (as of 2019). The UN headquarters is located on international territory in New York City. The United Nations has bodies that deal with providing food, curing disease, refugees, climate change, innovation and more!
How Does Model United Nations Work?
MUN participants role-play as diplomats representing a nation in a simulated session of an organ (committee) of the United Nations. Using Model United Nations Rules of Procedure, participants will simulate UN bodies like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), the Security Council, the General Assembly or any of the other United Nations bodies.
Participants will need to research a country, take on the role of a diplomat to try and find solutions to important problems of the day. Through public speech, debate, lobbying and negotiations, the participants will come together to create documents with their policy ideas called ‘draft resolutions’. Once the drafts are ready, they will be discussed voted upon by the committee. A successful MUN delegate is one who can introduce an idea from their opening speech and successfully get it onto the draft resolution which is passed with a majority.
Where Can I Find Model United Nations?
You can do MUN at conferences and during MUN club meetings.
What is a Model United Nations club?
A MUN club is a group of students, from middle school through university, where you meet weekly to learn about MUN and practice through in club simulations. If you have a club where you study, joining the club is a good first step. If you do not have one, you can start a club or go to a conference as an independent. As part of a club you can practice the different skills MUN teaches on a weekly bases in preparation for Model United Nations conferences.
How do I Prepare for Model United Nations?
The first step is choosing a Model United Nations conference. Once you found one, sign up and wait for your allocation. The conference will send you your country, committee assignment and topic of discussion.
At this point, you need to start researching. Note that this research does not exist in a vacuum. Your research needs to give you the information to make a:
- Position Paper
- Opening statement (your first speech)
- Research binder
- Ideas for clauses (you want in the draft resolution)
With this in mind, you will research your country, the topic the conference gave you and your committee mandate. You can also study allies or opponents.
What are the Benefits of Model United Nations?
There are so many skills that you can learn from Model UN that will help them in college and beyond. These takeaways will remain valuable long after MUN the conferences end.
1 – Hands-on Experience in Diplomacy, International Relations, Negotiation and Lobbying
You will develop confidence in their skills through trial and experience. MUN conferences are excellent opportunities to practice all of the skills in a structured environment.
2 – Improve Public Speaking, Speech Writing, and Debate Skills
MUN is a place to practice critical life skills in real time. In a biosphere of likeminded individuals, MUN can help hone public speaking, debate and speech writing skills faster and better than most other activities.
3 – Teamwork and Leadership
MUN conferences are diplomatic simulations that require you to work with others to pass draft resolutions. As this cannot be done alone, MUN uniquely provides the platform not just for disagreement but also for negotiation and compromise and you work with others to reach an agreement that works for both your goals.
4 – Travel to New Places
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” -Gustav Flaubert
The world is a beautiful place. Take advantage not only of the classrooms but also the sites and sounds of the cities you visit. Each city can be its own world and MUN is a great way to see more of them!
5 – Make Friends all over the World
A MUN conference is where people of different nationalities from other cities in your country, or all over the world, come together in the same place for a few days. This is a great way to meet excellent, intelligent and driven people with a passion for the same things as you is one of the highlights of MUN.
6 – Boost Your Resume
MUN looks great on university applications and gives students the learning and leadership experiences that admissions officers look for. These experiences help students stand out among their peers with real life experience and provides material for personal essays and interviews. There is also the added benefit that MUN has an extensive alumni network at top colleges and universities.
7 – A Chance to Dress Up
If you like the opportunity to wear formal attire or feel you really need the practice, MUN is a great place to do exactly that. Whether for the committee session or for the delegates ball, MUN is a chance to not only feel smart but also look it.
And that’s it! We hope you liked our brief introduction to what is MUN and the meaning of Model United Nations. If you want to learn more about in specific part of MUN from delegate strategies to chairing and from teaching MUN to how to run a conference, check out the other resources on WiseMee for more information about MUN!