What is a Model of United Nations?

Author: Patrick Gruban, cropped and downsampled by Pine

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/UN_General_Assembly_hall.jpg

License: Creative Commons

What is a Model of United Nations?

A Model of United Nations is an international encounter of students from different countries who decide to spend a few days representing a given State at a council of importance in International Relations, assuming the roles of diplomats, ambassadors, and heads of states. Generally, it is said that it can be considered as a Model of United Nations when discussions are done in at least three out of six of the main UN bodies, but it is possible to include other councils.

These conferences are fantastic opportunities to see the politicised nature of international politics and bureaucratic operating of the various organisations that try to solve these global problems. The objective of this councils is drafting a resolution, that is divided into two parts: Preambulatory Clauses (where the council analyses the overall situation on the topic) and Operative Clauses (where the decisions taken by the council are expressed, in other words, the solutions to the problematic situation).

This exercise encourages young people to know:

  • Concerns and hopes of people in different regions of the world.
  • How the UN works to improve the lives of the people who inhabit this planet.
  • The regulatory tools and attitude required to strengthen and improve international cooperation.
  • Mechanisms to reach consensus and resolve controversies through peaceful means.
  • The importance of cooperation, negotiation and tolerance.

Who preside over the council?

The Chairs. There are two Chairs in each council. They are the visible part of the Staff, as they are the first contact person to delegates, keep them informed about recent organisation news, choose the topics, moderate the debates, advice delegates when playing their role, decide on sanctions and give the awards during the closing ceremony.

How did the MUN dream start?

The MUN origin can be placed in the United States of America in early 1920s, when some students of Harvard University decided to create a League of Nations simulation. After them, many colleges followed their example and held other Models all around the world.

What is it good for?

Simulations are not only useful exercises in preparation for future diplomats, but are also very helpful for anyone interested in international affairs, as it increases the delegate’s sensitivity and culture. Even more, MUNs improve skills related to Public Speaking, strategies in negotiations, and research.