What is Model United Nations?

What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations first began as Model League of Nations around the 1920s as a student-led simulation of the predecessor to the United Nations, the first official conference being held in February of 1949 at St. Lawrence University, just a few short years after the UN Charter was adopted and signed. Since then, it has continued to grow in popularity and is now found at most major universities all around the world. Today, MUN conferences are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order (see here: http://www.rulesonline.com/ for more info) and offer some of the committees and organizations that make up the real United Nations, as well as other international organizations, which each address an assigned issue. A typical MUN conference will look something like this:

  • Opening Ceremony with Guest Speaker
  • Committee Work
  • Social Activities
  • Organized Dinners
  • Special Event
  • Committee Work
  • Closing Ceremony

The MUN format requires different committees to debate for a series of days. These committees are led by chairs which were selected based on motivation. Each committee is assigned to various topics by the board for which they can propose resolutions, and participants are required to prepare position papers in advance to familiarize themselves with the topic. If relevant to the debate, the committees can request for the board to arrange a public speaker to assist the committee work content-wise. When delegates apply to a conference they are assigned to a committee of a conference and are given a country whose interests they must represent. Within the committees there is both moderated caucus- in which delegates must follow the Robert’s Rules of Order to participate- and the unmoderated caucus- in which delegates are allowed to debate privately with other constituents to reach agreements that support their interests and push a resolution forward.

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