Model United Nations

The United Nations is about gathering together different cultures, political systems, and peoples, and giving them the opportunity to try and make the world a better place for our future generations.

Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Security Council, or other multilateral body, which catapults students into the world of diplomacy and negotiation. In Model U.N., students step into the shoes of ambassadors of U.N. member states, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to debate current issues on the Organization’s vast agenda. The students, better known as “delegates” in Model U.N., prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the U.N.’s 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 ambassadorial roles in Model U.N., students do research on the particular global problems to be addressed. The problems are drawn from today’s headlines. Model U.N.ers learn how the international community acts on its concerns about

peace and security
human rights
the environment
food and hunger
economic development
and more.

Model U.N. “delegates” also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the country they will “represent” at the event. The insights they gain from their exploration of

and science

–contribute to the authenticity of the simulation once the actual role-playing gets under way–and ensures a lively and memorable experience.

For over 50 years now, teachers and students have benefited from and enjoyed this interactive learning experience that not only involves young people in the study and discussion of global issues but also encourages the development of skills useful throughout their lives:

· Research
· Writing
· Public speaking
· Problem solving
· Consensus building
· Conflict resolution
· Compromise and cooperation.

The popularity of Model has contributed to the rapid growth of this activity over several decades, and today upwards of 200,000 high school and college/university students participate in a Model U.N. each year. Some are classroom exercises, others school-wide, and still others regional, national, or international. Those in the last group are called “conferences” because of their larger sizes bringing participants from all over. Many conference participants are “repeaters,” since the spirit and substance of these simulations create an appetite for this activity more commonly known as “MUN Fever”. Those with MUN Fever may continue on as adults to seek out “intergenerational” simulations.

In fact, quite a few of today’s leaders in law, government, business, and the arts participated in Model U.N. during their academic career-from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and World Court Justice Stephen M. Schwebel to actor Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill). And yes, Chelsea Clinton is a Model U.N. veteran as well.

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