What is MUN?
Model United Nations provides students with the opportunity to learn about and discuss today’s most relevant issues in international diplomacy through participation in an academic simulation of the many bodies of the United Nations as well as other similar international organizations.
Through the process of preconference research and in-conference debate, caucusing, and resolution writing, delegates work together to fashion global solutions to these questions, while simultaneously articulating and defending the opinions of the real United Nations ambassadors and delegates whom they represent. Model United Nations allows participants to expand both their understanding and abilities of globally-relevant issues. Pre-conference research on a country’s domestic and foreign policies adds to participant’s knowledge and appreciation of world affairs.
By converting this research into resolutions and material for discussion in committee, students hone their analytical abilities, while the debate and lobbying processes afford students the opportunity to practice their public speaking and conflict resolution skills. MUN participants come away from a conference with a more acute understanding of the world we live in and with a greater commitment to finding solutions for its problems.
Summary of what comprises a Model UN Experience
- Pre-conference research
Students are informed of their committee and country assignment well in advance of the conference. On the YMUN Korea website, delegates can find their committee webpage, which will serve as a rich resource for their preparation in months to come. On this page, delegates will find the topics that their committees will be discussing. Most delegates begin their research with the Committee Study Guide compiled by each committee’s chairs. These treasure troves of information serve as an excellent introduction, but delegates should research and study beyond the guides, using the Internet as well as other resources. The guides provide useful websites for further research. Delegates must research and understand not only the topics, but also their individual country’s relationship to the issue. To demonstrate the depth of their learning and preparation, delegates must write and submit a Position Paper.
- In-conference debate
Each individual delegate, representing a different country with different needs and circumstances, will bring a different perspective to the issue at hand. Much of the time spent in committee will involve delegates making speeches to present their country’s positions and their ideas, and then defending these ideas, considering and questioning those of others, and finally, modifying and combining ideas to create the most effective and fair solutions possible. Through in-conference debate, delegates refine their public speaking and argumentative skills, while at once understanding the depths of the issues they discuss from every perspective.
- Resolution writing
After extensive debate, delegates begin producing working papers, which are resolutions in the making. Resolutions represent a synthesis of the thought and discussion of the committee, and declare the committee’s specific action towards resolving the issue. Furthermore, delegates refine their writing skills in producing a resolution in the format of the real United Nations.