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What is the Model UN?

Here is the official definition of Model UN from the United Nations Association of the United States of America:

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

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

"Model UN "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

· history
· geography
· mathematics
· culture
· economics
· 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 UN - ing 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 UN 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 UN 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 UN veteran as well.

"The Model United Nations is a simulation of the United Nations system. Students assume the roles of ambassadors to the United nations and debate the current issues on the UN's agenda. Through diplomacy and negotiation, Model UN students seek ways that the world community can deal with complex global concerns such as the environment, economic development, refugees, AIDS, conflict resolution, disarmament and human rights. Young people of all backgrounds and walks of life participate in these educational exercises to experience first-hand decision-making processes and diplomatic work at the United Nations.

(This is the official definition of Model Un from the United Nations Association of the United States of America.)

You can create your own Model UN or participate in an existing one. Our book and video series, "Introduction to the Model United Nations", explains how to set up and organize a Model UN. Our links page gives you a connection to a large number of existing Model UN organizations. Please contact them directly for information on registration and participation.

Learn more about how to register for a Model United Nations Conference,
how to select a country, and how to select a conference from our FAQs page.


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