What is Model UN?
Model United Nations (MUN) conferences are held all over the world. They're usually geared toward a specific age group ranging from middle, high school or college students to adults. Operational aspects of these conferences vary widely, but the actual United Nations serves as a basic structural guide.
It's important to note that participants benefit from the program regardless of their personal stance on the value of the United Nations itself. Using the structure of the UN is simply a foundation.
Delegates start by learning as much as they can about their assigned country. This in itself has value since delegates often know little to nothing about a country and its people when they start the process. Next, delegates take a deep dive into where their country stands on specific issues, creatively hunting down a wide variety of resources to gather this information. During competition, they represent people who may have very different ideas, teaching the valuable skill of being able to see things from other points of view. Delegates learn public speaking and debate skills, learn to write clearly and succinctly, and practice the art of compromise. Through it all, delegates gain confidence and self-esteem while learning more about the world they live in and gaining a greater appreciation for the idea that we are all far more alike than different.
Our committee chairs use software developed by MyMUN, founded by Jonas Bruns. Jonas recently gave a TEDx talk that puts a global perspective on the benefits of participating in Model UN. Check it out!