WHAT IS MODEL UNITED NATIONS?
Model United Nations - also known as Model UN or, more simply, MUN - is a simulation-style conference held in which students are presented with the opportunity to engage in proceedings as they would occur in the United Nations. Conferences are offered at the high school and collegiate level, ranging from as few as 50 to as large as 5,000 participants. As delegates, registered schools are assigned a country prior to the conference to represent on a myriad of committees. Throughout the event, delegates are expected to engage in diplomatic debates and establish relations with representatives from other countries in order to solve current global issues or crises. Students are assessed on their ability to communicate, write and think critically, as well as the level of professionalism they portray. Delegates are also expected to uphold their country assignment's position on the issues presented and formulate solutions in the way the actual countries would.
TYPES OF COMMITTEES
The General Assembly (GA) is the largest committee featured in a Model United Nations Conference. This committee allows nearly every nation the opportunity to participate, while engaging in rigorous debates and cooperation in order to formulate non-binding resolutions.
Specialized committees are typically smaller than the GA, in order to facilitate a group of nations working towards a solution to a more centralized problem. The topic usually requires delegates to conduct extensive research on a very specific issue.
Crisis committees are often considered the most challenging. Typically the smallest in size, delegates are presented with real-time crises which require them to think on their feet in order to develop an effective solution. This committee is often recommended for students with more experience, as the committee receives updates that, at any time, can alter the flow of the crisis.
At the start of committee proceedings, the chair will select a number of delegates to join a rolling list of speakers that present their views to the entire committee. The chair will revert to the list between caucusing and continuously add member states throughout the session.
During this time, member states are called upon by the chair and are given the opportunity to address the committee according to a predetermined topic, time limit and speaker's time. Delegates may also offer rebuttals to any direct comments made by opposing member states.
This period may be the most crucial in regards to working papers and potential resolutions. Once a length of time is voted on, the committee disperses into informal working groups in order to share ideas and begin writing working papers for submission to the chair. The chair may be approached during an unmoderated caucus, as well.