Firstly, what does MUN stand for?
MUN stands for Model United Nations and is basically a student-led exercise which requires the participants to roleplay delegates to the United Nations.
What is MUN all about?
The Model United Nations is a simulated version of the UN and its various committees.
MUN is the kind of platform where students get to learn about diplomacy, international relations and of course the functions of the United Nations. It establishes the atmosphere of a UN conference, follows an orderly decorum and inculcates a proper sense of responsibility and conduct in and amongst the student body.
MUN teaches the participants researching, public speaking, debating and writing skills in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, leadership abilities.
It makes students aware of current world issues as they are, after all, going to be the future global citizens. It widens their horizon and engages them in rapid and smart functioning activities.
How is it conducted?
- Participants in Model United Nations’ conferences known as delegates are placed in committees and assigned countries to represent; occasionally other organizations or political factions may be portrayed as well.
- They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic(s) that their committee needs to discuss.
- Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent.
- There would be an opening speech by each delegate and the matter shall be dealt with professionally and a good amount of preparation must be done beforehand to appear for a MUN conference set-up.
- At the end of the conference, the best performing delegates in each committee, as well as delegations are recognized with awards.
What is the role of DISEC in MUN?
The General assembly is the main organ of the United Nations and has representation from every UN member states and discusses a wide variety of issues. Owing to the mega responsibility and duty of the GA, it is subdivided further into six committees. One of them being the Disarmament and International Security committee. It is the First Committee of the General Assembly and is the most popular GA-style committee of the United Nations.
An example of DISEC’s role is– In 1946, in light of the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it created its first resolution to address concerns for the ”Establishment of a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy”.
Thus, it deals with topics that center around disarmament, global issues and threats to peace that jeopardize global peace and security. It is one of the most important parts of the UN.
COMMITTEES INCLUDED IN THE MUN…
Following are some of the committees that the Model United Nations include-
1) Economic and Finance Committee (ECOFIN)
2) Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
3) Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)
4) Special, Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
5) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
6) United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
There are basically three things a candidate must prepare before they walk into a MUN conference for the purpose of being in the know of events.
- Position Paper (or Policy Statement):
The Position Paper is a one or two-page document that is essentially a summary of your knowledge of the topic and the position your country plans to take when it enters committee.
- a)Background of topic: Background guide of the topic provided by the conference, Google, the news, Wikipedia (to frame the topic).
- b) Past international actions: UN website, your committee’s website, key treaties or resolutions mentioned in your background guide, UN or NGO reports.
- c) Country policy: CIA World Factbook, your country’s foreign ministry website, domestic programs within your country, and your country’s voting record on key treaties or resolutions.
- d) Possible Solutions: NGO recommendations, past UN resolutions that you’d like to change or expand on, and your own creativity!
- Opening Speech
The Opening Speech typically lasts about 1 minute or 1 minute and 30 seconds and is the first speech you give to the committee. It is the best opportunity for you to explain your country policy. Use your Position Paper as a guide when you are starting out. The most important action is to just be confident.
- Research Binder
Research Binders (which are mainly a huge compilation of resources, a fact file) are optional but highly recommended, especially since many conferences do not allow the use of technology in committee.
# How to Write a Resolution
Delegates will be writing a document called a Resolution in committee along with other countries that they will be working with. It’s important to know the resolution format and phrases and it cannot be pre-written.
ALL THE BEST!