“At Model UN, you broaden your horizons. By learning and networking, you can be part of the UN’s efforts to establish peace, secure human rights and enable all people to live in dignity.” – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, 24 January 2017
Model United Nations (MUN) simulations are popular exercises for those interested in learning more about the UN. Students take on the roles of diplomats from different countries, representing their nation in discussions on agenda topic in the conference.
Preparing for, and participating in, a Model UN conference can help students and young people develop leadership skills as well as research, writing, public speaking and problem solving skills. The imperative of devising solutions that are acceptable to a majority of the state’s present engenders skills of deft negotiation, conflict resolution and cooperation.
Model United Nations (MUN) has existed for more than 70 years. But it was never monitored by the UN. The first time that a MUN conference was co-sponsored by the UN was in August 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. Almost a decade later, the UN Department of Public Information organized three Global Model UN (GMUN) conferences in Geneva, Kuala Lumpur and Incheon, from 2009 to 2011 respectively. It was in the context of these three conferences that new rules of procedure and a new approach to conducting MUN simulations of the General Assembly were introduced. Today, the UN has developed guidelines for conducting a MUN simulation. It does not conduct its own MUN simulations but provides advice on how students can organize them following the proper procedures and processes.
The UN4MUN Guide
The UN4MUN Guide is unique in three important ways. First, it introduces a leadership structure and responsibilities that more accurately mirror the relationship between the General Assembly and UN Secretariat. As a result, student leaders play a more substantive role in the conference than they do in typical MUN simulations.
Second, it uses Rules of Procedure that are much closer to those used at the UN. While there is some variety in the rules of procedure used by MUN programmes around the world, they are largely based on parliamentary rules of procedure, which differ from those used at the UN. The General Assembly Rules of Procedure do not have many of the points and motions used during typical MUN simulations, such as Points of Information, Points of Personal Privilege or Points of Inquiry. In some instances, parliamentary procedures violate the sovereign rights of Member States and are therefore not appropriate for simulations of the General Assembly or Security Council. Even the terminology that has evolved over time is different than what is used at the UN. For example, the distinction between “friendly” and “unfriendly” amendments does not exist, and the terms “moderated” and “unmoderated caucuses” are not used either.
Third, most decisions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council are made by consensus. The leadership structure and rules of procedure should therefore support a working environment that encourages delegates to build consensus. This guide introduces new ideas on how MUN simulations can encourage such consensus building.
For more information
Guidelines for use of the UN emblem
Use and display of the United Nations emblem is highly restricted and essentially limited to the activities of the United Nations. You may not use any trademark, official mark, official emblem, flag or logo of the United Nations, or any of its other means of promotion or publicity, to represent or imply an association or affiliation with the United Nations without the United Nation’s prior written consent.
If a Model UN wishes to obtain authorization to use the UN logo or the crossed olive branches for the specified duration of a Model UN conference, a written request to the Secretary of the United Nations Publications Board should be submitted. Use of the logo on a permanent basis will not be authorized. All requests for the use of the UN logo should be sent to email@example.com via email.
Background on the UN logo: http://research.un.org/en/maps/flags
Collaboration with UNIC Colombo
The United Nations Information Centre, as the focal point for Model UN collaboration in the UN system in Sri Lanka provides guidance and assistance in organizing the MUNs in Sri Lanka. However, UNIC is unable to provide financial assistance under any conditions.
All Model UN Conference organizers are requested to meet the following conditions to be eligible to collaborate with UNIC:
1.The Conference should be at least in their second annual session with a minimum of 10 different schools or colleges taking part.
2.Along with the request collaboration letter a report or website link of the last conference should be notified in order to confirm the quality standard.
3.UNIC should be informed at least 3 months in advance of the conference dates for any form of collaboration. No last-minute requests can be entertained.
4.UNIC supported conferences should follow the UN4MUN procedures. These procedures were developed by the UN Department of Public Information to help organizers and participants in MUN conferences worldwide gain a more accurate experience
The documents needed to approve a collaboration
Committees, agendas, dates, venue and expected number of delegates for your upcoming conference. Please note that while unconventional political committees (future, historic, Sri Lankan, international) are accepted, we discourage the simulation of fictional or non-political committees.
Please ensure that an event report is sent to us after the closure of the conference.
To request collaboration, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.