A: Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly and other committees in the UN. It is like role-playing wherein students or “delegates” assume the role of ambassadors from member states of the 193 UN member states and debate current issues with other delegates. Delegates are placed in different committees ranging from large general assemblies to smaller crisis committees. Delegates will follow parliamentary procedure, engage in debate with others, network with fellow delegates to draft resolutions, and resolve conflicts by passing bills and amendments. Model UN is a wonderful way to discuss issues that matter in our world today, learning from others and collaborating to create solutions that can have significant impact on the global community.
A: The best thing you can do to be a great delegate is prepare ahead of time. You have no way of knowing how committee will go and how prepared the other delegates will be, but if you know your background information and the rules of committee you will be set. Make sure you research the country or individual you are representing so you know how to argue from their point of view. If you are representing a historical figure or a specific official, ensure that you have read information about them as well. Come with an open mind, talk to your advisors and other delegates, and have a great time!
A: Model UN is a great way to learn about historical and current events and issues that have shaped our world. It encourages debate and the practice of public speaking, while you get to meet lots of other students who share your passion for finding solutions to complex issues. Model UN shows that by sharing ideas, learning about issues that matter, and thinking deeply, students can really make a difference in this world.
A: Many of you may have had Model UN experiences in the classroom or school-wide debates. Conferences are held at regional, national, and international levels with delegates from all over the world. According to the United Nations Association of the United States of America, “there are more than 400 conferences that take place in 52 countries.” A conference means that there will be lengthier committee sessions and time for debates broken up into a series of sessions throughout the course of an extended period of time. In the case of MSUMUN, committee session is extended over the course of three days.
A: Registration can be completed online by going to our registration page, located under the ‘Delegates and Advisors’ tab in the top navigation bar (when registration is closed this page will not be online).
A: The best thing you can do is research, research, research! It is important to have a grasp on general MUN knowledge – bodies in the UN, what kinds of issues are discussed, parliamentary procedure or rules, etc. Then you can get into greater detail including which country or international body you are representing and where they stand on certain policies. Consult your advisor and use resources that are available to you at school or online. The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNAUSA) has a really helpful preparation guide.
A: A position paper is the most basic form of research for Model U.N. It is a document that details your countries general policy on specific issues and expresses the goals of your country toward certain issues. Completing this position paper in advance will help you understand how the country/ambassador you are representing would feel or argue about topics in committee. For more information on position papers for the MSUMUN conference visit our position papers page.
A: Rules will sometimes vary depending on the conference you are at, but they will most likely be up on their website and review them when you get to the conference that weekend. Rules of procedure or parliamentary procedure help the committee sessions run smoothly. You will vote on the agenda and choose which topic you want to debate first. There will be formal debate in which your Dias (composed of Chairs and Assistant Chairs) controls the speakers’ list and speaking time and you will alternate between speakers. Moderated and unmoderated caucuses help debate move along so that you can discuss more. In a moderated caucus includes delegates raising their placards or name tags to be called on to speak. In unmoderated caucuses debate is suspended and delegates can move around the room to discuss issues. You will also draft resolutions and present them, with voting on them finally.
A: Delegates should wear western business attire or international standard business attire. What does this mean? Wear something appropriate for your grandmother or an interview. Boys should wear suits or nice dress pants and a button down/tie. Girls should wear suits, skirts, dress pants, blouses, or a blazer. Note: your skirt should be a reasonable length, most likely longer than what you wear on a regular basis, and the neckline should be conservative as well. Nice dress shoes for boys and flats or heels for ladies. You are representing some pretty important people, so look the part! Watch this video lesson for more information and examples of Western business attire.
A: During committee resolutions are written drafts that include a list of steps or actions to be taken in order to solve the issues or conflicts being discussed. They need to be detailed, present facts, and must suggest realistic suggestions for the actions you want to take. You are trying to get votes so that your resolution can pass, so try to appeal to the members of your committee.
A: Make sure you have done your research and that you are prepared. Speaking in front of people can be nerve-wracking no matter what, but if you know your stuff then you are going to feel much more confident. Chances are everyone else is nervous as well, but the best way you can get over the nerves is speaking from the beginning. The more you do it, the more relaxed you will get as the conference goes on, and the more your chair will notice you!
A: You will be surrounded by lots of delegates from other schools at conferences, as well as their advisors. You will also have chairs and assistant chairs in your committees who will dictate the rules, control speaking time, and to whom you can ask questions or send notes. The Secretariat is the board in charge of making sure the conference runs smoothly and effectively, often working behind the scenes before and during the conference!