Model United Nations are simulations of United Nations bodies done by high school, college and university students. The students are referred to as ‘delegates’ and often join as a group (delegation) from a school or university’s MUN club or society. The simulations are mostly held in the form of a conference of around three to four days. An MUN conference usually consists of multiple simulations of different committees. In addition to the traditional UN committees such as the Security Council or DISEC, there are for example regional committees (such as NATO) or crisis committees. In the latter, delegates need to react to sudden changes in the international landscape during the debating sessions. A committee can vary in size from as little as fifteen delegates in the Security Council to more than a hundred in the General Assembly.
A conference is always opened with an opening ceremony at which the staff introduce themselves and guest speakers give speeches about e.g. the theme of the conference, specific international topics or the UN as a whole. At the closing ceremony, the awards are presented, as MUN often has a competitive element. For example, a delegate that has shown excellent negotiating skills and has achieved certain goals, can win an award for the best delegate. Besides the debating sessions during the day, social events are organised at night to blow off some steam and to get to know your fellow delegates in a less formal atmosphere.
All MUN conferences are different, but there are a few things they all have in common: they are always challenging, fun and a great way to meet people from all over the world!