Thanks to modern technology, a vast majority of society is reasonably aware of what’s going on in our world. In some way or another, major current events—like climate change, or the latest natural disaster—make their way onto our radars everyday. Still, as small individuals in a big world, taking action to resolve these issues seems—well—impossible. And that’s where Model United Nations comes in! By giving participants the opportunity to learn about these issues, MUN encourages young people to take initiative and shows us that we yield the power to create change.
Model UN simulates the United Nations, as each student represents a delegation of a country and conducts research to learn and discover their country’s standpoint and approach to world issues. Students will then incorporate their research and ideas into a position paper addressing the issue at hand, previous UN action, and most importantly their countries’ views. This will broaden students’ perspectives on international issues, as well as help develop writing and research skills. “Doing research for MUN helps me in researching other things, too,” says May Braaten, a senior in Cazenovia’s MUN club, “Being able to practice research skills helps me to research efficiently in the classroom!”
After developing and preparing solutions based on their research, students will present their country’s view to a committee of other fellow delegates to persuade them to adopt their approach. During the committee meeting, delegates will have the opportunity to debate with opposing countries, negotiate compromises, and form coalitions to create a resolution addressing the issue at hand. “Last conference, I addressed the issue of the disarmament of natural resources,” says sophomore and MUN treasurer Ben Orbach. “I enjoyed the intense debate and collaboration between myself and other delegates. It really enhanced the perspectives of everyone involved.” Sophomore and MUN president Emma Steinberg adds, “These debates help individuals think on their feet and make strong arguments, in addition to taking part in the UN’s initiatives for change.”
Conferences are the core part of MUN where delegates representing various countries are brought together to propose, debate, and resolve solutions to world issues. During these conferences, your preparation and abilities will be put to the test and you will develop skills and experience which will help you throughout school and your career.
With the experience, skill, and knowledge gained from Model UN, students will go out into the world ready to do more than simply talk about the issue; but to tackle them head on with their full range of skills to be an effective change agent in the modern world.