Model UN 101
Model United Nations (or Model UN) is a simulation of United Nations and other international bodies, which allows students to take on the roles of diplomats around the world. Model UN seeks to promote awareness of the many issues facing the international community, and to give students the opportunity to engage in critical thinking about how to address those issues. Students or "delegates" must step into the shoes of the country or position they are assigned.
Delegates seek to promote the interests of their assigned position and cooperate with other representatives by negotiating with allies and others alike, resolving conflicts, and writing draft resolutions. All this is in the ultimate pursuit of forming innovative solutions for addressing the issues facing the world.
Topics at a Model UN conference (like CMUNC) range from political to economic, to security, to social and humanitarian issues, and to the environment. Any issue that seeks global action is a possibility at a Model UN conference. Crisis committees go one step further, forcing delegates to face unexpected events thrown at them. Historical crisis committees seek to re-write the course of key historical events.
Delegates do not need any previous experience to succeed at a Model UN conference. With adequate preparation, any student can engage in a committee session and offer their unique perspective on the problems facing the world. Participating in Model UN participating teaches important skills such as researching, public speaking, cooperating with others, conflict resolution, and writing.
At the end of a long Model UN weekend, delegates should come away with a heightened awareness and knowledge of the problems our world currently faces, along with an enhanced perspective on how to deal with those problems. Last but not least, delegates should come away from Model UN having had a great time, maybe making a few new friends along the way.