Model United Nations (MUN)
The earliest known Model United National Conference took place at the UN in Geneva in 1953, shortly after the Second World War. Its mission was to ensure that the youth of the day did not make the same political mistakes as their ancestors! Today, as we grapple with serious problems such as wars, climate change, human rights abuses, terrorism and rising debt, MUN is more relevant than ever.
The basic concept is simple: pupils are allocated a country (normally not their own country) They research the country in advance and then ‘represent’ what they believe are that country’s views in a series of grand debates on important international issues. The debates will take place in several locations in the UK and abroad. This is a particularly good activity for pupils in their last two years of secondary education, and universities value MUN extremely highly when considering applications. However, pupils are very welcome to join the project if they are younger than that- many pupils get the ‘MUN bug’ and can participate in up to ten different MUN conferences by the time they leave school!
What are the benefits?
There are huge benefits to participating and here are just a few:
- Citizenship-interactive learning about global issues and democratic systems
- Experience-the opportunity to specialise in either economic, environmental, human rights, health or international security issues
- Public Speaking-honing your confidence and debating skills
- Tolerance and Compromise-learning to see things from others’ perspectives
- Personal Skills-informal lobbying as well as formal speaking
- Leadership Skills-experienced pupils can take a leading role
Do I need experience?
No experience is necessary-you’ll receive training along the way! The more research you do, the more you will get out of the conferences-it’s that simple.