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An overview to Model UN

Answers to your top five questions about Model United Nations

Every year, more than 400,000 people from primary schools, universities, and beyond take part in a Model United Nations (MUN).

By role-playing meetings like the Security Council and General Assembly, participants get a unique insight into how the United Nations works. They research, debate and try to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems just like the real thing.

It’s great fun, giving you the opportunity to meet new people. It also helps you develop and demonstrate key skills like public speaking, teamwork and negotiation which will look great on your CV.

Below are the top five questions we get asked about MUN.

1. What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic or recreational activity in which participants assume the role of national ambassadors or representatives to debate and seek to solve global issues, Any UN body or agency can be simulated (the Security Council and General Assembly are the most popular). Some MUNs, last days and faithfully follow UN protocol, while others can take place during an hour’s lesson in a primary school. It’s up to you how formal or informal you want yours to be.

2. Why do Model United Nations?

There are few better ways of understanding international affairs and global politics than putting yourself ‘in the shoes of world leaders’. Because participants discuss UN topics and represent their adopted country’s position, they will often be arguing from an unfamiliar perspective, developing knowledge, understanding, empathy and other key life skills.

3. How do I involve my school, university or group?

MUN is a tool that you are free to use and adapt to your circumstances. Simulations can be held whenever, wherever and however best suits your group. Whether you are based at a school, university, workplace or somewhere else, Our PDF guides for schools and universities suggest things to consider when planning an event as well as what needs to happen on the day.

4. Do I need to affiliate with/get permission from an external organisation to establish a group or participate in Model United Nations?

Model UN is totally decentralised - anyone can set-up a club at any institution, hold a simulation in a classroom or even start their own conference. There’s no organisation that you need to inform, affiliate to or get permission from.

5. What are conferences?

Conferences are an opportunity to attend a larger Model UN gathering, often meeting hundreds of other model UN members over two or three days. Lists of these conferences are available online, usually separated into different age categories such as secondary school-level, university-level as well as those aimed at a broader audience in England and abroad. Here’s some step-by-step guides on how to organise or prepare for MUN.