Model United Nations
Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other branches of the UN system. In Model UN, students assume the role of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. While role playing as ambassadors, “delegates” make speeches, write resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the Model UN parliamentary rules of procedure. This is done in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve transnational issues that cannot be solved by individual states alone.
MUN is an enjoyable and beneficial “hands-on” learning activity. MUN encourages the study, discussion, and resolution of global issues, while promoting the development of long-term skills such as researching, writing, public speaking, problem solving, and leadership. Participation in MUN also advances consensus building and conflict resolution. Further, it allows delegates to interactively practice compromise and cooperation techniques. These skills are attained while the delegate is meeting new people from diverse backgrounds.
Each spring semester, selected students from the WVU Political Science and International Studies departments participate in a three hour capstone course. The course prepares the delegation for the National Model United Nations Conference annual diplomatic simulation in New York. During the spring semester, students meet weekly to gain an understanding of the history, operations, and committee system of the United Nations. Students also study history, foreign policy, and related policy positions of the assigned country, learn parliamentary procedure, prepare position papers, and practice writing resolutions. The delegates’ in-depth knowledge of their country guarantees an energetic and memorable conference experience.
The culmination of this course is the National Model United Nations diplomatic simulation which is held every April. With nearly 5,000 students in attendance from approximately twenty-five countries, NMUN is the world’s largest college Model UN conference. During the simulation, each student “becomes” a diplomat and has the opportunity to meet with real diplomats, attend opening and closing sessions at the United Nations building, and listen to keynote speakers such the Secretary-General. In the past years WVU has represented countries such as Hungary, Oman, Azerbaijan, North Korea, the Czech Republic, and Panama. At the upcoming conference, WVU will represent New Zealand and Romania. This course also serves as an International Studies and Political Science Capstone. The MUN capstone experience is funded by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
The newly formed Model United Nations Club allows students who are not Political Science or International Studies majors to attend MUN conferences. Students can receive three credit hours for conference preparation and attendance. No previous MUN experience is necessary to participate in the club.
The MUN Club has several future activities planned such as participation in the NMUN DC conference (October 30 – November 1, 2009), participation in NMUN China (date pending), and hosting a high school conference at WVU.
If you are interested in MUN, please contact the club’s faculty advisor, Dr. Clarissa Estep at firstname.lastname@example.org.