Is anybody else in or was in Model United Nations? If so what was it like?
My 8th grade history class participated in one once. I got to play the US delegate to the Security Council. It was good fun and I won a ribbon for playing my role well.
I did it in University. Austria one year and the Irish Republic the other.
Being the US delegate usually means everyone and their uncle coming down on you.
I did it. I really recommend being in a school which joins late, gets last pick, and is stuck with a dirt-poor obscure country.
Like Cambodia, which at the time I was in high school was apparently still represented by some unholy alliance of the Khmer Rouge and the old royal family or something, but in any case not at all the actual government on the ground.
I’m serious, you’ll learn some interesting stuff.
I’ve had students attend. They all loved it. It’s pretty intense but the kids said it was an amazing experience.
I did it for three years in high school. The actual UN stuff was kind of pointless, but getting the pages to pass notes back and forth to cute girls was a blast!
I think the three countries I represented were Sao Tome and Principe, Austria and China, but I might be misremembering. I remember my older brother was Dominica one year.
So what exactly does one do in Model UN?
“Do you want to be like the UN or do you just want to squabble endlessly and accomplish nothing.” --Principal Skinner. (Quoted from memory, probably not accurate.)
As it says on the tin. You have the several UN Organs and organisations, with various delegates who represent assigned countries. Usually the different committees sit in different areas/ They are usually a couple of topics/senarios to discuss. At the end you try to come up with a resolution.
School level MUN’s are fairly low key, University level might be much more formal. At University level, you might have multiple committees and its normal to have additional activities as well.
The highlight of our MUNs in high school were sneaking liquor into the hotel and “caucusing” with other “committees”. Most of us were too hung over the next day to pay attention to the actual proceedings
In my experience, the organizers would come up with the resolutions to debate, amend, etc. rather than the student/delegates. They usually weren’t resolutions that I would associate with the real UN either (e.g. censuring a nation or sending peacekeepers to a region); they were more general than that (e.g. “we resolve to forgive all third-world debt”).
Each nation would be represented by one or two students. You could submit a list of countries that you’d like to represent, but usually the less experienced people got assigned the least influential countries; upon further reflection, the first country I got was Guinea-Bissau, for instance. (No offense to all the Guinea-Bissauans out there.) Then there would be plenary sessions where all the nations would be assembled in a school gym, passing notes to other delegations and speaking on the resolution before the assembly, followed by meetings of committees or voting blocs to discuss amendments and so forth.
Is there a Supermodel United Nations? I’m guessing their position on fighting malnutrition might be a bit different.
Did any of the delegates ever pound their shoes on the podium or declare war on anyone?
:nodding: That’s the general gist of high school MUNs. I no idea about the collegiate level, though.
My school always got stuck with one of the less influential countries.
In retrospect – and in consideration of what I said upthread – I wish we had had a faculty advisor who would have taken the experience much more seriously. Many of the other delegations had students who were budding history/poli-sci majors: They did their homework, they participated, they debated, etc. We were just given the country and told to “do with it what you will”.
Did it in college and high school. I had a great time… met some other kids who actually picked up a Newsweek or Time magazine… (yeah dating myself their).
I use to volunteer or fight to be Israel… it was fun… everyone was always coming at you… and I found that through my research you understood another country’s pov.
I really wanted to do it in high school, but there just wasn’t enough people interested. We couldn’t even get a G8 summit going, whether or not a UN!
On the flipside, my brother did it 10 years before at the same high school and there were so many people participating that he had to be Togo.
The actual quote (from snpp.com) is “do you kids wanna be like the real U.N., or do you just wanna squabble and waste time?”
In eighth grade, we had a student teacher try to do something similar, but it was pretty half-assed. I and my friend were supposed to represent Ethiopia, and the topic for debate was something that was completely irrelevant to Ethiopia.
So pretty much like the real UN?