Model United Nations
How does that make you feel?
Intimidated? Excited? Confused?
Reading further might just make you … Convinced.
Convinced that you want to attend the Bratislava MUN!
Attendees of this year’s conference are here to shed some light on the joys, challenges and quirks of this beautiful event.
Firstly- what is MUN?
The United Nations is an international body which all countries have a say in- it regulates, promotes and advises, and generally works towards solving global problems and making the world a better place.
Now what does a “Model” UN mean?
It’s basically what happens when students want to find out what being in the UN might feel like, so they gather and reenact it. Like actors, they have their roles, and certain lines they have to learn. Each student attending will get a country they have to represent. When preparing for the conference, they have to research what their country is like, especially, how it interacts with other countries on the global scene. During the convention, the student, or “delegate of the country” needs to pretend they are the embodiment of the country’s foreign policy. For example- the United States will stick their nose into everything and pretend they always have the best solution leading to world peace, while Russia needs to be unpleasant, egocentric and hate America. This year, Russia kept saying they are offended by everything and finally left the convention one day early. That’s an example of a good representation.
Once you’ve done your research on your country, you’re going to have to research the specific issue you were assigned. The UN has many councils, and you’ll be representing your country in one of them. The topics range from refugees, through terrorism, to climate change. There will also be one topic that all delegates from all countries work on together, which will be discussed in the General Assembly.
Therefore, if you decide to come to MUN, you’ll have to research your county and two topics you’ll be discussing.
In case all of this new info feels overwhelming, let’s illustrate it on an example from this year’s BratMUN.
I represented my beloved Canada. In the Human Rights Council, I worked with the delegates from other countries to find a solution to the genocide in Myanmar. When most of the countries approved the written resolution (a document with specific steps towards solving the crisis), we moved to the General Assembly. There were five of us in the Canadian delegation, so we all worked and made decisions together. The issue was the regulation of sweatshops- we had to find a way to protect human rights and also the economies of developing countries. It was a challenge to come up with a solution which would please both the countries of the western world and countries that depend on sweatshops. But in the end, the countries came together (and I’m happy to say Canada played a significant part in it) and adapted a resolution. For illustration, our resolution asked, among other things, for several international organizations to make more thorough inspections of sweatshops and for the governments to promote morally better products.
BratMUN will test a variation of your skills . You’ll need to do some public speaking. Everyone has to give a short speech at the beginning and if you want to be succesful, you should also speak up during the general debate and “moderated caucuses” – a period during the debate when countries give short, timed speeches on a specific topic in order to gain allies. You’ll also get to talk to the other delegates during unmoderated caucuses- a period when people are free to roam around the room and have discussions. There is also a system of notes- anytime you want to communicate something to another delegate, you can write it on a piece of paper and the staff will deliver it.
Lastly, the MUN, just like the UN, is very formal. Before the conference, you should read through all the terms and procedures, since otherwise you’ll be quite lost.
But don’t be afraid, there is also an informal part to BratMUN. You’ll get the chance to make international friends during lunches, breaks and after parties.
If this description sounds appealing to you, do consider signing up for the next BratMUN. Even if you’re scared at times, it is an unforgettable experience you’ll never regret!