Model United Nations is a simulation based on the United Nations. Students represent the policies of their assigned countries on issues that the UN deals with: the Middle East, the environment, AIDS, drug trafficking, and a myriad of other topics.
Model UN provides a unique opportunity for students to investigate the origin of, and the background to, many of the problems and the issues in the world today. Through discussion, negotiation and debate they seek to draft UN-style resolutions that will pass laws and attempt solve those problems.
Students begin by Researching the country they have been assigned. Then they continue by researching the topics that will be considered by the committees to which they have been assigned. Once that is complete, they generally have to write a short paper, called a Resolution or a Policy Statement which outlines the position of their assigned country on their committee topics. So, for example, if they were assigned to represent Japan in the World Health Organization, they might have to write a paper on the position of Japan concerning the AIDS crisis in Africa.
Once at the conference, they will propose solutions to the problems that are consistent with their assigned nation’s position. Through debate, negotiation and consensus building they will, with the other student delegates, draft a UN resolution.
Model UN also involves travel and social activities. Conferences are held throughout the United States and Europe. In the US, conferences are sponsored by colleges and universities. Usually, conferences are four days long. In addition to the committee meetings, there is free time to tour the city and the college that is hosting the conference. There is also often a dance or social event.