Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an extra-curricular activity in which students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees.
MUN involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.Participants in Model UN conferences, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organisations or political figures, where they represent members of that body.
Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent.
MUN committees can be divided into three general sessions: formal debate, moderated caucus, and unmoderated caucus.
1. In a formal debate, the chair maintains a list of speakers and the delegates follow the order written on the ‘speaker list’. Speakers may be added to the speaker list by raising their placards or sending a note to the chair. During this time, delegates talk to the entire committee. They make speeches, answer questions, and debate on resolutions and amendments. If there are no other motions, the committee goes back to formal debate by default.
2. In a moderated caucus, the committee goes into a recess and the rules of procedure are suspended. Anyone may speak if recognised by the chair. A vote on a motion is necessary to go into a moderated caucus. There is a comparatively shorter time limit per speech.
3. In an unmoderated caucus, the delegates informally meet with other delegates for discussions.
Resolutions are the basis of all debate.They are considered the final results of conversations, writings, and negotiations. Resolutions must go through a draft, approval by the chairs, and consequent debate and modification.
Nearly all Model UN conferences require delegates to wear Western business attire (WBA), as dressing professionally is an important way to show respect for the nation, organisation, or individual one is representing, as well as for the rest of one’s committee.