New Model UN Guide online now

Model United Nations logoModel UN is one of the most popular ways to learn about the workings of the United Nations. Conferences are organized by hundreds of educational institutions at all levels to engage young students in diplomatic debates and conversations that resemble those at the United Nations.

It has been noted, however, that due to a lack of knowledge of the procedural and substantive roles played by UN diplomats, Model UN simulators sometimes digress from the true UN decision-making mechanism and negotiation processes.

As a first step to improve MUN simulations, the UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI) organized three Global Model UN (GMUN) conferences in Geneva (2009), Kuala Lumpur (2010) and Incheon (2011). Having learned from these successful events, UNDPI Outreach Division recognized that its role in supporting Model UN needed to evolve, and decided to focus its efforts on partnering with and assisting Model United Nations programmes. The Division has now developed a new model of cooperation and experience-sharing that focuses on training the trainers.

Starting in 2012, the Division launched a series of programmes, which aim to offer formal training and guidance to student leaders and MUN advisers around the globe who are actively involved in organizing Model UN programs at the university level. Following a successful first workshop at UN Headquarters in August 2012, it was decided that two workshops would be organized each year with the goal of deepening students’ understanding of the art of diplomacy and the critical role it plays in the work of the UN.

As a companion to the workshops, this online guide details the structure, procedures, negotiation process and skills needed to conduct a simulation that accurately captures the essence of UN conferences.

UNDPI is grateful to the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations for allowing content of the PGA Handbook: A Practical Guide to the United Nations General Assembly to be included in the Guide.

UNDPI also thanks the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) for allowing the inclusion in this Guide of content from the UNITAR publication Manual for UN Delegates  – Conference Process, Procedure and Negotiationdeveloped by the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme.

It is our hope that you will find this guide a useful resource, and that you will share with us your questions, comments, or suggestions.

Shifting its role from the organizer of one conference to the one and true advisor of all MUN organizers, UN4MUN’s goal is to unite, train and envision global MUN organizers with passion and authority.

List of acronyms frequently used in this Guide:

GA General Assembly
GMUN Global Model United Nations
G77 Group of 77
MUN Model United Nations
PGA President of the General Assembly
UN United Nations
UNDPI United Nations Department of Public Information

More Model UN Resources
Application to New York City Model UN Workshop 2013 (deadline 26 July)
Financial Assistance for attending NYC Model UN Workshop 2013
UN Pictorial History
The PGA Handbook: A Practical Guide to the UN General Assembly
UNIC Canberra’s Get Involved page