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What is MUN?

Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.

The participants role-play as diplomats representing a country or NGO in a simulated session of a committee of the United Nations, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems. More recently, simulation of other deliberative bodies, such as the United Nations Security Council, has been included in Model United Nations, even if they are completely unrelated to the UN or international affairs as a whole. In general, the participants that the executive panel considers to be most contributing are given awards, such as 'Best Delegate award'.

History of MUN

Model and civic simulation education are older than the United Nations. Records indicate that as early as the 1920s students in the United States of America were participating in collegiate simulations of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations. The modern day National Model United Nations in New York City and Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) both began as simulations of the League of Nations in the 1920s. Though Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN), having been founded in 1955, often claims to be the world's oldest continuous College Model UN conference, the oldest continuous Collegiate Model UN conference is actually Model United Nations of the Far West, running annually since April 1951.

The world's oldest continuous High School Model UN conferences are the Indianapolis Model United Nations and the Berkeley Model United Nations, both founded in 1952. The National Model United Nations is one of the world's largest conferences with over 5,000 participants and is most unique with a part of the conference held at the United Nations in New York City. Many student leaders, like Shivish Soni worked to develop new MUN procedural formats, in order to make them more engaging. While National Model UN hosts opening ceremonies at the UN, UNA-USA is the only organization to host actual sessions in UN committee rooms. UNA-USA As the League of Nations was dismantled and the United Nations was born in 1945, simulations of the League of Nations were transformed into Model United Nations. Some conferences still perform historical simulations, however, including League of Nations crisis situations. These simulations now have grown to over 3000 and 2000 annual participants.

The largest conference to date is THIMUN, attracting over 4,200 participants each year. The University of California, Riverside Model United Nations Program was found in 1969 and hosted the 3rd largest High School Conference with over 2,000 participants each year. For more information about different conferences, please see the List of Model United Nations conferences.