MUN History

The notions of “modeling” and “game” appeared long before the establishment of the first international organizations. Genghis Khan mentioned in his memoirs that as a child he liked to gather with his friends and play Kurulthai (Mongol Khan Assembly) in a yurt. Genghis Khan’s wish to role-play illustrates his early passion for leadership and politics, but it also demonstrates the significance of practice. Simulations provide the space and time for participants to test theories and develop leadership skills.

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In the beginning of the 20th century, American students adopted the practice of simulation. Guided by the needs of the time and considering historical regularities, American college students began to simulate the work of the Senate. It was no coincidence that such models first appeared in the country where freedom of speech and fair debates had long been promoted. With the enhancement of globalization and the establishment of the League of Nations, American students received many more simulation opportunities. These spaces for practice allowed for self-realization and improving public speaking skills. Following the establishment of the United Nations (UN) was the modeling of the system and its organs. The Model United Nations (MUN) initiative is commendable as providing the opportunity for students to simulate the UN’s work; such an experience prepares ambitious young students with a variety of skills that are also useful in their future work.

 

3The European International Model United Nations (TEIMUN) appeared in The Hague in 1968 due to the effort of Dutch students and teachers. This model supports the work of twenty-four conferences, such as in Berlin, London, Paris, Lisbon, Cairo, Mexico, Panama, and St. Petersburg. The first Moscow International Model United Nations (MIMUN) was held in 1990. Although MIMUN is considerably younger than Model groups in the West, it is one of the most famous student Models in the world and continues to dynamically develop. About 40 Model UN organizations are active in Europe and some 160 in the USA. One glance at the statistics on participation shows that such conferences have gained popularity. MUNs attract energetic, motivated and highly interested members. Model UN requires strict adherence to the rules of procedure, which promotes professional development and not only improves participants’ intellectual skills but also teaches them discipline.

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National Officials are interested in MUN and its members who simulate the work of different UN organs that promote the ideas of a modern multipolar world. A variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations from all over the world support MUN conferences. The largest MUN conferences are conducted under the auspices of the World Federation of the United Nations (WFUNA) founded in 1946. Additional sponsors include national ministries and the UN Cooperation Associations. In addition to the United Nations, the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are also interested in international MUN. For example, the UN Headquarters supports models in Geneva, Vienna and New York.

In 2009, Global Model UN was established as the major MUN. Its participants are honored with direct communication with the UN Secretary-General. The model is held in a new city every year. Participation in GMUN is, undoubtedly, a modeler’s dream and the climax of his/her modeling career. Such an opportunity is a step towards a career in global politics.

Model UN is not just a hobby. It is a lifestyle for thousands of creative young people interested not only in global politics, but also in the entire world order. MUN provides an outlet for self-expression, practicing theory, and developing professionalism.

Who knows, maybe there is someone among the present modelers who is destined to change the world, to accomplish the impossible? Who knows, maybe it is… you?

In the beginning of the 20th century, American students adopted the practice of simulation. Guided by the needs of the time and considering historical regularities, American college students began to simulate the work of the Senate. It was no coincidence that such models first appeared in the country where freedom of speech and fair debates had long been promoted. With the enhancement of globalization and the establishment of the League of Nations, American students received many more simulation opportunities. These spaces for practice allowed for self-realization and improving public speaking skills. Following the establishment of the United Nations (UN) was the modeling of the system and its organs. The Model United Nations (MUN) initiative is commendable as providing the opportunity for students to simulate the UN’s work; such an experience prepares ambitious young students with a variety of skills that are also useful in their future work.