7.1 Model United Nations and the Ethics of Simulation

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Model United Nations can be a rewarding and exciting experience. However, it is important to remember why you are there . While you can definitely make friends in committee, you are there to represent your state.

Remember that you have a responsibility to stay in character and show respect towards the opinions of others. Diplomacy is all about being polite despite the fact that you do not agree with someone’s opinion. If you feel that someone is not following the role of a diplomat outlined in the guidebook provided by conference speak to your faculty adviser or one of the head delegates.

It is important to keep in mind that although it is only a simulation, many people are being affected by the issues being discussed in your simulated committees. These are real issues taking place around the world and you must consider the way you speak about these issues. Remember to talk about issues in a diplomatic, sensitive and considerate manner and think about how what you are saying might come across to others.

Remember that simulations can be powerfully immersive. While playing the role of another person, try not to get lost in the role, particularly if you are representing a state that has a history of abusing human rights or mistreating its citizens. Sometimes students take this as an opportunity to act out inappropriately. Consider the reflections of some of our students who have wrestled with the complexities of this issue, by reading these articles:

You do not have to put up with any mistreatment, bullying, discrimination or harassment. Speak to the conference organizers and your faculty adviser if you have been mistreated or you see someone else being disrespected.

Jennifer Diaz and Matthew Bolton for Pace University, 2016. Version 3.0 BETA. For information, permissions or corrections, contact Dr. Matthew Bolton, mbolton@pace.edu