Unit 6: Preparing for More Complex Model UN Committees and Conferences

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The preceding Units in this Handbook, even those covering more advanced skills, have focused on the traditional Model UN format, in which you go to a conference in your home country, where delegates, representing member states, converse in English about a topic that is not influenced by ongoing events.

However, in recent years, several conferences have made innovations that make the Model UN format more complex. These conferences may be:

  • International and Multi-Lingual: Some conferences draw students from around the world, meaning you may have to travel abroad to go to a conference. Some of these conferences operate, like the real UN, in multiple languages and with simultaneous translation.
  • Dynamic: Unlike traditional Model UN conferences which have, in effect, a “time freeze” (you discuss a topic without the situation changing), many Model UN conferences now have “Crisis” or “Real-Time” elements. These committees receive updates that change the situation faced by the committee even as they are deliberating.
  • Multi-Actor: Recognizing that many global policy discussion now involve actors other than UN member states, several Model UN conferences have including NGO or Non-State Actor delegations.
  • Producing Reports, Declarations or Treaties: Some Model UN conferences have begun simulating policymaking processes that end up with a product other than a resolution, such as a policy report, declaration on treaty.

To learn more about these new and complex innovations in Model UN, click on the following links:

(c) Pace University, 2013. Version 3.0 BETA. For information, permissions or corrections, contact Dr. Matthew Bolton, mbolton@pace.edu