This excellent piece has been authored by Prakhar Tandon, our college representative from Narvadeshwar Vidhi Mahavidyalaya, Lucknow. Read on for ground reality details on Model United Nations.
MUN – Model United Nations
“Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.
MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.”
Being a Kanpurite all my life I had never heard about MUN’s before. It was not until I stepped into the colorful life of college and just like every other law student decided to –‘build my CV’.
Therefore it started, searching various things on Google (don’t get any other ideas of that). Lawctopus became my new best friend; I started sending abstracts and memorials to mostly every post I saw on Lawctopus and got rejected and every one of them.
Feeling highly de-motivated and demoralized over this I was scrolling through the new posts when one of them caught my eye:
2nd National Law University International Model United Nations Conference NLUIMUNC [August 29-31; Lucknow]
Furthermore, I’ve been always been firm believer of Albert Einstein’s quote, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” (Actually no… I just copied it from Google).
To be honest (ironical isn’t it? A law student, and a future liar err I mean lawyer talking about honesty), I just though hell they’ve not even selected a single write up of mine. What’s the harm in looking up through this one? And so I did. Within the next couple of days I had researched everything about MUN’s, procedures, rules and regulations.
Since then I’ve had chance to attend two MUN’s, my very first MUN – NLUIMUNC’14, Lucknow (Organized by RMLNLU) and second was SYMUN ‘1, Noida (Organized and hosted by Symbiosis Law School). Having very less experience than my fellow MUNer’s I’ve still been able to figure out some basics of an MUN.
Why should one do an MUN?
I am sure many of you would remember; when we were in school there was a very common essay we used to get to write ‘What will you do if you become the President/Prime Minister for a day?’ just think if that could be true (obviously not in real though, but you know).
Imagine if you could support your favorite political party/country and it policies while arguing with other political parties/countries. Imagine if you get a chance to verbally bash up a political leader or a country (Though keep your party policy/country policy in mind) with all your spite. Well that is exactly what a MUN offers you, just in a bit sophisticated & professional manner.
You like researching? You write papers.
You like debating? You attend Moots and debates.
You’re good in current affairs and knowledge? You go to debates.
You like all three? MUN’s the place for you baby!
If you’re still not tempted, then how about this; a certificate for The Best Delegate a pearl among many other jewels in your CV.
Still don’t think it’s worth a shot? Think again, especially if you are a guy. You get interact with the most beautiful and brilliant girls for three long days. Beautiful and brilliant can be a deadly combination but one has to admit it’s far more tempting.
Research material about MUNs
Seems like you’ve finally decided to do an MUN huh? Now what are you confused? Where to start from, how to apply, what the procedure? I know, it’s hectic, therefore I’ll just be letting you know some websites and tactics that’ll surely help you and act as a tour guide.
Best Delegate: THIS WEBSITE is one of the best websites for newbie’s, it’ll help you a lot! Go through the resources section thoroughly; Community section has a specific option saying India. Click on that and you’ll see the magic.
Join various groups on Facebook to keep you updated about the upcoming MUN’s that you can participate in. Follow the MUN calendar; they also mention the dates of the upcoming MUN’s.
The do’s and don’ts in a MUN
1. Do your RESEARCH! Attending a MUN without doing extensive research is like going to a battlefield without a gun. Result – you’re dead. Carefully go through agenda, read everything and a bit more.
2. Keep all the research material in either hard copy or soft copy, you don’t get to use internet during the committee sessions.
3. Try to carry your Laptops/I-pads along with you which have all the back of your research.
1. Never ever, ever go against your party/country policy. If you do, understand you’ve just dug your own grave.
2. Never dress up casually, always be dressed formally.
3. Never speak out of your turn; you’ll me marked down negative.
4. Never let your speech exceed the time limit, it will also earn a negative point.
I’ll admit I’ve never been a person who adores formals, but wearing a suit gave me a James Bond feeling. ‘The name’s Bond, James Bond’.
Now since we’ve already done the serious talk, let’s come to an informal session. Though I love MUN’s I really do, but what annoys me the most is the language used to address others.
“The delegate would like to suspend the formal debate and would like to raise a motion for an Un-moderated Caucus of total time being 15 minutes”.
Like seriously, you have to say the whole thing if you have to raise a motion!
You won’t believe if I tell you this – You even have to use the same verbiage if you want to go to the loo! Can you imagine that! In my very first MUN when I fumbled more than twice while saying this, my chair just sighed and excused me. I practically had to run through the halls to washroom and it was embarrassing!
Three or four types of people you’ll meet in an MUN
The little time I’ve spend my time in MUN’s I’ve concluded to one thing, there are mostly three types of people you’ll meet –
First – The one’s who would try to attract everyone’s attention even chair by pulling various moves like shouting, not letting any person speak, being very adamant about there point and pushing everyone to agree with them.
My words of advice, just ignore them, listen to them, don’t argue with them un-necessarily its just waste of your energy and believe me they’ve got plenty. A good chair would look through you, he’ll see your hard work not your mind less blabbering.
Yeah somewhat like Denny Crane from Boston Legal. (But to be honest I LOVE that guy!)
Second – The one’s who’ve attended more than 10 MUN’s and are aware about everything in the business. These experienced delegates mostly act very casual in the very beginning, but as time passes by they show there true color. From lobbying to convince a group delegates these guys know it all. They can be manipulators so be careful!
My words of advice – Never mess with them, if you don’t want your ass-kicked. It still hurts! My butt! (Get the hint?)
Third – The newbie’s, the fresher’s, the first timers. Since it’s all new to them they’ll mostly sit idle. Not speak in the committee or interact much with anyone.
My Words of advice – Even it’s your first MUN never come in this category, I know it can be tough and scary but speak up whatever you have in mind. Silence would never be the answer to your fears.
So are you wondering which category did I land in? Well in none of them actually!
I created my very own Fourth category, even though it was my very first MUN and yes I did not utter a single word on the first day. But on the second day I started off amazingly with my speech only to fumble and forget rest of it in middle. Though it was embarrassing I’ll admit, but it made me feel a lot better and lighter.
So folks, finally this very un-formally written formal essay on MUN comes to an end. I hope I did my best to enlighten you guys to as of what, how and why MUN are. Still having any queries in mind? Feel free to mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And Yes! Just for you guys, I am also mentioning some names and links of upcoming MUN’s which I would personally suggest you –
IPU MUN ’15 (7-8th March’15) (Website accessible HERE)
Mumbai MUN’15 (14-16 March) (Website accessible HERE)
BITS MUN’15 (13, 14 and 15th February) (Website accessible HERE)
LSR MUN’15 (Search more about it on it’s Facebook page)
Come on guys! Let’s do some diplomacy!