Model United Nations, also known as Model UN (MUN) is a cooperative, hands-on, learning experience that allows students the opportunity to learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. This program’s origins can be traced back to the first Model League of Nations conferences which were held in the 1920s, before transitioning to Model UN after the formation of the League's successor organization, the United Nations, in 1945.
The students, known as delegates, explore a range of topics with the perspective of their assigned country or organization. Through these experiences - during preparation, in committee sessions, and even in hallway caucuses - students develop an appreciation of differing viewpoints, experience the challenges of negotiation, see the rewards of cooperation, broaden their world view, and discover the human side of international relations and diplomacy. The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head is working in cooperation with Beaufort County School District to expand MUN to all local high schools.
Video: Model United Nations Conference at Georgia Southern University (February, 2019)
Delegates attend a regional conference as delegations sent by their respective schools. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent.
The impact of the Model UN stays with the students for the rest of their lives. Many students keep tract of the country they studied for years to come and it has inspired some students to delve deeper into global studies and choose careers in foreign service. Click here to listen to Sarah Glenn, a student who participated in the Model UN program talk about her experience with Model UN and how she has benefited from the program.
A special thanks to the Bargain Box for supporting the 2020 Model UN program. Their funding provided full scholarships to some students who would not have been able to participate, as well as large world maps for the classrooms.
If you’d like to volunteer by sharing your knowledge of a world nation, or region with high school students, please contact Jeanie Silletti at 419-346-4934, firstname.lastname@example.org or Maureen Korzik at email@example.com
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