The 8 Key Questions People Ask When First Learning MUN.

Do you remember the very first time you were ever introduced to MUN? For me, it was at the age of 10, during a summer school by the American University in Cairo. But, I can still remember it, as if it were happening right in front of me. The trainer, was very good, because she was passionate about Model United Nations. That's why the information I was hearing for the very first time resonated, deeply.

Today, I'm confronted with the task of explaining what MUN is, almost everyday, to individuals of all ages, who may have little or no previous interaction with MUN. This is particularly critical when explaining MUN in Arabic, and its the same for MUN in any new language. Its not only you that's explaining MUN to a beginner, it's that you are beginning a new initiative with almost non-existent resources or previous models to build on, AND explaining it to someone whose also new at it.

So, how do we simplify these levels of complexity? How can you explain MUN simply, while maintaining the attention of the listener, and getting their buy-in, ie: convincing them to either start MUN, or support your new MUN initiative?

Start by covering the: "What - Where - How", and make sure you also cover the "Why". Keep it short, sweet and simple.

Here are the basic FAQ's to keep in mind, when explaining MUN to a beginner. If you are* an MUN beginner, this article is made for you.

1) What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations is an educational, extra-curricular activity, in which participants role play as Ambassadors to the United Nations, in a simulation of a meeting, of one of the main bodies, or sub-committees of the United Nations. MUN Simulations can also be of a regional body, or political organization, like the League of Arab States, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In such a case, the name of the activity reflects the body being represented. Eg: Model Arab League, Model European Council, Etc.

2) Who participates in Model United Nations?

Participants of an MUN conference mainly comprise of school or university students. MUN clubs are usually fully student led, and in many cases, an adviser appointed by the school or university is available to oversee the activity from a high level, and facilitate communication between the student activity and faculty/ administration.

3) Where do Model United Nations Conferences take place?

Model United Nations conferences are distributed all around the world. Over 400 conferences are currently being reported in over 60 countries worldwide, and well over 600,000 students participate in MUN activities every year. Today, MUN is considered to be one of the most popular and vastly growing student & educational activities on an international level, and is only expected to witness growing success in the coming years.

8) Why Should I* Participate in Model United Nations?

a- The Life-long Skills

Model United Nations develops every possible aspect of your skill set, the least of which are public speaking, expressiveness, negotiation, debating, advanced research, critical analysis, problem solving, and teamwork skills, as well as project management, leadership and most importantly, the art of diplomacy. Even one MUN experience can leave you with an invaluable set of life-long skills that can set you up for better success, as a college student, fresh graduate or young professional.

b- Added Qualification for College and Career

MUN graduates frequently report that advanced MUN experiences during years of study gave them an added advantage amidst competitive college applications, and later served as a qualification that enabled them not only to land their first job, but progress better in their early career.

c- The Globally Dispersed Friends and Community.

MUN Clubs are usually very close communities, and International MUN conferences give you access to friends all around the world.

d- MUN is FUN as well as educational.

e- MUN has inspired thousands, and created some prominent world leaders, including current UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon.

MUN can and will, change your life. Or at the very least, contribute in shaping it. Do not underestimate the importance of going through an MUN experience. If you have an opportunity to join MUN, do so now. Below are the different available positions that you may think of, as you progress in your MUN career.

5) What are the different positions in an MUN Conference?

A Delegate.