Five Things You'll Need To Know To Get Started with a THIMUN Conference.
Thousands of delegates from all around the world converge every year, for THIMUN conferences. The THIMUN Foundation, one of the most established & prominent institutions in Model United Nations, and the high school Model UN circuit worldwide.
However for me, THIMUN holds a very special significance. It was for a THIMUN conference, that I developed the first International Arabic MUN program in the world in 2014, and saw to life, the first International Arabic MUN committee in 2015 for THIMUN Qatar.
This procedure however, was introduced to me 12 years after starting North American style Model UN. This article therefore is intended to help everyone who's just like me only a few years ago. Still getting to know THIMUN.
Here are the 5 key facts you'll need to know, before entering any discussion about The Hague International Model United Nations.
1) What is THIMUN Procedure? It is a famous Model UN platform, that was developed by the THIMUN Foundation, based in the Hague, Netherlands.
It is derived from Parliamentary Procedure, same as Traditional MUN, but follows a rather different debate style and Philosophy.
2) How do you identify a THIMUN Conference?
You know you're in a THIMUN Style Conference when you hear terms like: (Lobbying), (Main Submitter, Sponsors and Co-Sponsors), (Research Report) when referring to the background guide, and (Approval Panel). Also, THIMUN Conferences are for high school students. Unlike North American counterparts, like Global Classroom MUN, the entire leadership team, as well as participating delegates at THIMUN are high schoolers.
3) Famous THIMUN Conferences?
The flagship THIMUN conferences are: THIMUN Hague, in the Neterlands, THIMUN Singapore, and THIMUN Qatar. There are numerous THIMUN Affiliated conferences around the world, and more than 50 new conferences were added to this list in 2015 alone.
4) What are the Key Differentiators?
They key defining elements of this type of conference include:
A) The Flow of Debate:
A THIMUN conference is differentiated by its period of lobbying (the equivalent of un-moderated caucus) that takes place at a much earlier stage of the conference than traditional/ North American MUN, right after setting the agenda and opening speeches. Lobbying, or informal negotiations, take up almost all of the first day of committee sessions. In this phase, delegates gather in blocs to discuss the different topics on the agenda and attempt to address them by drafting resolutions on each. The debate phase, takes place during the second half of the conference, after these draft resolutions are accepted by an approval panel, and returned to the committee to be debated. Debate in THIMUN conferences therefore revolves around particular clauses, paragraphs or amendments to the resolutions themselves, making the overall philosophy and atmosphere rather different from Traditional MUN.
B) The Terms:
Some differentiating terms used in this platform include: (Lobbying), (Main Submitter, Sponsors and Co-Sponsors), (Research Report) when referring to the background guide, and (Approval Panel).
C) Less Procedure Variation - The Affiliation Process is Centrally Controlled:
Unlike Traditional MUN conferences, there is only one THIMUN procedure, that is owned and developed by the THIMUN foundation. Only THIMUN foundation can approve/ grant a THIMUN affiliation to a smaler, externally organized conference. As a result, there is less "variation" among THIMUN style conferences around the world. As independent conferences request to become "THIMUN affiliated", they must demonstrate that they follow accurate THIMUN procedure, have maintained the procedures integrity throughout all aspects of their simulation, and are carried out at the same high standard as original THIMUN conferences.
D) The Simultaneous Topic Consideration:
Topics on the agenda are considered by the committee simultaneously. Instead of opening and closing debate on each topic separately, one after the other as in traditional MUN, a THIMUN committee makes all topics on the agenda available for discussion to all delegates in the committee at the same time.
Every delegate therefore, makes a choice, as to which topic he/she prefers to focus on, and research more in depth, whether based on personal preference, or country/ policy relevance to the topic.
Opening speeches cover all topics if needed, with focus on the one the delegate wishes to negotiate the most. At THIMUN, all topics are informally negotiated by all delegates in the committee during lobbying simultaneously.
E) THIMUN Directors:
There are no Advisors in THIMUN conferences. Instead, "THIMUN Directors" are those who organize and pre-prepare student travel delegations from their school.
F) The Approval Panel:
As resolutions are drafted in committees by a main submitter, sponsors and co-sponsors, they must first be reviewed by a group of teachers/ THIMUN directors for grammatical, punctuation, or structural errors, before being sent back to the chair, and presented to the committee for amendments and debate.
G) 100% High School Students & Student Run:
As a policy, THIMUN conference are made up entirely of high school students, in addition to being entirely student run. All delegates, chairs, student officers/ secretariat, organizing committee and press corps are high schoolers. Some of these students may be supervised by an adult, but only in terms of overall guidance. In the end, the students run the show. And quite impressively, as you would note when visiting a THIMUN conference.
H) No Awards Policy: