What is UN4MUN?

Let's start with the obvious. Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations. Therefore, this simulation should be accurate. If you're active in the Model UN community, you must have encountered the question: What is UN4MUN? We're here to clarify that.

What is UN4MUN?

It is a program introduced by the United Nations Department of Global Communications in 2009 with an intention to bring Model UN simulations closer to how the real UN functions. The term symbolizes accurate simulations of the UN, ie: Rules of Procedure which accurately reflect the decision-making process of the real UN. In 2019, the name of the office interacting with Model UNs at the UN became "The United Nations Model UN Programme." ​

UN4MUN Workshop New York

Figure 1: UN4MUN Workshop by United Ambassadors and the United Nations, UN HQ New York 2018

History of development:

In 2009, the United Nations Department of Global Communications discovered discrepancies between the real UN, and how it is simulated worldwide in Model UN conferences. The UN DGC organized three Global Model UN (GMUN) conferences in Geneva (2009), Kuala Lumpur (2010), and Incheon (2011).

Since 2014, United Ambassadors has held numerous world-leading educational programs on accurate simulations of the UN in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. ​​

In 2015, the leadership of the UN4MUN program at the United Nations transitioned to new UN officials.

Between 2016-2019, United Ambassadors co-delivered 4 joint UN4MUN workshops in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Global Communications for educators and students worldwide.

Today, United Ambassadors is continuing to pioneer the development of the world’s most accurate simulations of the UN, as well as initiatives to engage youth in Model UN with the SDGs. They are being implemented at the United Ambassadors MUN Conference in Geneva and New York.

Also read: The Evolution of UN4MUN and United Ambassadors and the Real UN.

UN4MUN Workshop UN HQ New York 2018

Figure 2: UN4MUN Workshop by United Ambassadors and the United Nations, UN HQ New York 2018

How are UN4MUN conferences different?

Since the nature of accurate simulations of the UN is existentially different from traditional simulations which follow Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, accurate simulations of the UN require an entirely different approach to Model UN. The basic differences between the Real UN and Traditional MUN can be categorized as follows:

1- The Rules of Procedure:

Traditional Model UN follows Parliamentary Rules of Procedure whereas the real UN applies General Assembly/ Security Council (or other UN organ) Rules of Procedure. ​This makes every part of the delegate experience different from beginning to end.

Formal speaking time: In the General Assembly, delegates have one opportunity to make an opening statement before starting informal consultations. This is an important opportunity to propose viable solutions to the issue and encourage other delegates to collaborate with them throughout the simulation. The majority of the conference afterwards is spent on collaborative problem solving and group negotiation. Other organs like the Security Council or ICJ are different.

Points and Motions are quite different in accurate simulations of the UN.

There is no "Point of Information to the Speaker," "Point of Parliamentary Inquiry" or "Point of Personal Privilege." There is only a Point of Order, and it is rarely used at the real UN, as most issues are handled in an informal setting. During the formal meeting (debate), delegates may request a "Right of Reply" if they decide that a statement by another delegate requires a response from the country they are representing. Again, this rarely occurs at the real UN.

Motions do not need to be seconded. At the real UN, a delegate represents an entire nation. A sovereign state may voice a concern or request that a vote is taken on any procedural matter at any time. If they wish to put a point or motion forward, they may do so unilaterally.

Resolution Drafting and Negotiation: When drafting a resolution in an accurate UN simulation, the purpose is for all Member States in the committee/ council to collaborate on its content, and ultimately approve its paragraphs. The image you would see in