The Evolution of UN4MUN

If you're active in the Model UN Community, you must have encountered the question: What is UN4MUN? We're here to clarify that.

UN4MUN 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. The leadership of the program at the UN transitioned in 2015. Today, the name of the office interacting with Model UNs at the UN is "The United Nations Model UN Programme."

Figure 1: UN4MUN Workshop by United Ambassadors and the United Nations in New York, 2018.

Accurate simulations of the UN have significantly evolved over the past few years. Since 2015, United Ambassadors has been pioneering UN4MUN by improving the existing simulations and creating entirely new committee simulations that include the International Court of Justice, the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum, and today, many others.

Since 2014, United Ambassadors has been holding world-leading educational programs on accurate simulations of the UN. ​​Between 2016-2018, 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.

UN4MUN London

Figure 2: UN4MUN Workshop by United Ambassadors and the United Nations in London, 2017.

So, how have accurate simulations of the UN evolved since 2015? Before 2015, the differences between the Real UN and Traditional MUN were categorized as follows:

1- The Rules of Procedure: Traditional Model UN follows the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure whereas the real UN applies General Assembly/ Security Council Rules of Procedure. ​

2- The Leadership Structure: The UN Secretariat is one of the 6 main organs of the UN, and each one of the other organs (like the General Assembly) has its own leadership structure. General Assembly Chairs are elected, and the Security Council Presidency rotates monthly among the 15 Member States.

3- The Negotiation Process: Consensus is the main driver behind the negotiation process in the General Assembly and most main UN Organs.

Read the article: What is UN4MUN?

UN4MUN workshop Geneva 2018

Figure 3: UN4MUN Workshop by United Ambassadors and the United Nations in Geneva, 2018

However, after I spent time studying the UN system, and after organizing a few editions of UAMUNC, the conference offering the world’s most accurate simulation of the UN, I found the differences to be much broader and more complex than the three points listed above.

Read also: The Leadership Difference at UA-MUNC.

The main differences between UN4MUN before 2015 and UA-MUNC, the world's most accurate simulation of the UN, today, include:

1- New Committees and Improved Simulation:

The United Nations has 6 Main Organs and 15 Specialized Agencies. One cannot claim to be offering the most accurate simulation of the UN of they are simulating less than 5% of it. A critical difference is that before 2015 (when UA was founded), UN4MUN offered core simulations of only the General Assembly and the Security Council.

In late 2016, United Ambassadors important developments were added to the existing version of the UN4MUN Security Council in collaboration with Mr. Brenden Varma, the new Model UN focal point, who had previously worked in the Security Council Affairs Division. The GA simulation was adapted and refined at UA-MUNC 2017.

Starting in 2017, I began reaching out to UN officials at various UN organs to initiate the development and introduction of multiple new committees in UN4MUN.