National Model United Nations
National Model United Nations, or NMUN, is an international, college-level Model United Nations conference run by the National Collegiate Conference Association, a small non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The conference is globally the largest and among the most prestigious collegiate United Nations simulations.
NMUN is an experiential learning program in which participants work in cooperation to discuss and brainstorm solutions to issues facing the globe as model diplomats in the United Nations. Each delegation consists of students from a university or college who are assigned a country, whose role and position they take on in committees. Before the conference, students are expected to research that Member State’s history and its current perspective on international issues, and then represent that state in their assigned committee. The official language of the conference is English.
- 1 Background
- 2 Elements
- 3 Conferences
- 4 Staff
- 4.1 Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General
- 4.2 Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretaries-General
- 4.3 Under-Secretaries-General
- 4.4 Director
- 4.5 Assistant Director
- 4.6 Research Assistants
- 4.7 Conference Service Staff: Network Manager, Office Managers & Administrative Assistants
- 4.8 Delegate Participation on the Dais
- 5 See also
- 6 References
NMUN became a registered Non-Profit in 1968. Since then, it has grown substantially. Together over 5,973 students participated in NMUN conferences in fall of 2010 through spring 2011. These students came from 397 colleges and universities, and over 3,400 of the students came from outside of the United States.
The National Collegiate Conference Association’s seeks to advance understanding of the United Nations System and contemporary global issues through quality educational programs that emphasize collaboration and cooperative conflict resolution and prepare participants for active global citizenship.
The NMUN volunteer staff produces a background guide for each committee that is being simulated. These background guides encompass basic information on position papers, the long form of the committee's rules of procedure, and a thorough introduction to each of the three topics on the agenda as well as a committee history that explains the history and other basic facts about the committee. The materials are produced by the volunteer staff over a period of several months and undergo an internal review process to ensure a consistent quality of information across all topics and committees. Background guides are accompanied by an extensive, partly annotated, bibliography that identifies the most important sources for delegates on which to start their research. Background guides for NMUN-NY are usually posted in November for the conference in the following year, giving attending students ample time to prepare for the topics of the committee as well as the country they represent. A few weeks prior to the conference, the staff produces a shorter update to each of the topics on the agenda.
The background guides are posted on the NMUN website.
For the conference, each delegation must write a position paper per committee they are assigned, which covers the three topics the committee will be discussing at the conference. The position papers requires students to write about their state, NGO, or expert’s position on the issues that the committee will be debating, as well as consider what potential solutions could be proposed during the conference. Staff-members judge position papers for awards, which are given out during closing ceremony. Position papers must follow strict formatting guidelines. They cannot exceed one double-sided page and must be Times New Roman 10-12 point font. The state or NGO name, as well as school name and committee name must be clearly labeled at the top of the paper, and agenda topics must be clearly labeled in separate sections. No national symbols are allowed to be included on position papers.
NMUN does utilize awards, but does not emphasize awards as the main motivator or definition of success at the conference. Instead, NMUN focuses on diplomacy and cooperative collaboration, but recognizes delegations for high quality position papers and performance in the conference. Additionally, each committee recognizes one or two individuals as distinguished delegates in committee, based on a popular vote at the end of the conference. The awards criteria can be found on the NMUN website.
The committees simulated by NMUN-NY are organized by departments, with each department usually having 4-6 committees. Until NMUN-NY 2012, the departments were structured: General Assembly; Economic and Social Council; Specialized Agencies, Programmes, and Funds; Inter-Governmental Organizations; and Peace and Security. NMUN-NY 2013 changed the committee structure and establish two new departments - Development, and Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs - that replaced Specialized Agencies, Programmes and Funds, and Inter-Governmental Organizations. The UN's specialized agencies, programmes and funds continue to be simulated within the two new departments, while inter-governmental organizations are currently not simulated by NMUN in order to maintain focus on the United Nations itself.
The committees for the 2014 NMUN-NY conferences are listed below:
Dept. of the General Assembly
- General Assembly First Committee (GA1)
- General Assembly Second Committee (GA2)
- General Assembly Third Committee (GA3)
- General Assembly Fourth Committee (GA4)
Dept. of the Economic and Social Council
- Economic and Social Council Plenary (ECOSOC)
- Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
- Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
- Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
Dept. of Development
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
Department of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
- Human Rights Council (HRC)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Dept. of Peace and Security
- Security Council (SC) (3 distinct SCs are simulated. Delegates in SC-A are formally part of a school's delegation, while participation in SC-B and SC-C are via a separate application.)
- Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
NMUN New York
NMUN NY is the oldest and largest NMUN conference, and takes place over the course of two weeks every spring in New York City. Because of its expanding size, there are now two week-long conferences held back-to-back at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel and New York Hilton Midtown hotels, with both venues being used simultaneously. The conference has expanded greatly in the past two decades, with approximately 1,200 participants throughout the 1990s, doubling to 2,500 in 2001, and reaching over 5,000 students in 2010. This rapid growth necessitated the expansion to two separate venues in 2007.
Students from 39 different UN Member States participated in NMUN NY in 2011, with participants coming from: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela. Closing ceremonies are held in the United Nations General Assembly Hall, along with final plenary sessions being held on the UN campus. Past keynote speakers have included Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Michael Ignatieff, Dikembe Mutombo, and UN Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan.
Partnering with the Osgood Center for International Studies, NMUN has held an annual conference in DC since 2007. NMUN DC also draws students from around the world, and features distinguished speakers from the diplomatic community of Washington, DC.
NMUN-Northwest (NMUN-NW) was held in 2014 in Portland, OR, partnering with Northwest Model United Nations (NWMUN). This was the first conference NMUN has held outside of New York or Washington DC within the United States.
Since 2008, NMUN has expanded internationally, hosting conferences abroad in partnership with local universities. International conferences have been held in Xi’an, China (2008), Quito, Ecuador (2010), Olomouc, Czech Republic (2010 and 2015), Lille, France (2012), Galápagos, Ecuador and Seoul, South Korea (2013), and Rome, Italy (2014).
Each NMUN conference is run by volunteer staff members, usually experienced NMUN alumni. Volunteer staff consists of individuals from all over the world, both undergraduate students and those with degrees.
Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General
One individual serves as Secretary-General (SG) and another as Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) for each week of the conference. They are the primary organizers of the conference and lead the volunteer staff. The Secretary-General is mainly responsible for outside communication with the groups attending the conference and heads the logistical/administrative side of the conference. The Deputy Secretary-General directs the substantive aspects of the conference - committees, topics, and supervision of the committee staff, among other things.
Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretaries-General
Completing the executive staff are the Chief of Staff, sometimes assisted by an Assistant Chief of Staff, and the Assistant Secretaries-General. The Chief of Staff team handles logistics with the venues, including the hotel(s) and the United Nations, and handles staff logistics (such as travel and hotel). The Assistant Secretaries-General handle special projects associated with the conference, including the Speakers Program, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the Opportunity Fair, as well as behind the scenes work on documentation and staff training.
For each conference venue, there is typically one Under-Secretary-General (USG) per department (General Assembly, ECOSOC, Development, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Peace & Security and Conference Services). Throughout the year, they assist the committee officers with the writing and editing of their Background Guides, and at the conference is responsible for the substantive affairs of the department.
Directors are the head officials in their committees, and work to write the majority of their committee’s Background Guide, as well as managing the substantive affairs of their committee, with the assistance of the Assistant Director.
Assistant Directors also each write a section of the background guide for their respective committee and work alongside the Director to run the committee at the conference, more specifically working with the committee’s rapporteurs.
Research Assistants help substantive volunteer staff through researching and assisting in the revision of the work of the Secretariat.
Conference Service Staff: Network Manager, Office Managers & Administrative Assistants
The Network Manager’s main responsibility is to set up and manage the computer lab during the conference under the direction of the Under-Secretary-General of Conference Services (USG-CS).
The Conference Services Department consists of Office Managers and Administrative Assistants (AAs). These volunteers provide assistance in the use of computers and photocopying.
Delegate Participation on the Dais
Delegates have the opportunity at the conference to take on more leadership in their committee by serving alongside staff on the Dais at NMUN NY. Each committee has a chair and rapporteur, which spots are filled by student participants. They forgo their position as a representative of a specific country and are no longer able to participate in the substantive proceedings of the committee.
The committee chair assumes responsibility for the proceedings of the committee, ensuring the committee runs smoothly and efficiently. Chairs are responsible for knowing the correct rules of procedure and parliamentary procedure.
Rapporteurs assist in the organization of the committee and aide the Director, AD, and chair. Some large committees may have two rapporteurs to ensure in the organization of the Dais. Rapporteurs manage the speakers list, keep track of the resolutions on the floor, ordering amendments, verifying votes, and preparing the final committee reports.