Model United Nations (otherwise known as Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of the debates which occur in the United Nations. These simulations aim to educate participants about major global affairs, from Third World poverty to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In other words, issues which would typically be discussed by the actual United Nations.
You're role-playing a diplomat from a country. You'll be representing your chosen country in a United Nations organisation or related body, like the Security Council, UNICEF or the General Assembly. Sometimes this involves more specialist committees such as the International Court of Justice, International Atomic Energy Agency or European Union.
In Model UN, you work with other countries in your committee and help develop a solution to the problem at hand. However, at the same time you must also protect your own state's interests. Herewith-in lies the delicate balancing act which lies at the heart of Model United Nations: you must come up with a solution and protect your own foreign policy.
The Model United Nations Society won the Most Improved Society Award at the Sussex Student Awards of 2013, after an extremely successful year in which we won the Best Delegation Award at Riems International Model UN Conference. In 2014 we also attended WorldMUN 2014, organised by Harvard University - essentially the olympics of Model UN. One of our delegates won a Diplomatic Award at this very conference. For more of our recent successes, check out our 'Trophy Cabinet' on our Facebook group! In 2016, Sussex Model United Nations hosted their very own Model UN Conference, in which many universities from all over the UK and Europe attended.
We holds two-hour long debates every Thursday from 7-9pm in Jubilee 115. We debate contemporary issues being discussed by the United Nations. You get to see the reasons behind the decisions taken by political elites from all over the world. Debates can be both fun and serious, from discussing the impacts of Brexit to happenings in Game of Thrones - we'll switch it up each week to keep you interested!
This year, we are introducing biweekly training workshops, on Tuesdays at 3-4pm in Chichester 3R143 on top of our Thursday debate sessions. Attending our workshops is a great opportunity to be trained to become a competent delegate and fully maximise your debating skills. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page and group for guest visitors who'll serve us the honour of running professional workshops. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the Facebook page/group to check when we will be hosting workshop sessions.
The main activity which we do as a society, apart from our weekly debates, is organising trips to Model United Nations Conferences all over the UK and abroad. Conferences are generally more intense, as the debates last longer and the groups tend to be larger. But don't worry, you'll get a chance to unwind at the afterparty/aftersocial, usually hosted at a variety of night clubs and classy restaurants.
With over 500,000 students participating in Model UN conferences globally, they are a fantastic way to meet students from all over the UK and Europe. Our society aims to attend around 4 conferences per academic year, usually starting with NottsMUN at the University of Nottingham in November. We've also attended UCLMUN, BathMUN, ReimsMUN and Harvard's WorldMUN. Conferences are a great way of meeting other MUN-ers from all around the world, and they always host socials too, so it's not just intense debating the whole time.
This academic year of 18/19, we have already attended CUIMUN & WarMUN, and will be attending YorkMUN, LIMUN, ZuMUN and Harvard's WorldMUN in Madrid. As well as this, we are very excited to announce that we will be hosting our third edition of the University of Sussex Model United Nations Conference. For more information regarding this, please visit our conference website. To register your interest, let us know on our Facebook event and like our dedicated conference page to keep up-to-date with the latest news on it!
If it's your first time and you just want to familiarise yourself with the works of the society, feel free to check out both the workshop and debate meeting as taster sessions in the first week. We ask for a £5 annual membership fee upon joining the society to cover the costs of training and workshop facilities, professional insights and expertise from guest visitors/speakers, travel to national conferences and participation fees, etc. If you wish to become a member of the society, it is important to register with us through the SU by clicking on 'Add to Basket' for a membership. For what Model United Nations has to offer, it for sure is a bargain!
No previous debating or Model UN experienced is required, so come along and experience the world of MUN and all it has to offer!
Experience the inner working of global politics and how the UN really works. You will be joining charismatic and dynamic individuals who have a passion for global affairs. Not to mention, we will be hosting a wide range of world class socials throughout the year too!
As Presidents of the University of Sussex's Model United Nations Society, we are pleased to say that the society is exceptionally active. We host weekly meetings, bi-weekly training sessions, events, socials, trips to both national and international conferences, as well as hosting our very own in April.
If you are interested in diplomacy or anything relating to International Relations, we would highly recommend joining. Or even if you just have an interest in global affairs, politics, economics, debating, public speaking or the works of the United Nations - absolutely anyone is welcome to join, from any background and discipline. No prior experience is required, and our team host bi-weekly training workshops to help build the skills you need to become a competent delegate and committee member. We cannot express enough how invaluable Model UN is for character building, and the indispensability of the skills you will acquire from engaging in the society. Model United Nations is recognised worldwide at almost every academic institution, so it would look great on your CV and graduate applications too!
For any of you curious about what Model United Nations actually is, it's an extra-curricular activity whereby participants assume the role of national ambassadors, diplomats or representatives to debate and seek to solve real-life global issues through a dynamic academic simulation of the United Nations. Any UN body or agency can be simulated, from the Security Council to General Assembly (which are typically the most popular).
The programme is officially affiliated with the UNA (United Nations Association) and aims to promote a greater understanding of contemporary social, economic and political issues by engaging students in professional debates, multilateral diplomacy and teamwork.
Model UN better acquaints high/secondary school, sixth form and university students with the functions of national governments and familiarises participants with the protocols, rules and processes of the United Nations. Sussex's Model United Nations Society provides Sussex students a forum for discussion of International Relations and events through our weekly meetings, debates and conferences.
Conferences are held both nationally and internationally, so there will be opportunities to travel to these and participate as a delegate. In 2014 the Model UN society attended Harvard University's WorldMUN in Brussels; this year, we are attending Harvard WorldMUN in Madrid! Conferences are an incredible experience and chance to meet other enthusiastic MUNers from all over the world. For more information regarding WorldMUN, visit WorldMun.org
As we have personal connections with High Commissioners, Ambassadors to the UN, members of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and various embassies, there will be opportunities to network and liaise with professionals, gain exclusive insights on the work that they do and the potential to be trained by one in our workshops.
If you have any queries, are interested in joining or would just like to know more in general, please feel free to contact anyone on the committee via our Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn page, LinkedIn group, or even our personal Facebooks.
We look forward to MUNning with you,
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Phone: 01273 678625
Office: Union Hub, 1st floor, Falmer House
Societies and Student Media Administrator - Liz Alcock
Phone: 01273 873415
Office: Union Hub, 1st floor, Falmer House
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