This is the third and final article in our NAIMUN Featured Series. For more information on the series, check out our kickoff article!
Like many of its peer conferences on the high school Model United Nations circuit, NAIMUN’s core mission is to provide its delegates an educational experience and to help prepare them to be the next generation of leaders and diplomats. NAIMUN has earned its status as a top conference on the high school circuit in no small part because it reaches this goal consistently year after year, providing an experience unrivaled by any other conference.
NAIMUN owes its success in part to the high quality of simulations it offers year in and year out, all of which impart knowledge of both current and historical international political issues. NAIMUN also places tremendous emphasis on teaching delegates how to debate, negotiate, and collaborate to solve such issues. However, NAIMUN also distinguishes itself by making robust training programs available for both delegates and its own staffers.
The NAIMUN philosophy centers on the versatility of Model United Nations as a pedagogical tool—a concept which only holds if both delegates and staffers understand the activity at an advanced level. NAIMUN’s secretariat has kept this premise in mind when it revamped NAIMUN’s staff training programs this year to make them more engaging.
Secretary General Pavan Rajgopal and other leaders within both NAIMUN and Georgetown’s collegiate Model UN program presented scenarios staffers will likely confront over the course of the conference and asked staffers how they would address them. For example, Crisis committee staffers were presented with a series of hypothetical individual directives they might receive from delegates, each varying in quality and substance. The staffers were then asked how they would evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of those portfolio actions, and then were prompted to explain how they would respond. A panel of NAIMUN’s most experienced Chairs was also held to give leaders within the conference the opportunity to impart lessons from their personal experiences to Chairs, Directors, and Rapporteurs. As a result of this training, NAIMUN staffers will be prepared for the conference and will be able to provide an enhanced experience for delegates.
However, NAIMUN’s training does not end with its staffers. NAIMUN strives to teach delegates the myriad of lessons to be found in international politics, but NAIMUN also works hard to make sure delegates leave the conference with a better understanding of how to compete successfully in Model UN. To that end, NAIMUN will provide a detailed Parliamentary Procedure presentation the first day of the conference, followed by an informative presentation tailored specifically for delegates in Crisis committees. These presentations will both help expedite the flow of debate during committee and additionally help delegates engage at a higher substantive level with committee and ultimately have a more fulfilling NAIMUN experience.
NAIMUN has long been a model of professionalism and excellence on the circuit, and its revitalized staff and delegate training efforts can only help bolster its standing as the nation’s premier high-school Model United Nations conference.