After fifty years of excellence, the North American Invitational Model United Nations continues to set the standard for MUN conferences nationwide. Founded in 1963, an era when John F. Kennedy was president and the Cold War was dominant, NAIMUN celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. At the beginning of conference planning in April, Executive Director Sarah Pemberton and Secretary-General Pavan Rajgopal sat down with stakeholders from past NAIMUN conferences to decide on a vision for the conference that incorporated NAIMUN’s storied history and the trends of the contemporary MUN circuit. They noted a growing disconnect between the educational values that drove Model UN and growing competitiveness of the high school circuit. Increasingly, awards have become the focus of committees rather than a reward for strong performance, encouraging unethical behavior and undermining the spirit of cooperation and diplomacy upon which MUN is based.
At NAIMUN LI, Sarah and Pavan hope to reconnect Model UN to its educational values and real-world relevance. For some delegates, NAIMUN is considered the “high school championship” on the Model United Nations circuit. For top delegates, NAIMUN certainly will not disappoint, with 38 innovative and rigorous simulations based on historical and contemporary scenarios. However, for many others, NAIMUN is merely a way to improve important professional skills like public speaking and negotiation, and to make new friends with delegates from around the world. NAIMUN’s staff hopes to give all of its delegates the support they need, whether savvy veterans or complete beginners.
To cover the ways in which NAIMUN is trying to maintain its standard of excellence on the Model UN circuit, we will be bringing to you a number of articles that highlight key changes at NAMIUN this year.
- The first will talk about the substantive aspects of the conference.
- The second will discuss NAIMUN’s programming and philanthropic initiatives.
- The third will discuss the ways in which NAIMUN approaches staff and delegate training.
All of these articles will seek to shed light on how NAIMUN – one of the largest Model UN conferences in North America – innovates and adapts to the changing nature of the Model UN circuit.
We hope you enjoy this featured series and we look forward to seeing all of you at NAIMUN this year!
Best Delegate will also be covering the actual conference in-depth. Kevin will be there with another Best Delegate staffer to cover all aspects of the conference. Look out for us at NAIMUN and check out our coverage on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
We hope you enjoy this featured series and we look forward to seeing all of you there!