The Lack of Standards in Model UN and the United Nations’ Plan to Fix It

by KFC on September 6, 2012

Delegates present a draft resolution during the Best Delegate Academy MUN Summer Camp in Hawaii

During one of our Best Delegate Academy Model UN summer camps this year, we were going through parliamentary procedure and realized that there are no standards in the Model UN rules of procedure or even a standardized term of the same action that takes place at the different conferences. At the Yale Model United Nations Institute (YMUNI) for example, we had students from across the country who shared that the action and term to present draft resolutions could be called:

  • Motion to introduce a draft resolution
  • Motion for a Formal Caucus
  • Motion to suspend the rules to introduce a draft resolution
  • Motion for an Author’s Panel

This does not even taken into account when a draft resolution is introduced. North American Model UN conferences typically use parliamentary procedure that leads to the draft resolutions being introduced toward the end of debate or after all debate has taken place, whereas THIMUN procedure has draft resolutions presented on the second day after the first full day of lobbying (unmoderated caucus).

Several conference organizers and head delegates have asked Best Delegate to compare and contrast different rules of procedure to kickstart the conversation on to what extent is standardization in the circuit needed. That’s a big task though, and fortunately, a major player has entered into the conversation.

The United Nations has only been actively organizing its Global Model UN conference for the past three years. It soon realized that pretty much all Model UN conferences do not even come close to accurately simulating the real UN, and it saw a need to share how things are done in real life. The UN decided to organize a Model UN Workshop at the UN Headquarters in New York, and Best Delegate was able to attend along with university-level MUN leaders from literally around the world.

The key takeaways from the workshop will shock many veterans on the Model UN circuit. I’ll give you a teaser: parliamentary rules of procedure are NOT used at the UN and in fact are contrary to the ideals of the United Nations. We’ll give you the full recap of the UN Workshop next week and share their plan to for Model United Nations.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there! I can’t seem to find the recap article anywhere. Has it been written, and, if so, where may I find it?

  • Cassi

    I agree with alefal–I want to see the rest of the article! Is it posted?

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