Your 8 Chances to Attend a Model UN at the United Nations Headquarters!

by KFC on October 25, 2016

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson speaking at WIMUN at UN Headquarters

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson speaking at WIMUN at UN Headquarters

Attending a Model United Nations conference at the actual United Nations Headquarters in New York is one of the dreams for most delegates. It’s the most authentic and inspiring feeling to be dressed up in Western Business Attire, walk into the UN General Assembly Hall, and sit on the same chairs as real UN delegates do. Furthermore, most of the MUNs held at UN Headquarters tend to be among the more accurate simulations of the UN and may feature aspects such as a Plenary session and a full lineup of traditional committees that are not often found at other conferences.

Fortunately for participants, there are now at least eight conferences to attend a Model UN at the UN Headquarters in New York. Most events are held during the February-May timeframe. Here are the options by academic level:

University

National Model United Nations (NMUN): NMUN is the longest established MUN conference held at UN Headquarters and is attended by over 5,000 delegates from around the world every year. Due to this large size, the conference is actually divided into two identical sessions. This year’s sessions will be held on March 19-23, 2017 and April 9-13, 2017. The conference emphasizes the educational and traditional simulation of the UN, though delegations are still competitive for the over 100 delegation awards that are given out at the end of the conference and tend to prepare all semester for this conference.

WFUNA International Model United Nations (WIMUN): WIMUN is organized by WFUNA and is the trailblazer of the UN4MUN movement, which was created by the United Nations to accurately simulate the UN and its adoption by consensus approach (which is very different from the voting-orientation and competitive debates of traditional MUNs). It provides a diverse but much more diplomatic and intimate experience than traditional MUNs with 800 delegates from 50 countries and expert speakers arranged by WFUNA in every committee. This year’s session will be held on February 1-4, 2017.

High School

National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN): organized by IMUNA, NHSMUN is well established and is the largest high school MUN conference in the world with 3,800 delegates. This year, the conference will divide into two identical sessions to be held on March 10-13, 2017 and March 15-18, 2017. The conference has a strong emphasis on education, including well-written background guides, in-conference teaching by the chairs (many of whom attended the conference as delegates), a high level of debate by experienced delegates, and no individual awards in most committees.

Global Classrooms International Model United Nations (GCIMUN): the conference is sponsored by UNA-USA and organized by Lebanese American University. It serves as the flagship of the Global Classrooms program, which was initially a free conference for inner city youth, but the conference has since diversified its attendance to about 1,600 delegates from around the world. Many delegates attending this conference are newer to MUN and therefore education and diplomacy are emphasized by the staff. The conference will be held May 11-13, 2017.

WFUNA International Model United Nations (WIMUN): WIMUN is the trailblazer in the UN4MUN movement, which was created by the United Nations to accurately simulate the UN and its adoption by consensus approach (which is very different from all the voting-oriented traditional MUNs on this list). It provides a diverse but much more diplomatic and intimate experience than traditional MUNs with 800 delegates from 50 countries and expert speakers arranged by WFUNA in every committee. This year’s session will be held on February 1-4, 2017 concurrently with but separately from its university conference.

Change the World Model United Nations (CWMUN): CWMUN is organized by Associazione Diplomatici and is the New York branch of their flagship conference in Rome, Italy. The conference is primarily attended by Italian delegates and prominent Italians speak during the opening ceremonies. The conference will be held from March 17-19, 2017.

New York Dominican Republic Model United Nations (NYDRMUN): NYDRMUN is organized by UNA-Dominican Republic and is primarily attended by about 400 Dominican delegates. The conference is usually held in either March or April 2017.

Middle School

Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN): organized by Montessori MUN, the conference infuses Montessori educational principles into the conference and lets students learn in a self-directed environment. MMUN is moving toward the consensus-based UN4MUN approach and also emphasizes a NGO project component. This year’s session will be held on March 8-11, 2017.

Global Classrooms International Middle School Model United Nations (GCIMSMUN): the conference is sponsored by UNA-USA and organized by Lebanese American University. It is the more traditional MUN conference between the two middle school options. This year’s session will be held from March 30-April 1, 2017.

Elementary School

Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN): organized by Montessori MUN, the conference infuses Montessori educational principles into the conference and lets students learn in a self-directed environment. The event is open to upper elementary school students. This year’s session will be held on March 8-11, 2017 at the same time as the middle school conference.

Future Events?

These events were new during this past year and have not been regularly held at the UN Headquarters in previous years. Therefore, we did not consider them to be on the regulars on the calendar of MUN opportunities at UN Headquarters, though they could become so with consistent hosting of MUN conferences at the UN Headquarters in the coming years.

New York University Model United Nations Conference (NYUMUNC) held their Opening Ceremonies at the UN Headquarters last year, but it’s unknown if this will be an annual feature of their conference. NYUMUNC is a crisis-based university-level conference held annually on NYU’s campus, and the conference this year will be held from April 7-9, 2017.

Indian International Model United Nations USA (IIMUN USA) held a small IIMUN branch conference primarily for about 200 Indian citizens studying in the United States last year. The conference was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN and organized by IIMUN. A second conference is planned for August 2017.

MUN4UN Youth Assembly (MUN4UN) is not technically a Model UN conference. Rather, it was a conference for about 300 MUN participants to discuss and come up with a resolution on how to improve the activity. The event was hosted by United Ambassadors last August and the majority of participants were university students from the Middle East and Latin America.

Global Citizens Model United Nations (GCMUN): This looks like a new high school conference to be held at UN Headquarters on February 23-25, 2017.

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