Simulations of international organizations are older than the United Nations. Model United Nations can trace its lineage to simulations of the League of Nations, the predecessor of the UN, back to the 1920s. Modern day Model UN conferences began in the 1950s and have seen a tremendous growth, in terms of interest and participation, since that time. Today more than 60,000 students worldwide, from middle school to college, participate in Model UN simulations annually.
In Model United Nations, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. Students make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world. Model UN is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy. In standard Model UN, students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of member states of the United Nations. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.