What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations is a realistic simulation of the United Nations and its affiliated specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations. Students from across the country and around the world convene to discuss and solve some of today's most pressing issues from the perspective of a United Nations representative. By representing the nation of their choice, students are challenged to learn, understand, and discuss difficult issues, often from a non-Western point of view.

In each committee, delegates debate issues from the provisional agenda and represent the ideas and motives of nations from around the world. Through the art of international diplomacy and compromise, delegates formulate multinational resolutions designed to ameliorate the issue at hand. Delegates work to amend and pass resolutions through their own committees and have the chance of being heard before the entire General Assembly of the United Nations. In our Specialized and Advanced Committees, such as the Security Council and International Monetary Fund, delegates follow modified UN rules to ensure international peace and security and to grant loan applications.

Preparation is vital to an enjoyable conference experience.  Students who research their topics and develop thoughtful and realistic solutions to today's most pressing issues will be better prepared to adequately participate at the conference.  In addition to developing an in-depth understanding of the issues under discussion, students should also be able to formulate ideas and policy stands in the general interests of their nation.

In 2000, IDIA developed the Conference Portal as a tool to assist students in their preparation.  As the Model United Nations program is one founded in cooperation, collaboration, and dialogue, the Conference Portal has been designed to maximize resources available to students.  This site offers students a personalized conference environment, full of research tools and links specific to their topics.  The Conference Portal is also home to a series of interactive message boards where delegates begin talking about their topics long before the conference, and continue to talk with new-found friends once the conference has ended.  Moreover, throughout the months leading up to the conference, students will find a series of online workshops designed to help them better understand conference rules of procedure, and to assist them in their research for the conference.

In addition to academic growth, delegates who excel in their committee sessions are recognized at the closing ceremony for their efforts. Awards are presented to students who take an active role in the activities of their committee, who show exemplary preparation for the conference, and who best facilitate the work of the committee.

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