The concept of Model UN
MUN stands for Model United Nations, which already hints at the general idea behind MUN conferences: To simulate the work of the United Nations, its sub-organs and related bodies in a realistic manner.
Each participant acts as a diplomat (delegate), representing the policy of an assigned country. A delegate’s aim is to act in the strategic interest of his/her country at all times. In simulated committees like the Security Council or the General Assembly, they debate current global issues throughout the scope of a conference which lasts from one day up to a week. They try to find comprehensive solutions while applying certain rules of procedure, similar to those of the UN. The topics of debate are also similar to those discussed by the UN. Work in committees is twofold: On the one hand, it consists of formal debate, where delegates hold speeches in front of the council and vote on decisions. On the other hand, they meet during informal ‚caucus’ time, where they can freely negotiate one-to-one and work on drafts for a final resolution. At the end of the conference the delegates have written and voted on resolutions that tackle the discussed problems.
The purpose of MUN conferences is that participating students may experience what it means to act diplomatic, to consider national strategic interests and how difficult it is to find comprehensive solutions in global politics. They improve their knowledge about other countries and international relations as well as their rhetorical and diplomatic skills. MUN conferences are held on a local level (i.e. within a university), a regional level (i.e. within a city or country) or even on a global scale, like the NMUN in New York or the WorldMUN in alternating cities.
What does IsarMUN stand for?
Isar Model United Nations – short: IsarMUN – was first launched as an independent conference in 2008 by a cooperation of students from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the Technical University Munich. Since then it has taken place annually in Munich with an increasing number of delegates and committees. Originally being seen as a training conference for larger international MUN’s it has now become an institution by itself offering not only a weekend full of driven debates but also inspirational guest speakers and great socials in probably the only city that can claim to be pittoresque and cosmopolitan at the same time.
With English as conference language IsarMUN is open for applications from university students worldwide. In order to participate applicants have to fill in the online registration form. Upon receiving a confirmation the registration fee has to be transferred. Delegates will then be assigned a country and a committee depending on their preferences and experience. Study Guides with background information on the issues will be provided online for each committee as groundwork for the delegates further research on the topics and the country’s position. Before the conference a Position Paper, which states the country’s experiences, interests and so far conducted actions as well as first ideas for possible solutions of the related problems, has to be drafted and handed in by each delegate. Delegates who demonstrate excellent preparation, outstanding rhetorical skills and advance the debates with innovative ideas have the chance to be honored with an award in the end of the conference.