Model United Nations (MUN): Life-skills you can get from it

Interested in MUN? Here’s why you should do it.

Model United Nations, or MUN has gained loads of attention all over the world, even in India. Over the past decade, more and more people have become a part of this activity.

So, is MUN really a helpful activity for teens? That is the question that this article will be answering. So here are 5 ways MUN is going to change a teens’ future.

What is MUN?

Before we start, it is important to know what MUN is. To explain briefly, MUN is a school and collegiate level activity which mainly focuses on simulating a United Nations conference. Before a conference, participants are assigned to be in a certain committee of the UN representing a nation as a delegate. Each conference has an agenda or issue. The goal of the conference is to solve that issue through debate and discussion. The conference is concluded by the chairperson after a resolution solving the problem is passed. 

You can find out more about what MUN is and how it works, here.

With that out of the way, let’s get to our 5 top reasons why MUN is extremely beneficial for a teens’ future.

1. Improves Debating and Public Speaking Skills

The entire concept of MUN revolves around debate and public speaking. Delegates need to be able to maintain a stance and defend it confidently and efficiently. Throughout the conference, there are multiple speeches that a delegate has to give, some of them refuting an argument made by an opposing delegate and others, to defend their own opinions. MUN teaches you how to give an impactful speech. Most experienced MUNers are able to make powerful speeches which they can then execute with a high degree of confidence. 

Debate and Public Speaking have always been considered as important traits. However, both of these things have never been more important than they are right now. If you are good at debate and public speaking, then you are able to convey,  defend or refute a point in a persuasive and confident way. Given how competitive it is out there, doing just that is going to be extremely advantageous in the future. People don’t have the time to listen to everyone. This is why you need to be able to speak with confidence, brevity and persuasiveness. MUN prepares you for this competitive world that you are about to get in.

Mun - proves Debating and Public Speaking Skills
Public Speaking is beneficial in many aspects of life . 

2. Supercharges Knowledge of Global Issues

In MUN, the agenda acts as the catalyst for debate. The agenda in most MUNs is a problem somewhere in the world. All delegates are expected to know everything and anything about the agenda. What this does is that it gives anyone who participates in MUN a really good idea about the world and the key issues affecting it. Delegates use multiple research methods to obtain information about important issues, which gives them a broad perspective on current affairs. Finding out about global issues this way is much more fun and efficient than reading a biased newspaper article about it. 

It is of extreme importance that people, especially teenagers know what is going on in the world. Most problems that we face today are global problems. Nowadays, melting ice caps in the arctic can impact people living in the Sahara. Rising tensions between India and China can bring the entire world to a standstill. The biggest example of this is the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. In January, it was just “China’s Problem” and the world couldn’t care less. Then, just 6 months later, almost every single country in this world has been turned upside down due to “China’s problem”. We need to know about everything going on in our planet, because it impacts us, in some way or the other. 

MUN helps students become aware of all major global issues and problems

3. Builds Leadership Skills

Believe it or not, leadership is another core aspect of MUN. In most conferences, there are north of 50 delegates. That is a lot of people. Moreover, when it comes to actually writing resolutions, the chairpersons usually only accepts 2. That means that around 25 people need to work together to make a resolution. A team of 25 people needs to be managed. This is why some delegates must take up the role of being a leader and make sure that the group is moving in the right direction. They need to make sure that everybody’s ideas are incorporated and they need to take responsibility for the group’s resolution. Being a leader in an MUN helps win awards and definitely improves your leadership skills by a ton. 

As time goes on, it is really beneficial to be a leader. MUN conferences are just like our world today, there are too many people. As time goes on, the number of people will increase but the number of opportunities will not. The two are inversely proportionate. It is going to be extremely important to have something which makes you superior from the rest of the pack. That “something” is leadership. In the future, leadership is going to be an even more esteemed quality than it is today and MUN teaches you just that. 

4. Sharpens Negotiation and Lobbying Skills

Another thing MUN teaches you is negotiation. Negotiation is another vital part of becoming a good MUNer and it is also a vital life-skill. During an MUN, it is important that delegates negotiate with other delegates about resolutions, alliances etc. For example, before an MUN commences, delegates are free to roam around and interact with other delegates. During this time, it is important to convince other delegates to side with you so that beneficial alliances can be formed for the duration of the conference. This is also known as lobbying. Moreover, delegates often have to reason with the opposition about resolutions or other conflicts of opinions. It is really difficult for a delegate to convince the opposition and to reason with them so that both sides are happy. 

Negotiation and Lobbying are going to be a really important skill in the future. These two skills are going to be needed everywhere, from the political world to the corporate one. To give an example, let’s take political issues around the world. From the experience of over 1000 years, we all know that war has no end, this is why maybe peace is the new war strategy. Countries know that all-out war will lead to mutually assured destruction, this is why they will look towards keeping peace talks and signing treaties. It is situations like this where these skills will come in need because physical wars might be over, but verbal wars are the future

Round table conferences are becoming the new battlefields

5. Makes College Applications Stand Out

Finally, MUN can help you get into the college of your choice. Most people know that if they want to get into a good college, their scores are no reason to be accepted, they are only a reason to be unaccepted. This is why extracurriculars like MUN are of utmost importance. Colleges like Harvard and Oxford are looking towards things apart from the 6 subjects of school. MUN achievements show them that the student possesses a lot of talent. After all, winning awards in MUN does prove that the person is knowledgeable, confident and a lot of other impressive things. 

Furthermore, many great colleges organize MUNs of their own all around the world. Harvard University conducts 4 HMUNs every year in different parts of the world. The University of Oxford conducts OxiMUN annually. Colleges in India also have their MUNs with IIM Ahmedabad organizing its own MUN as well! This proves that universities all around the world consider MUN to be of great importance and value and they respect people who have achieved in this field.  

In conclusion, MUN is indeed a very helpful activity. As discussed above, all the skills mentioned will be extremely important in the future which is why teens should definitely consider becoming a part of this amazing activity! 

Fun fact, the current Secretary-General of the United Nations (Antonio Guterres), was a MUNer himself and it was a big contributor to why he got his job!

Written by Dhruv Srivastava

Dhruv is currently an IB high school student. He loves to write and talk about world history and global politics. With an interest in cricket and books, he loves the outdoors but doesn’t mind reading for hours on end. He is also a competitive speedcuber and a member of the World Cube Association (solves the 3x3 Rubik's Cube in less than 12 seconds). Dhruv lives in Mumbai, and loves travelling and learning more about the different people and cultures in the world.

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Model United Nations (MUN)- All you need to know

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