MODEL UNITED NATIONS
In 1945 the United Nations (UN), an inter-governmental organisation, was formed with the objective of maintaining international peace and security. The UN is not a world government and does not create laws. Instead, it tries to provide means for governments to negotiate and resolve international problems peacefully. Today, there are 193 member States of the United Nations, all abiding by the principles and guidelines of the Charter of the United Nations.
Although there is no record of the exact date when Model United Nations was started, one can see it as having been evolved from a series of student-led Model League of Nations simulations. Model UN simulates the structure and functions of the UN. Members include graduates, post-graduates, even middle and high school students. They are given the task of representing the member countries of the actual UN by playing the role of ambassadors of these nations. A thorough study and understanding of the global political issues of their respective assigned countries is required of the delegates. Conferences are conducted where the participants can debate on critical issues related to the world politics. These sessions are held within three to seven days. About 400 Model UN conferences are organized annually around the world.
One of the primary objectives of Model UN is to ensure that a pool of potential future world leaders is generated from young people. The focus lies on a comprehensive understanding of the implications and nuances of meaning of proposed policies. A sophisticated grasp of the needs and goals of the countries is also called for. The goal during the conferences is to attain a consensus among the members in relation to a particular matter. This process allows for a creative solution and a complex analysis of relevant political issues. At the same time, it compels the participants to learn ways of adapting to evolving situations in the kind of constraints that they face. All of this has to be done with integrity and in accordance with the principles of the UN.
At both school and college level, Model UN aims to promote an interest of the United Nations amongst both teachers and students. It helps them to gain valuable knowledge on a variety of subjects, such as, skills in negotiation, public speaking, problem solving, conflict resolution, research, communication, consensus building, and cooperation. Model UN allows young people to study and discuss global issues and provide grounds for transformation in their viewpoints as well as personas.
Being a part of Model UN can be helpful in other areas apart from those related with global affairs. Members can help others be more aware of present day political, economic, social and cultural realities. It is important that we understand the dynamics of political activities and the complexity of its issues. Also, having an acquaintance with multiple perspectives on a single issue can help increase tolerance and cooperation amongst every human being. The idea behind the formation of the United Nations is to ensure that nations are willing to work towards the benefit of not only itself but also of its neighbours. Being confined within narrow interests is detrimental to political stability and development both at the national and international level. Hence, Model UN members are poised to use their acquired skills within their own nations and communities as well. Even at the level of a single community, the need for intelligent analysis of problems and creative solutions is wanted. This can be clearly seen in a country like India where people from people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds settle at the same city or state.
Many of today’s leading figures in law, governance and even business have participated in Model U.N. conferences. These include US Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer, former World Court Justice, Stephen M. Schwebel, Under-Secretary General for Public Information, Kiyotaka Akasaka, and UN-Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, to name a few. However, this is not to say that Model U.N. is meant only for those with ambitions of having a political career. Other participants like Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Seacrest and Rainn Wilson are notable figures outside the normal political sphere.
Individual initiative and imagination is required for any human endeavour. The freedom to present and examine views and ideas that run contrary to current thought is also vital if society is to progress. Model U.N. can, in certain ways, allow such goals to be realized. It is with hope and confidence in the abilities of the young that we look forward to sustain and develop Model UN here in the Northeast.
Model UN conferences have been steadily growing in India in the past three years but still remains new to North East India. The North East India International Model United Nations (NEIMUN) is the premier organisation to hold MUN conferences in the North-East region of India.
The first session of NEIMUN was held in December 2013 at Kohima, Nagaland. Last year’s edition at Kohima, Nagaland hosted 200 participants from 69 schools and colleges from across the country. The second session, NEIMUN 2014 will be held in Shillong, Meghalaya from 23rd-26th October. The year’s conference anticipates over 400 young people from across the country with delegations pouring in even from neighbouring countries. Applications are currently open. Those interested can visit the official website at www.neimun.in or contact them at +919089057844.