Model United Nations as a concept began soon after the formation of the real United Nations. It aims to teach young people about the United Nations by simulating its processes. It soon gained a wide following throughout the world and today approximately 60,000 high school and college students take part annually in local, regional or international MUN’s. We now have our very own Chiang Mai MUN.
Participants assume roles as ambassadors at the UN (Security Council, General Assembly or its committees) for an assigned country. Students are not permitted to represent their country of citizenship or residence. Delegates negotiate to frame resolutions and debate them under rules based on the rules of debate in the real UN. Students chair debates and all the officials are students.
Being a delegate is a challenging experience for high school students. Students must prepare thoroughly by researching the issues for debate, the country they represent, and their country’s position on the issues. They must learn to empathise with their country even though it may be one they feel no sympathy for. Understanding and sympathy for the peoples of other cultures is engendered.
Ultimately students must be prepared to present their country’s viewpoint in formal debate and to be challenged by questions from the other delegates. This process fosters public speaking and debating skills. All delegates must be attentive and active in their listening and be poised to challenge opposing standpoints. This is a potentially stressful activity for young people but in meeting these challenges students develop self-confidence and self esteem.
Each year there are two major Chiang Mai based Model United Nations conferences which Lanna students are fully involved in.