Historic resolution on Model UN adopted by the UN General Assembly

In a historic moment for Model United Nations, the UN General Assembly adopted its first ever resolution on Model UN on Friday, 1 September 2023.

Adopted by consensus, the resolution “encourages Member States to support the organization of Model United Nations” and “also encourages the United Nations system to support Model United Nations programmes, as appropriate, through sharing of information and capacity-building, including in developing countries.” With this resolution, the General Assembly recognizes the important contributions Model UN has made “to diplomacy and international cooperation, and in building the capacities of young people in the field of international affairs, providing them with the knowledge and opportunities they need.”

Permanent Mission of Portugal introducing the draft resolution.

WFUNA planted a seed in February 2022 that eventually led to the resolution that was adopted today when it approached the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to seek their support in sponsoring a resolution to establish a World Model UN day in time to mark the 80th anniversary of Model UN in March 2023. With its full support, a plan was put into place to put together a core group of countries who would support this initiative, but the focus shifted subsequently to drafting a resolution that would focus more broadly on encouraging the UN, Member States, and other relevant stakeholders to support Model UN programmes around the world. The Permanent Mission of Portugal, together with Jamaica, Egypt, the Dominican Republic and Lao PDR led these efforts and after three months of negotiation on a draft resolution, it was finally adopted.

WFUNA expresses its gratitude to the members of the core group and all the other Member States that sponsored this resolution for their support and leadership on this important issue and is delighted with the resolution adopted today.

According to the UN’s website, “Model UN is a popular activity for those interested in learning more about hoe the UN operates […] Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts – including the UN itself – participated in Model UN as a student.” Beyond that, Model UNs are a great opportunity for students to develop, offering invaluable experience in decision-making, diplomacy, and public speaking.

Representatives from Portugal, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Lao PDR with Bill Yotive, Model UN Coordinator for WFUNA

WFUNA has a unique place in the history of Model UN. Its origins can be traced back to the League of Nations Association, which was the primary force behind creating a network of Model Assemblies throughout the United States starting in 1925. When the LNA legally changed its name, in 1945, to the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN), under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt, it shifted from being the primary force behind a collegiate network of Model Assemblies to being the primary force behind creating a collegiate network of Model UNs. Then, in 1965, the AAUN merged with the US Committee for the United Nations and assumed the name UNA-USA which today is one of the prominent members of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and is well know in the Model UN community for its Global Classroom materials and mini-simulations which help promote Model UN. The thread that starts with simulations of the League lead directly to WFUNA.

WFUNA has been organizing the world’s most accurate simulation of the United Nations, WFUNA International Model UN, since 2014. For more information about WFUNA’s Model UN program, please click here.

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