Riddhi Sen Majumder

“Without TRUST, we cannot face the difficult challenges in the world today.”
- UN Secretary General H.E. Antonio Guterres

Has it ever crossed your mind as to why does the Real UN have such limited engagement with Model UN Conferences? Well, such a question definitely did occur to me when I was a newbie.

The answer, as an assumption, is pretty straightforward. Probably it is the lack of accurate reflection of United Nations processes in Model UN Simulations.

Traditional Model UN Conferences, as we know, mostly use parliamentary rules of procedure derived from Robert’s Rules of Order. Simulations therein are decorated with parliamentary instruments such as a Point of Information, Point of Parliamentary Inquiry, etc. However, what such conferences fail to fathom is that the UN is not a parliament but a forum for its Member States to deliberate on issues that transcend boundaries. Ergo, the rules of procedure at the United Nations are completely different from, say, what the British Parliament or the US Congress follows.

And it is here that the World Federation of UN Associations brings into play the WIMUN Difference – that has been trailblazing an approach to simulate UN meetings that puts the UN back in the MUN.

The WIMUN Approach builds on the UN4MUN Approach that was first introduced to the Model UN Community in 2009. This approach is focused on two core values that we strive to emulate at our WIMUN Conferences – “Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Dialogue.”

By conducting simulations that celebrate the multicultural backgrounds of our participants who inhabit every continent except Antarctica, we mirror the diversity of the United Nations.

By emphasizing the importance of establishing an inclusive dialogue during negotiations, we foster an environment of trust and cooperation – in order to find common ground in delegates’ positions – rather than a competitive environment that is typical in most MUN Conferences. This encourages respect for differences in policies on a wide variety of issues, in an effort to reach consensus on actions that should be taken on an important global issue as against the ‘rule of majority’ in traditional MUNs that is usually determined by voting.

Our simulations highlight how each UN body is unique. While there may be some similarities in the rules of procedures across various UN entities, WIMUN highlights the differences in procedures used by the Security Council, a General Assembly committee, the Human Rights Council, ECOSOC in its rules of procedure; or how the ILO’s membership is not just limited to countries, but includes other stakeholders too. The WIMUN Approach also brings to the forefront new meeting formats such as the Arria Formula in the Security Council, or the Committee of the Whole which is used in the ECOSOC Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice or the UN Environment Assembly.

And this WIMUN Difference is not just restricted to simulations, but extends beyond to the halls of socializing. As in the UN, we promote a diplomatic environment that values diversity through showcasing each inimitable national culture represented in our conferences.

In sum, whether you are a seasoned MUNer wanting to change gears and try out real diplomacy, a novice delegate wanting to develop your skills in public speaking and negotiation, a delegate interested to know more about the United Nations and possibly even start a career in it, or just someone wanting to concoct lasting and meaningful friendships for life – then WIMUN is your platform!