Model United Nations (MUN) is based on the activities of the United Nations. Students take on the role of diplomats from countries all over the world as they discuss and debate significant global events and crises. During a typical conference, participants work together to propose solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. And there is no better place to do MUN than in the Nation’s Capital.
WAU has the only Model United Nations program among Seventh-day Adventist colleges and it is run through the Honors College! Our students not only participate in MUN programming on campus, but they help run MUN conferences — we call it CAPITALMUN — for high school students each year. At CAPITALMUN our students plan the conference, lead the debates and Chairs, and run the conference as MUN Secretary Generals and Deputy Secretary Generals. In 2021, for the first time, WAU students will participate in the National Model United Nations Conference, Washington D.C. on November 5-7. WAU will represent the country of BELGIUM at the conference.
In January 2021 we did something really special: we facilitated an opportunity for local high school students to attend The Hague International Model United Nations Conference in The Hauge, Netherlands. It was virtual this year, but we plan to attend in person in the years ahead. You can read a story about it here.
MUN students learn strategies and methods that help them become confident, successful delegates. The exciting part is that these are often the same strategies and methods used by confident, successful students. While MUN obviously creates broader and deeper understanding of diplomacy, international relations, and current events, it also develops important transferable skills including public speaking, active listening, critical thinking, analysis, technical writing, and many more.
On March 10, 2020 our CAPITALMUN Conference welcomed more than 120 high school delegates representing more than 40 countries. During the course of the full-day event delegates debated topics in three MUN Committees — Human Rights Council (HRC), Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC), and a Special Committee on Politics and Health. Topics included:
- Measure to combat child trafficking
- Combating international interference in elections
- Protecting privacy in the digital age
- Standards for international intervention
- Measures to combat forced displacement due to climate change
- Measures to combat global pandemics and global health crises.
That last topic might catch your eye. It was an amazing experience to see student delegates debate such a relevant topic as part of the General Assembly debate at the end of the conference. It also worth noting that CAPITALMUN2020 took place just two days before many schools (including WAU) moved to online classes. We were very lucky the conference even took place.
Our CAPITALMUN 2021 was held on April 8, 2021 and was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that didn’t stop the conference from being venue for terrific ideas about how to solve global issues. Our photos from CAPITALMUN 2021 are a little different as you can see here:
To learn more about past and future MUN conferences at WAU visit http://www.capitalmun.org