National Model United Nations

National Model United Nations, or NMUN, is an international, college-level Model United Nations conference run by the National Collegiate Conference Association, a small non-profit based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The conference is globally the largest and among the most prestigious collegiate United Nations simulations.

NMUN is an experiential learning program in which participants work in cooperation to discuss and brainstorm solutions to issues facing the globe as model diplomats in the United Nations. Each delegation consists of students from a university or college who are assigned a country, whose role and position they take on in committees. Before the conference, students are expected to research that Member State’s history and its current perspective on international issues, and then represent that state in their assigned committee.[1] The official language of the conference is English.



NMUN became a registered Non-Profit in 1968.[2] Since then, it has grown substantially. Together over 5,973 students participated in NMUN conferences in fall of 2010 through spring 2011. These students came from 397 colleges and universities, and over 3,400 of the students came from outside of the United States.[3]

Mission Statement

The National Collegiate Conference Association’s seeks to advance understanding of the United Nations System and contemporary global issues through quality educational programs that emphasize collaboration and cooperative conflict resolution and prepare participants for active global citizenship.[4]


Position Papers

Each delegation must write a position paper per committee they are assigned, which covers the three topics the committee will be discussing at the conference. The position papers requires students to write about their state, NGO, or expert’s position on the issues that the committee will be debating, as well as consider what potential solutions could be proposed during the conference. Staff-members judge position papers for awards, which are given out during closing ceremony. Position papers must follow strict formatting guidelines. They cannot exceed one double-sided page and must be Times New Roman 10-12 point font. The state or NGO name, as well as school name and committee name must be clearly labeled at the top of the paper, and agenda topics must be clearly labeled in separate sections. No national symbols are allowed to be included on position papers.[5]

Awards philosophy

NMUN does utilize awards, but does not emphasize awards as the main motivator or definition of success at the conference. Instead, NMUN focuses on diplomacy and cooperative collaboration, but recognizes delegations for high quality position papers and performance in the conference. Additionally, each committee recognizes one or two individuals as distinguished delegates in committee, based on a popular vote at the end of the conference.


The committees that are simulated at NMUN are divided by the UN departments under which they operate: General Assembly; Economic and Social Council; Specialized Agencies, Programmes, and Funds; Inter-Governmental Organizations; and Peace and Security. The committees for the 2012 NMUN conference are listed below:

Dept. of the General Assembly

Dept. of the Economic and Social Council

Dept. of Specialized Agencies, Programmes, and Funds

Dept. of Inter-Governmental Organizations

Dept. of Peace and Security


NMUN New York

NMUN NY is the oldest NMUN conference, and takes place over the course of a week every spring in New York City. Because of its expanding size, there are now two conferences that run almost simultaneously at the Sheraton New York Hotel and New York Marriott Marquis hotels. This conference has expanded greatly in the past two decades, with approximately 1,200 participants throughout the 1990s, doubling to 2,500 in 2001, and reaching 5,000 students in 2010. This rapid growth necessitated the expansion to two separate venues in 2007. [6] Students from 39 different UN Member States participated in NMUN NY in 2011, with participants coming from: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela. [7] Closing ceremonies are held in the United Nations General Assembly Hall, along with final plenary sessions being held on the UN campus. Past keynote speakers have included Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Michael Ignatieff, Dikembe Mutombo[8], and UN Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan. [9]


Partnering with the Osgood Center for International Studies, NMUN has held a conference in DC since 2007. [10] NMUN DC also draws students from around the world, and features distinguished speakers from the diplomatic community of Washington, DC. [11]

International Locations

Since 2008 NMUN has expanded internationally, hosting conferences in Xi’an, China (2008), Quito, Ecuador (2010), and Olomouc, Czech Republic (2010), and will be hosting NMUN Europe in Lille, France in January-February 2012.


Each NMUN conference is run by volunteer staff members, usually experienced NMUN alumni. Volunteer staff consists of individuals from all over the world, both undergraduate students and those with degrees.[12]

Secretary General


For each conference venue, there is typically one Under-Secretary-General (USG) per department (General Assembly, ECOSOC, Peace & Security, Specialized Agencies, IGOs, and Conference Services). Throughout the year, they assist the committee officers with the writing and editing of their Background Guides, and at the conference is responsible for the substantive affairs of the department.


Directors are the head officials in their committees, and work to write the majority of their committee’s Background Guide, as well as managing the substantive affairs of their committee, with the assistance of the Assistant Director. [13]

Assistant Director

Assistant Directors also each write a section of the background guide for their respective committee and work alongside the Director to run the committee at the conference, more specifically working with the committee’s rapporteurs. [14]

Research Assistants

Research Assistants help substantive volunteer staff through researching and assisting in the revision of the work of the Secretariat. [15]

Network Manager

The Network Manager’s main responsibility is to set up and manage the computer lab during the conference under the direction of the Under-Secretary-General of Conference Services (USG-CS). [16]

Office Managers & Administrative Assistants

The Conference Services Department consists of Office Managers and Administrative Assistants (AAs). These volunteers provide assistance in the use of computers and photocopying. [17]

Delegate Participation on the Dais

Delegates have the opportunity at the conference to take on more leadership in their committee by serving alongside staff on the Dais at NMUN NY. Each committee has a chair and rapporteur, which spots are filled by student participants. They forgo their position as a representative of a specific country and are no longer able to participate in the substantive proceedings of the committee.

The committee chair assumes responsibility for the proceedings of the committee, ensuring the committee runs smoothly and efficiently. Chairs are responsible for knowing the correct rules of procedure and parliamentary procedure.

Rapporteurs assist in the organization of the committee and aide the Director, AD, and chair. Some large committees may have two rapporteurs to ensure in the organization of the Dais. Rapporteurs manage the speakers list, keep track of the resolutions on the floor, ordering amendments, verifying votes, and preparing the final committee reports. [18]

Rules of Procedure: Short Form

Motion Purpose Debate Vote None
Point of Order Correct an error in procedure None None Refers to a specific rule
Appeal the Decision of the Chair Challenge a decision of the Chair None Majority Question the Chair's ruling
Suspension of the Meeting Recess meeting for a defined period None Majority Used to go into caucus or to break for a given time
Adjournment of the Meeting End meeting None Majority Used only on final day; ends committee for the year
Closure of Debate Vote on all draft resolutions; move to immediate vote 2 pro / 2 con Majority Tables the topic; requires a roll call vote
Division of the Question (Used in voting only) Consider clause(s) separately from rest of draft resolution. Part 1: Procedural vote on if this motion should be considered; Part 2: Substantive vote to accept/ reject separated clauses Part 1: 2 pro / 2 con; Part 2: None Part 1: Majority. Part 2: Majority. Voted on it order of most to least radical change. Part 1: If passes: clause(s) removed and voted on separately. If fails: no change to clause(s). Clauses(s) are separated out and voted on as an annex to the original draft resolution. Part 2: If passes: Annex passes. If fails: clause(s) discarded and no longer part of any draft resolution.
Roll Call Vote (Used in voting only) Vote by roll call, rather than show placards None None Automatically granted once requested
Adopt by Acclamation (Used in voting only) Pass a draft resolution as a body None Majority Once motioned, Chair must ask if there are any dissensions
Reconsideration Re-open debate on an issue (Motion must be made by a member that voted for Adjournment of Debate) 2 con 2/3rds Un-tables topic that was tabled by Adjournment of Debate
Set Speakers Time Set the time allowed for formal speeches. 2 pro / 2 con Majority It is very rarely used at the UN and may be ruled out of order by the Chair.
Close the speakers list No additional speakers added to speakers' list on topic; re-opening speakers' list allows speaker to be added on list again None Majority No new speakers can be added to list; once list is exhausted go directly into voting procedures
Adoption of the Agenda Approval of agenda order None Majority Determines the order by which the topics will be discussed; Approved topic order = agenda.

See also

Model United Nations