尼森模联代表团 | High School General Assembly Fourth Committee B 委员会 | Vice Chair | 厦门外国语学校
You might ask yourself when you first glance at the term Model United Nations,“Should Model United Nations (MUN) be a simulation of the real United Nations(UN)?” For those outside of the MUN community, the answer may seem an obvious yes — it is, after all, the “Model” UN. While for those who are part of MUN, the answer is not an absolute yes or no — it is actually one of the biggest questions the activity is facing. MUN was an accurate simulation of the UN when it was created as a meaningful student activity 70 years ago (or longer, if the Model League of Nations was taken into consideration. But nowadays, conventional MUN adopts the parliamentary rules of procedure, which has deviated from being a strict simulation of the real UN.
“Honorable Chair, Distinguished Delegates, this is the voice from the People’s Republic of China…” You must be familiar with such an opening statement on any MUN conference in the world, regardless the scale or level. However, as a freshman in the World Federation of United Nations Association International Model United Nations (WIMUN), I was surprised because I did not hear the words.
The most distinctive feature of WIMUN is that it does NOT obey the parliamentary procedure, instead it operates with an essentially different rules of procedure — the UN4MUN Approach. It eliminates several motions (time yielding, moderated caucus, un-moderated caucus, etc.), form of address (honorable, distinguished, etc.) and points (inquiry, personal privilege, etc.) of parliamentary procedure to avoid “violating the sovereign equality of Member States”, according to the official UN website. Its adoption of resolution is based on the consensus, a general agreement that each Member State supports, or, at the very least, can live with. This is in line with the process of consensus building adopted by the UN.
The consensus-driven approach has made the adoption of resolutions more inclusive and prevents a tyranny of the majority scenario. When the UN was established in 1945, its 51 initial Member States voted for resolutions. Today, however, the 193 Member States get 80 percent of resolutions by consensus. Since the General Assembly (GA) resolutions are NOT legally binding, the best way to incentivize Member States to implement the resolutions is to get everyone to agree on the same text. As the number of Member States increases, it is imperative for the UN to reach the widest possible agreement by taking the perspectives of all Member States into the consideration. One priority of the UN is to pass the resolutions that most Member States can agree on for most of the part. Despite some reservations some countries may have, the UN is able to overcome this because they agree with the rest of the resolution. As the WIMUN seeks to be the most accurate simulation of the UN, delegates are encouraged to vote by consensus, which means taking actions without a vote. Voting by consensus at WIMUN is more conducive to collaboration over competition, thus, allowing everyone to have the equal voice in the simulation.
Despite the aforementioned difference, the spirit of MUN, however, remains unmodifiable — being part of the UN’s efforts to establish peace, secure human rights and enable all people to live in dignity. No matter what rules of procedure MUN conferences are applying, the responsibility of a global citizen will never disappear, to inherit the culture of MUN and to promote the sustainable development of the world.
A throwback to my venue, at WIMUN in New York from 30 January to 02 Feb 2019. Elected as the Vice-Chair of the High School Committee General Assembly Fourth Committee B, I had the privilege to learn how the UN actually works. I tried as much as I can to think outside of the box, and most importantly, mastered the art of consensus reaching. Through this process, I indeed learned how to LEAD the debate for good aside from winning, how to be a real global citizen who debates with passion for world. It is clear that reaching consensus is the main issue for every ongoing debate during the meetings in WIMUN, and apparently, in the UN.
I have participated and organized numerous MUN conferences at home and abroad. An indescribable excitement and strong sense of responsibility rooted deeply inside my heart, whenever I work with the same dedicated and passionate young people at MUN. I do not need to sing high praise for MUN, I suppose, since it has won the consensual recommendations by all people. As we are the leaders of tomorrow, an essential idea will suddenly dawn on us. But this is not entirely true, because we are the leaders today. What to expect from MUN is reserved for us to explore.