The Model United Nations Society (MUNS) will host its third conference this year in the UTSA UC. The first MUNS meeting of the semester was held Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the H.E.B. University Center’s Harris Room.
The society is responsible for organizing the Model United Nations Conference, a three-day long simulation of U.N proceedings. Participating students, or delegates, are responsible for researching, drafting and presenting proposals on behalf of the country they represent.
Dr. of political science Matthias Hofferberth explains the utility behind the organization in its adherence to United Nations standards.
“Model U.N. follows all the rules of procedure of the real U.N. and encourages students to really become a representative of the country,” Hofferberth said. “Obviously, not all dynamics can be simulated but we will try to come close.”
Delegations representing an array of countries including Afghanistan, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the U.S. will simulate the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. Economic and Social Council.
The model council will cover a host of relevant issues this year, including non-state terrorism, gender violence, femicide, cyber security, internet as a human right, vaccine- preventable diseases, nuclear proliferation and North Korea.
“The moment of US unipolarity after the Cold War passed, and we have multiple powers in emerging economies challenging the Western world. More importantly, a lot of credibility is lost as these new players are not fully recognized, for example, in the U.N. Security Council or in the G7 meetings.” Dr. Hofferberth said.
Students will prepare perspective pieces that are representative of the views of the country for which they are a delegate as well as negotiate favorable solutions to these global economic and security issues.
Senior English major Rebecca Conejo participated as a student in MUNS last year, but will help run this year’s conference.
“It was an honor to represent the U.K.,” she said. Conejo’s desire is to help students better understand the roles they will fill and ensure that delegates are treated like their real-life counterparts.
The MUNS organizers have reached out to representatives from other San Antonio area universities such as the University of the Incarnate Word in the hopes of growing society membership and participation in the academic community.
“Model U.N. is a good learning experience because it allows us to put our theories of world politics into practice and provides us with a first- hand experience of how international diplomacy unfolds,” Hofferberth said. “As students step up as delegates, they engage in critical thinking and begin to see the world from different perspectives.”
In that sense, Model U.N. teaches the important lesson of finding common ground on difficult issues and hence empowers students to become global citizens for the 21st century,” said Hofferberth.
The conference is incorporated into the curriculum of Hofferberth’s course, International Organizations in World Politics, but the enrollment in the class is not required to join the team.
Walker Adams, a student and conference organizer explained that an interesting element of Model U.N. is that participants deal with nation states and individuals as well.
Students can apply to be a delegate online with a $50 registration fee until Sep 26. This year’s conference will be held from Friday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 30.