Conference Recap: McMUN 2020

As the first major conference of the Spring 2020 season, the McGill Model United Nations Assembly (McMUN) occurred over the weekend of January 23-26, 2020. Temperatures may have dropped to well below freezing, but delegates still showed up in droves to the conference this year. The conference was led by Secretary-General Hawa Maiga along with an extensive staff to support the large size of the conference. According to the delegate handbook, over 1650 delegates attended the conference which was supported by over 600 staff members.

Attending Delegations

Due to the size of McMUN, a full delegation list would be entirely too long for this article. More than 90 delegations attended this year’s McMUN with teams from all over North America attending, as well as quite a number of non-North American teams.


McMUN offered an astounding number of committees this season. In total, there were 28 committee rooms offered at McMUN 2020. Three of these were General Assembly committees with 150 to 320 competing delegates. Five of these were ECOSOCs with 45 to 75 delegates. Specialized Agencies made up nine of McMUN’s committees with 20 to 60 delegates. Finally, Crisis committees made up eleven of these committees. An interesting committee that was offered by McMUN was the second iteration of their consulting committee which partnered with Deloitte. Six committees required applications.

General Assemblies
  • SDG 2: Zero Hunger – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • SDG 15: Life on Land – United Nations Environment Programme
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions – Special Political and Decolonization Agency (SPECPOL)
Economic and Social Councils
  • UNGA Special Session: The Rights of the Child
  • The 2020 African Meeting on Science and Technology
  • The Equal Rights Coalition: Global Summit on LGBTQIA2+ Rights
  • Moneyval: The Evalutaiton of Anti-Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM): Special Conference on Resettlement, Repatriation, and Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees
Specialized Agencies
  • McMUN Consulting
  • The Pacific Islands Forum: Health and Well-Being in Oceania
  • European Court of Human Rights: Agnes Nagy v. Hungary
  • Fyre Festival 2.0: Executive Planning Committee
  • Five Eyes: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
  • The Six-Party Talks: 7th Round – Peace and Security in Korea
  • Formula for Success: The F1 Group
  • French Bilingual: Reunion de Crise A Matignon: La Colère des Gilets Jaunes
  • Spanish Bilingual: Responses to the U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989
  • Ad Hoc
  • JCC: Platine Wars – Argentina v. Brazil
  • JCC: Deccan Wars – Mughal v. Maratha
  • The Death of Stalin
  • Ross Perot 1992
  • Fourth Merkel Cabinet
  • The Furthest Shore
  • Rise of the Zulu Kingdom
  • The Court of Empress Irene

This year’s McMUN Ad Hoc was Dungeons and Dragons themed!

Committee Comments

As it should always be said, the committee comments section should serve as a balanced critique of the conference. MUN01 recognizes the hardwork and dedication that all Secretariat members put into the weekend. However, MUN01 also believes that delegates should be able to receive honest opinions and conferences gain feedback to grow and improve every year!

Committee Praises

As typical, McMUN 2020 was highly praised for their socials. One delegate praised McParte and said it “was great” but that McCrawl was not as good. The same delegate and several others also praised the in-room committee experiences. Another delegate praised the conference for being “well run, having a great staff-to-delegate ratio” which resulted in fast moving notes and crisis. Another delegate stated that the chairs at the conference “were largely really great.”

Committee Critiques

One delegate critiqued McMUN’s GAs for starting on Friday rather than the typical Thursday. They believed that replacing Thursday’s committee with an event forced delegates to rush debates and blocs. An additional critique was that their GAs were entirely too large.


McMUN hosted several socials over the long weekend. There were two different events on Friday night that the delegates could choose between to attend. One was the classic McCrawl, a bar crawl through Montreal with both bar and food stops along the way. The other choice was an Arcade Night at the Esports Central Gaming Complex. Saturday night featured another staple of McMUN, McParte, a club night for delegates at L’Olympia de Montreal 


As the conference came to a close, delegation awards were given out on Sunday as follows:

  • Best Large Delegation: Clark University
  • Outstanding Large Delegation: Georgetown University
  • Best Small Delegation: Claremont McKenna College
  • Outstanding Small Delegation: Florida International University
Clark University after taking home the win for Best Large Delegation

To learn more about McMUN 2020, click here to see their conference website. Thank you to the teams and delegates who participated in building this article with their comments and critiques. MUN01 offered McMUN Secretariat a chance to comment for the article, but did not receive a response. Congrats to all who competed in or staffed the conference!

Fall 2019 North American Circuit Recap

Mid-Year Rundown

Fall 2019 was a rigorous conference season with periods of time through October having one or more conferences running per weekend. In total, MUN01 recapped eight conferences this season and those will be the conferences reflected in this article. 

For references the conferences were:

  • CMUNNY XIV (9/26/19-9/29/19) 
  • BarMUN XII (10/3/19-10/6/19)
  • NCSC XLVII (10/17/19-10/20/19) 
  • SCSY XLII (10/24/19-10/27/19) 
  • TrojanMUN 2019 (10/24/19-10/27/19) 
  • UPMUNC 53 (10/31/19-11/3/19) 
  • CIAC X (11/7/19-11/10/19)
  • UNCMUNC XI (11/7/19-11/10/19) 

**Please note, some conferences do not appear due to both the conference not reporting and delegates attending not reporting. All conferences listed were reported on in one or both ways.**

As typical, the majority of conferences occurred in the Eastern region, with six of the eight occuring in Washington D.C. or north. TrojanMUN was the only conference in the West to be recapped and UNCMUNC was the only conference from the South. This demonstrates the North American circuits high concentration in the Northeast and may pose difficulties for teams in different regions financially and logistically to reach.

As mentioned, from CMUNNY (starting 9/26) to the weekend of CIAC and UNCMUNC (ending 11/10) there was only one weekend without at least one conference. This weekend occurred over 10/12 and 10/13. There were even several weekends where two conferences occurred at the same time, for example SCSY and TrojanMUN from 10/24-10/27. Some teams, like Columbia University for the aforementioned weekend, sent delegations to each conference. Perhaps the number of teams sending multiple delegations in the same weekend will increase in the coming seasons.  

Polling on the @mun01podcast Instagram found these conferences to be the favorites the Fall 2019 season: UPMUNC, NCSC, SCSY, CIAC, and CMUNNY. However, it should be noted that not all delegates can attend every conference of the season to effectively rank each one on enjoyability!

Delegates were also given the opportunity to shoutout their favorite committee of the Fall 2019. Some of the committees shouted out for the aforementioned conferences were: 40 Elephants at UPMUNC, Fall of the Berlin Wall at CMUNNY, and DISEC at UPMUNC.

From these eight conferences, 32 delegation awards were given out to 20 different teams. The team to win the most delegation awards from the recorded conferences was University of Chicago with four delegation awards, conferences specified below. Two teams brought home three delegation awards this semester which were American University and University of Pennsylvania

One thing to note is that there is no official count on how many teams compete on the North American collegiate circuit of this style of Crisis and GA. However, there are many teams on the circuit with some conferences receiving over 40 unique delegations. In the future, MUN01 hopes to receive full delegation lists from every conference to try and calculate this number.

Delegation Award Winners Fall 2019

Please note, MUN01 does not “rank” or “weight” certain conferences. All conferences that received recaps in Fall 2019 are seen as equal in this analysis and schools are listed in alphabetical order. MUN01 included delegation awards from North American collegiate conferences that reported their delegation awards or from delegates on the circuit who reported the winners themselves. 

American University

BarMUN Best Small Delegation

CMUNNY Best Small Delegation

UPMUNC Outstanding Large Delegation

Boston University

NCSC Outstanding Small Delegation

Claremont McKenna College

TrojanMUN Best Large Delegation

UPMUNC Best Small Delegation

College of William & Mary 

UNCMUNC Outstanding Small Delegation

Colgate University 

CIAC Outstanding Small Delegation

Columbia University

TrojanMUN Outstanding Small Delegation

CIAC Outstanding Large Delegation

Emory University

UNCMUNC Outstanding Large Delegation

Florida International University

BarMUN Outstanding Large Delegation

Georgetown University

CMUNNY Outstanding Large Delegation

CIAC Best Small Delegation

The George Washington University

BarMUN Outstanding Small Delegation

UNCMUNC Outstanding Small Delegation

McGill University

SCSY Best Small Delegation

Princeton University

SCSY Outstanding Small Delegation

Seton Hall University

CIAC Best Large Delegation

United States Military Academy, West Point

SCSY Outstanding Large Delegation

University of California, Berkeley

NCSC Best Small Delegation

TrojanMUN Outstanding Large Delegation

University of California, Santa Barbara

TrojanMUN Best Small Delegation

University of Chicago

BarMUN Best Large Delegation

CMUNNY Outstanding Small Delegation

NCSC Best Large Delegation

UPMUNC Best Large Delegation

University of Pennsylvania

CMUNNY Best Large Delegation

NCSC Outstanding Large Delegation

SCSY Best Large Delegation

University of Virginia

UNCMUNC Best Large Delegation

Yale University

UPMUNC Outstanding Small Delegation

Team Memories in Fall 2019

Delegates were also polled on the Instagram regarding their favorite team memories. From the responses recieved on the Instagram, “team” is an extremely important concept on the circuit. Memories included teammates cheering on award winners during closing ceremonies, big delegation wins, and bonding at conference socials. 

Trends on the Circuit

One major trend on the circuit this year was Fyre Festival committees. Multiple conferences this year held committees on that topic and preliminary searches on Spring 2020 conferences show that this trend will continue into the next season. There also seemed to be a growth in fantasy or sci-fi committees. Some conferences had significantly increased the amount of this type of committee from one or two in seasons past to three or four this season. MUN01 will continue to see if this trend continues into the Spring 2020 season. 

Another trend was the repetitiveness of some committee subjects with committees on Cold War, Peloponnesian War, and the aforementioned Fyre Festival appearing multiple times over Spring 2019 to Fall 2019. It is interesting how certain topics repeat with striking similarities to prior conferences. That being said, conferences often have to strike a balance between having unique, accessible, and interesting committees and it is certain that there will continue to be overlap in committee topics going into Spring 2020 and beyond.

Through our Instagram polling, delegates indicated that another strong sentiment on the circuit remains in goal of attaining the elusive Best Delegate, or gavel, award. Many top memories of Fall 2019 were winning first time gavels or gavels at particular conferences. Many other delegates in their hopes for Spring 2020 listed awarding or gaveling as their top priority.

Looking Ahead to Spring 2020

As mentioned, delegates want to keep awarding, bettering themselves, and reaching new heights in the coming season. Delegates also were polled on the conferences they were most excited for next season. The conferences on the North American collegiate circuit that are most looked forward to are: McMUN, MUNE, VICS, NYUMUN, PUNC, and UTMUN.

Delegates, get ready for an exciting Spring 2020 season and keep an eye out for our conference recaps!

MUN01: A Year In Review

Happy New Year!

Please enjoy a recap on MUN01’s 2019 as we ring in the new decade. We’d like to thank everybody who has helped us grow and who has supported us whether it was from the beginning or just starting today!

Why We Started the Podcast:

We began MUN01 in early April of 2019 after one of our typical long, Model UN-related chats around our kitchen table. Most days, after getting back from a MUN meeting or training we would continue to talk about the topic for hours. Some days we’d pick apart and analyze how we performed in training, what our arcs were, how we wrote directives. Sometimes we’d talk about upcoming conferences and ideas. Other days we’d just talk about the circuit as a whole and our thoughts on rankings and conferences and how the whole system worked.

Something clicked at 12am that day when we decided to do the podcast. We realized that other people might want to listen in on these chats and might want to connect with others who felt the same way. That’s why we created MUN01, to create a dialogue about Model UN, a community, a place for all fellow MUN fanatics could share stories and talk frankly about the MUN circuit of today.

Podcast Stats:

36 full length episodes

Over 3,000 downloads (per Podomatic)

Over 3,000 streams (per Spotify)

Top episodes downloaded:

  1. Episode #34 – The Common Conference Cold
  2. Episode #1 – MUNtroductions
  3. Episode #2 – In Case You Were MUNdering
  4. Episode #22 – Delegates Just Wanna Have MUN: Socials
  5. Episode #27 – The Circuit: BarMUN XII Recap

Let us know what your favorite episode of the year was in our Instagram DMs @mun01podcast

Top 10 countries downloading:

  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. India
  5. Indonesia
  6. Spain
  7. Egypt
  8. Germany
  9. Switzerland
  10. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Instagram Stats:

Top Countries:

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. Turkey
  4. Colombia
  5. Canada

Top Cities:

  1. Istanbul
  2. New York
  3. Bogota
  4. Washington D.C.
  5. South Orange

And now, a statement from each of us:

Kyla –

Firstly, I just want to say thank you to people for caring about what we do. We really had no idea if any of this would work when we started. We were (and still are, really) just a bunch of MUN girls who wanted to share our passion with people. The MUN world deserves to be shared with people and the more voices we have discussing it the better. Every single comment, DM, guest article, etc. is so valuable to us. We started this project at one of the most tumultuous times in our lives and it has been so much work, but y’all have made it so worth it. Stay tuned in 2020, xoxo. 

Casey –

It’s really been crazy how much the podcast has taken off! I’m so excited to be a part of a platform that I had wanted to see on the circuit for so long. Every time we get a nice DM or comment we have more and more confidence in the content we are producing. We’ve been so happy to see the positive response from the MUN community! I just wanted to personally thank everyone who’s helped us out through nice messages, helpful content for website and recap posts, as well as those who support through listening and promoting our content! Thanks for a great 2019! 

Carol – 

To be honest, when we started the podcast I thought we’d get a couple dozen listeners and it would just be the three of us chatting around a mic once a week. I don’t think any of us expected it to get as (relatively) big as it’s gotten. There were many meetings around our dinner table and on the couch about what to do for articles, which memes to post, and what topic we were gonna record. For me, everything is worth it when I see a DM or email come in from one of y’all saying how much you liked a certain episode and giving us ideas for future topics. It really makes our day and helps us when we’ve no idea what to record sometimes. Thank you, as always, for listening, supporting our little passion project, and telling us your stories! Here’s to many more hot topics, opinions, and very bad jokes from us in 2020.

Vision statement:

Heading into 2020 we are excited to keep producing great MUN content that is helpful and insightful. In the coming year we hope we can build upon opinion episodes like the WoMUN in MUN episode and the Conference Rankings episode. We also hope to bring even more training content to you through episodes as well as creating more content for our Training Materials website section. We look forward to continuing to incorporate delegates into our content with guest articles, and hope to find more ways to showcase delegates and teams. We would love to hear from you about what you would like to see from us, please feel free to email or DM!

We hope that you’ll all stick with us through 2020 and invite your friends and teammates along for the journey!

Guest Article: MUN in Singapore

Article by Prithvi Vijay Kumar

Bio – Prithvi Vijay Kumar, 11 MUNs (Singapore, GIIS). Apart from the time he spends MUNing, Prithvi is a self-proclaimed book connoisseur, and an avid follower of cricket – all whilst lamenting about the looming deadlines his procrastination has made worse.

Although I claim to be an avid MUNner, my first brush with this unique platform occurred not too many years ago – fearing the worst when it comes to external MUNs, it was when MUN fever hit my school that I eventually took the deep dive. And 5 years later –from a newbie in SPECPOL, representing Thailand and cursing my country’s irrelevance to the topic, to Russia in NATO, cursing my country’s relevance to the topic – it has been a ride that I would not trade for anything else in the world. Throughout this journey of mine, there has always been this question asked of me – For what joy are you spending these three days, dressed in an outfit that is in no way suitable to my country’s weather, debating relevant ongoing issues and imagined non-issues, when it is in no way going to have a tangible impact on society? My de facto response has always been to say – MUN is not only about the issues being debated; it is the nurturing of the confidence of an individual; it is a peephole to the real world for him, or it might just be an excuse for them to vent out their anger at a particularly annoying fellow delegate. Whatever the reason, MUNs are an integral aspect of the fabric of High School, and Collegiate life.

MUNs in Singapore tend to be the one of the best received, and well-attended events – even with the number increasing year by year, conferences increasingly overshoot their forecast number for a target audience. Even more than the Organising team or even the delegates of the conference, the Chairs of the various committees have an integral role to play – it is in their hands to make or break a delegate; it is their behaviour and approach which determines whether or not the MUN count of a particular delegate will increase. Being the type of delegate that I am, I tend to participate more in Inter-school MUNs, and almost exclusively in Crisis Committees – where a loud voice and thick skin (both of which I have in abundance) come in handy. So when my first opportunity to chair was in a JCC, it was almost as if the Mothership was calling me home.

I have only chaired a council twice – one as the Head Chair of JCC, and the other as the Co-Chair of WHO. Councils in Singapore tend to increasingly have a reliance on a single, influential delegate, and having been to only local MUNs, I regarded that as the norm; yet, when I went to Cambridge, UK to attend the Inaugural CUIMUN-HS, I was pleasantly shocked to notice the complete lack of a Power Delegate, and was confused as to how easy-going, and friendly delegates where with one another – any of my previous MUNs in Singapore would inevitably have had at least 2 delegates at each other’s throats by the second day. The second aspect which I noticed in Cambridge, and tried to instil in my delegates in Singapore was the need for Blocs – and how much more effective council would be, as a direct result of them. When thinking about the difference between the two councils I have chaired, it was the difference in dynamics of these aforementioned aspects which stood out.

 As I fancy myself to be a Power Delegate, I did not see the big deal with having a one-person lead council – I assumed that the increase in efficiency and speed of proceedings would serve the committee well. Yet as a Chair in JCC, I realised that I had to urge council to not blindly follow the words of a particular delegate, and at one point of time even assume the role of a missing delegate to pinpoint the deficiencies in the argument of the Power Delegate, in an attempt to galvanise council to rise to the occasion – a Backroom always prefers a variety of ideas from a number of delegates, in order to direct debate in a meaningful manner. This problem was not so prevalent in the beginner committee, the bare fact is that the majority didn’t have the experience to wield the Gauntlet of a “Power Delegate”. Interestingly, this phenomenon meant that debate slowed and dawdled in the JCC, as committee centred around one delegate, and debate seldom slacked in the WHO.

 In terms of formation of Blocs, the converse holds – by the time delegates reach the level of an advanced council, they tend to more or less be experts at working Blocs – be it manipulating existing ones, or creating new and interesting ones. The dynamics of these blocs ensured that some level of conflict was always present within committee – and conflict is integral for any committee to move ahead in debate. WHO, on the other hand, tended not to form blocs or be confrontational to one another – whilst this lead to a more cordial atmosphere in the room, what with the absence of assassination plots and nuclear threats, the conformity did lead to certain committee sessions being described as ‘boring’ by the delegates.

“What you see with your own two eyes is false. What you hear with your own two ears is false. Only thorough research yields true answers.”

This is a quote is one which I shared with the delegates who I chaired – MUN isn’t merely about identifying the loudest, most confident delegate; nor are the roles of council written in stone as per the allocation of countries; it more often comes down the depth of research undertaken, and the level to which the delegate has stuck to the stance of his/her country. As a chair, I’d say my biggest takeaway was watching the delegates debate, and picking up tactics and strategies that I, during my time as a delegate, was not mindful off – for never was I able to formulate a full-fledged resolution, win back the independence of my allocated country, and pacify two warring blocs; all in the space of an hour-long lunch break.

MUN01 would like to thank Prithvi for their contribution! This is our last guest article of the year- which means we will be looking for new writers soon! Keep a look out on our social media and the website for updates on when we will be actively looking.

Conference Recap: UNCMUNC XI

Disclaimer: The following recap was written by UNCMUNC. MUN01 thanks the conference for their hard work to write this conference recap themselves!

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Model United Nations Conference (UNCMUNC) was hosted in its 11th iteration from November 7th to November 10th. UNCMUNC XI was organized and staffed by the Carolina International Relations Association (CIRA) and this year’s conference was spearheaded by Secretary-General Rosie Tran and Director-General Brent Van Vliet.

In order to ensure all delegates had the ability to succeed in Crisis Committees, UNCMUNC XI hosted its first-ever How to Crisis Info Session. The event was attended by 24 delegates, significantly more than expected, who learned the ins and outs of Crisis Committees first-hand from our Secretary-General. Attendees to this event expressed that UNCMUNC should continue hosting events like this in the future.

The Secretary-General of the conference, Rosie Tran, had this to say about UNCMUNC XI: “UNCMUNC XI was the first time UNCMUNC was hosted for four-days rather than three-days. It was the most successful collegiate MUN conference hosted by the University of North Carolina as of yet; successful in terms of delegate experience, delegation attendance, and well-trained chairs. We had several new delegations join us and over 270 delegates registered. As a smaller conference, we’re still working on many different kinks, but I am proud to say that many delegates left UNC’s campus with a good experience. I hope to come back to UNC in 20 years and see how far UNCMUNC has developed.”

Attending Delegations

  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Florida
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Georgetown University
  • College of William & Mary
  • Elon University
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • The George Washington University
  • Florida State University
  • NC State University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Emory University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Richmond
  • UC Berkeley
  • George Mason University

Committee Overview

Delegates at UNCMUNC XI participated in 12 committees, including a JCC and UNCMUNC’s second-ever General Assembly.

The General Assembly put delegates into the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) where they grappled with sustainability within the growing tourism industry. The UNWTO Committee was successful for the second GA ever fielded at UNCMUNC. This format will continue to be improved upon when it returns to next year’s conference.

UNCMUNC’s line-up of Crisis Committees featured a two-room JCC where delegates stood on either the Scottish or British side of the Jacobite Revolution – or Rebellion as the British would prefer to call it. UNCMUNC’s single-room Crisis Committees featured a range of topics which included:

  • Civil rights in Birmingham, 1963;
  • A murder mystery in Murder Hill, a fictional town based off of Chapel Hill;
  • The 2014 Bangkok shutdown;
  • Britain after the American Revolutionary War;
  • The Wizarding World’s path to reconstruction after the Battle of Hogwarts;
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s “Journey of Promise”;
  • An alternative history in which Germany had won WWI;
  • A hypothetical Addis Ababa Conference organizing colonized African nations during the “Scramble for Africa” against European imperialism.
  • UNCMUNC’s Ad Hoc saw delegates rush to solve an impending agricultural crisis in Los Angeles, 2030, offering a fast-paced experience touching on increasingly pertinent ecological issues.


UNCMUNC hosted both a Head Delegate Social and a Head Delegate Lunch. The Head Del Social was at TRU Deli & Wine on Thursday night, a cozy little eatery by Franklin St., and the lunch was at Top of the Hill (TOPO) on Friday.  On Friday night, the Delegate Social was held at Might as Well, a fun place to get down on the weekend. While Friday festivities ended promptly at 1am per the venue, delegates got to spend their night dancing, both on the floor and on tables, and exploring Chapel Hill’s vibrant nightlife. By “nightlife” we obviously mean the local Waffle House.  

In addition, UNCMUNC hosted its first-ever Formal Gala. A black tie event, the UNCMUNC XI Formal Gala took place on Saturday, November 10th, from 10pm to 1am. The UNCMUNC XI Secretariat spared no expense in providing delegates an experience they have personally referred to as “mun prom.” The Gala was located at the Rizzo Center, a sprawling and elegant conference center, owned by the prestigious UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Attendees were encouraged to show up in their classiest outfit and spent a night conversing, dancing and enjoying a catered buffet in the gorgeous Magnolia Room. Besides some technical issues with the venue’s speakers, the night was one for the books.    

Delegation Awards

Best Large Delegation – University of Virginia

Outstanding Large Delegation – Emory University

Best Small Delegation – The George Washington University

Outstanding Small Delegation – College of William & Mary

Again, thank you to UNCMUNC for this article! You can check out their conference website here.

Guest Article: So You Want To Run a High School MUN Conference?

Guest Article by Evan Willams

Bio: My name is Evan Williams and I’ve been competing in Model UN for four years. I’m currently a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, and I serve as the Undersecretary General for TJMUN. Outside of MUN, I enjoy playing the saxophone and being on the lacrosse team at my school

Every year hundreds of High Schools and Universities host Model UN conferences for their local high schoolers to compete in. Some conferences, like UPenn’s Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) are renowned for being the most competitive in America. With over four thousand delegates in attendance and thirty five years of experience under their belt, UPenn has conference planning down to a formula. Other conferences, like the local ones you may see being hosted by high schools, are much smaller and have much more relaxed attitudes, but still provide fierce competition and high quality committees for all of the delegates. Whether you’re running a conference with 5,000 delegates or 100 delegates, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. 

Over the past four years of my High School Model UN career I’ve had the opportunity to staff at a number of different conferences in the Northern Virginia area. The conference hosted by my school, TechMUN, hosted almost 1,000 delegates in 2019 along with a variety of middle school and high school committees. I was both the Director of Finances and a Crisis Director for a JCC-Specialized committee at TechMUN last year. Running conferences of this magnitude takes time, commitment, and most importantly organization. I also had the opportunity to serve on the secretariat for a conference in their first iteration: ACLMUN I hosted by the Academies of Loudoun. Only about 80 delegates attended this conference with a lot less staff than what was required from TechMUN. Unsurprisingly, running the two conferences are very different experiences.

In order to pull off a conference like TechMUN (or bigger) it’s crucial to have a secretariat and sponsor that is willing to work night and day for the success of the event. If you’re managing to get anywhere above 700 signups, your conference is probably well established in your local circuit. There’s a reputation that must be upheld with each passing year. The planning process for an event like this needs to start at least five months in advance, and every member of secretariat should have a clear picture of their tasks throughout the overall preparation period. 

When I was on TechMUN’s secretariat, I realized how important it was to be organized in the months leading up to the event. Your staff should have centralized ways of communicating with each other before and during the conference. My school uses Facebook groups and Facebook messenger in order to communicate with each other. We also use Google Drive to document all of our materials. The secretariat really needs to take the lead on the organization aspect. Weekly check-ins with staffers to make sure that background guides are written on time and materials are prepared for conference weekend are absolutely crucial. Furthermore, it’s important that all of your staffers are trained properly! Nothing ruins conference weekend more than incompetent staff running the committees. While not every page or crisis staffer needs to be a seasoned delegate, chairs and crisis directors should absolutely have substantial conference experience. 

On ACLMUN’s secretariat, the problems are a bit smaller in that there’s more leeway with how things are run when there aren’t as many delegates and staffers. That being said, if you want your conference to grow, you need to establish a precedent of professionalism and quality on the circuit. My advice would be to start small! If you think that the maximum number of delegates you could sustain with your club is 150, maybe limit your conference size to 100-120 delegates so that you can focus on making each committee as best as it can be. Outreach is going to be key for these types of conferences. Getting delegates to compete at a brand new conference may seem like a challenge, but trust me, high schoolers are always looking for chances to compete! If you put in the time to build the conference from the ground up correctly without taking any shortcuts, chances are it will grow to be very successful within a few years. 

The Northern Virginia circuit may be different than the rest of America, or the world for that matter, but the principles of running a good Model UN conference are universal. Regardless of what kind of conference you’re running, always make sure to have a dedicated secretariat, trained staffers, and a concrete line of communication between everyone participating at the event. Whether this is your school’s first conference or fiftieth conference, good luck to all!

Conference Recap: CIAC X

Over the long weekend of November 7-10, 2019, Cornell International Affairs Society hosted the 10th iteration of the Cornell International Affairs Conference (CIAC). Hosted in snowy Ithaca, New York the weekend took place on campus at Cornell University. This year’s conference was led by Secretary-General Ria Singh as well as a sizable Secretariat. 256 delegates attended CIAC X from 20 different delegations, making this year’s conference the largest CIAC yet.

Attending Delegations

The following delegations were reported to MUN01 as attending CIAC X by the Secretariat:

  • SUNY Oswego
  • Colgate University
  • Georgetown University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Middlebury College
  • University of Ottawa 
  • Gettysburg College
  • Wheaton College
  • Queen’s University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Columbia University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • SUNY Geneseo
  • Tufts University
  • Bowdoin College
  • SUNY Stony Brook
  • Ithaca College
  • William Paterson University
  • Bard College at Simon’s Rock
  • Binghamton University

Committee Overview

CIAC X offered 12 committees, with ten Crisis rooms. This includes two JCCs, six single-committee Crisis rooms, and one Ad Hoc. Two specialized committees also were among the options. This year’s CIAC heavily featured fantasy and sci-fi committees with four of the committees (including one JCC) being that genre.  


  • JCC Yakuza – Kobe Clan v. Yamaguchi Family
  • JCC Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Alliance v. Fire Nation
  • Boxer Rebellion
  • Death of Stalin
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Matrix
  • Fyre Fest
  • Ad-Hoc


  • International Court of Justice
  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Committee Comments

As it should always be said, the committee comments section should serve as a balanced critique of the conference. MUN01 recognizes the hardwork and dedication that all Secretariat members put into the weekend. However, MUN01 also believes that delegates should be able to receive honest opinions and conferences gain feedback to grow and improve every year!

Committee Praises

Overall, the front room did a good job. A delegate in the Mad Max committee said his “chair was really cool.” An ICJ delegate praised the committee type, saying even though it was hard work that it was a lot of fun. Overall, the room setups were good and conducive to debate. A non-committee praise was that the Secretariat was incredibly helpful and facilitated head delegate feedback very well. 

Committee Critiques

Specialized rules of procedure were unclear from the background guide. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was really just a General Assembly. However, across most committees, it seems that the backroom had the most issues. Delegates main critiques were slow crisis notes and few crisis updates. A suggestion made during head delegate feedback to either switch to a two-notepad system or electronic notes.


CIAC X provided two socials this year, on Friday and Saturday night, that are staples of the CIAC experience. The first social, on Friday night, was at K-House, a karaoke house located a short walk from the main conference hotel. Delegates had the opportunity to sing their hearts out in many reserved rooms for the event. The second social, on Saturday night, occurred at the BoatYard Grill and provided an opportunity to catch up with committee friends and your own delegation as well as music and space to dance.


Delegation Awards were given out as follows:

Best Large Delegation: Seton Hall University

Outstanding Large Delegation: Columbia University

Best Small Delegation: Georgetown University

Outstanding Small Delegation: Colgate University

To learn more about CIAC X, click here to see their conference website. This conference was also recapped on Episode #32 of the podcast. Click here to listen or go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Thank you to the teams and delegates who participated in building this article with their comments and critiques. A thank you as well to CIAC for providing conference information. Congrats to all who competed in or staffed the conference!

Guest Article: The Story of SOI²

Article by João Cardoso

Bio: Hello readers! My name is João Cardoso and I am currently a senior at an international school in São Paulo, Brazil. I have participated in Model UN for the past 4 years, as a delegate and a chair. Aside from MUN, you can find me browsing reddit, cooking, and dying because of the IB diploma.

Rejection hurts, and that’s true no matter the situation, whether it be from college admissions or within Model UN. Rejection in MUN comes in many forms, from not being awarded at a conference to not being chosen to chair a committee. In these situations it’s important to ask yourself “what should I do now?”. If you did not get an award, maybe email your chair for feedback, and in the case of not having your committee accepted, you can always email the secretariat. However, there is a different option for those who did not have their committee accepted: Just make an entirely new conference! That is exactly what the secretariat behind the inaugural SOI² did. 

It all started in November of 2018: RioMUN, a rather prestigiose and large high school MUN conference in Rio De Janeiro, had just started accepting committee applications. You see, in the Brazilian circuit, conferences will typically open chair applications to anyone who wants to apply, and chairs have to assemble a team beforehand. This is exactly what Luca Cechinel and Luiz Busca, two of the founders of SOI² did. A team was assembled, with goals of running a committee based around the cabinet of former Brazilian “president” Getúlio Vargas. A full crisis committee (which isn’t as common on the Brazilian MUN circuit) about an important and tumultuous time in Brazil’s history. Unfortunately, sometimes plans change, and the committee idea was ultimately and unfortunately not accepted. While at first they might have been a little (or a lot) disappointed, this was the moment when an idea began to brew. Instead of just accepting defeat, they got together to organize an entirely new and independent conference, and thus, SOI² was born (with SOI² standing for the Simulação de Organismos Internacionais Independentes, or the independent simulation of international organisms). Of course, this wouldn’t be an easy project, far from it in fact.  At first the idea seemed a bit unachievable. “(…) me (Luca) and busca just talking and mentioning “what if we did our own thing” not really believing that it could be a thing”. Eventually though, a team began forming, and what was once just a far off idea began developing into something concrete. 

At first, many challenges ensued, the first of which was attempting to form a balanced team, with secretariat members from both international schools in Brazil as well as Brazilian schools. While the secretariat was, in the end, predominantly made up of people from international schools, they still did a fantastic job organizing the conference. The team ultimately consisted of 2 academic secretariat members, Luca Cechinel from the British School of Rio De Janeiro and Luiz Busca from the Military high school of Brasilia, as well as 3 administrative secretariat members, those being Eduardo Koranyi from the British School of Rio, Lucas Justen from the American School of Brasilia, and the mildly famous Erik Novak, graduate from the American School of Rio De Janeiro. With the team assembled, now it was time to act. In the following months popularity for the conference grew. A host center was established at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Brasília, and registration began to grow and grow. While at times it seemed as if everything might come crashing down, July 17th, conference day 1, ultimately arrived. 

The SOI² Secretariat

Committees at the conference were very diverse, and almost exclusively crisis, ranging from a World War 1 JCC, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR responding to Stalin’s death, the Rio De Janeiro Conference which was the South American response to Axis powers of World War 2, and the Stockholm climate change conference of 1972. You may have noticed that all of these committees are historical in nature, and that is because they all relate to the overall theme of the conference, which was “Returning to the Past in order to structure the future”. The reason why the committees managed to be so diverse was the result of a deliberate choice by the secretariat to utilize a very “laissez-faire” approach in terms of committee organization, and generally letting the chairs make the choices. This resulted in some of the most diverse and experimental committees ever seen on the Brazilian circuit, and I can personally attest that the delegates enjoyed themselves very much. That isn’t to say that there weren’t any hiccups. For example, the security council ceased its existence after the first day of the conference, and many committees ended up accepting “security council refugees”. Nevertheless, for every hiccup there were at least 3 triumphs and successes. One of the most memorable aspects of the conference were the press briefings. Unlike other conferences where the press has a tendency to take a backseat, the press were especially active at SOI², whether it be from making hilarious videos that were shown at the end of every day, to organizing the “press conferences”, where press delegates would interrogate delegates on the stage in front of everyone. After 4 grueling but incredibly rewarding and fun days of debate, in which everything, from a public coverup of Stalin’s death to the Japanese using “Kamikaze pigeons” to attack Germany in the Great War, happened. 

Delegates and staff watching closing ceremony

You, the reader, may be asking yourself what exactly made SOI² so special? While the story of its inception is certainly interesting as it “born out of that failure” as one secretariat member put it, and it shows a fascinating story of resilience. But what made the conference itself special? My answer would be that it was the overall spirit of the conference. One secretariat member put it best: Almost every other conference is beholden to a single institution and discriminates towards members of that institution in some way, while SOI² treated all as equals and gave everyone a fair opportunity to participate and to lead. (…) SOI² treated all participants with no distinction whatsoever. If we took that mindset to all our projects and initiatives, I believe the world would truly be a better place.” This spirit of democracy is even reflected in the name of the conference. “The name purposefully didn’t have “UN” in it to express how the scope of SOI² goes far beyond the United Nations and how all-encompassing it is.” Ultimately, SOI² was one of the most unique conferences I have ever had the pleasure of participating in, which is why I wanted to share this story. 

Special thank you to Luca Cechinel and Eduardo Koranyi for answering questions and providing quotes, and a special thank you to all of the secretariat members for hosting such an amazing conference, and lastly, thank you to the members of the MUN01 website for sharing this article.

MUN01 would like to thank João for his contribution! We will be opening a new application period for next spring’s guest articles soon, be on the look out!


The University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference occurred over the long weekend of October 31 – November 3. Led by Secretary General Beau Staso in downtown Philadelphia at the Philadelphia 201 hotel. According to the UPMUNC website, the conference was staffed by over 300 UPenn students led by 16 secretariat members to ensure a successful weekend of MUN. This year’s opening speaker was the former United States Ambassador to Brunei, Craig Allen.

Committee Overview

This year’s UPMUNC was massive, boasting 20 committees. Broken down into four GAs, four Economic and Social Councils, and 12 crisis committees, including an Ad Hoc.

  • GAs
    • Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)
    • Economic and Financial (EcoFin)
    • Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural
    • Special Political and Decolonization (SPECPOL)
  • Economic and Social Councils
    • Arab League 2011
    • World Bank
    • The Great Sejm
    • CELAC
  • Crisis
    • Wilson’s Second Administration
    • Ad Hoc
    • Art of the Deal
    • Sundiata and the Twelve Doors of Mali
    • Apollo Board of Directors
    • JCC: Taiping Rebellion – the Qing Dynasty (1855)
    • JCC: Taiping Rebellion – The Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (1855)
    • Series of Unfortunate Events
    • Marvel Board of Directors
    • Colonizing Mars 2041
    • Forty Elephants
    • UN Security Council (Present Day)

In our opinion, this is a great spread of committee offerings with options for every type of delegate and their committee type preferences–from future to historical options as well as GA to crisis. 

Committee Comments

As it should always be said, the committee comments section should serve as a balanced critique of the conference. MUN01 recognizes the hardwork and dedication that all Secretariat members put into the weekend. However, MUN01 also believes that delegates should be able to receive honest opinions and conferences gain feedback to grow and improve every year!

Committee Praises

One delegate stated that the Great Sejm committee was “probably the most creative GA” that they had been to this fall. Overall, delegates thought the chairs were great, but maybe “a little too loose on parli pro.”

Committee Critiques

Some delegates complained that committees did not receive enough crisis updates. For example, the Wilson committee received “only 1 crisis update on Friday, only 2 on Saturday.” A non-committee complaint was made about the hotel and the water not working, loud construction occurring, and slow wifi.


On Sunday, as it always does, the conference came to a close with the announcement of awards!

Best Large Delegation – University of Chicago 

Outstanding Large Delegation – American University

Best Small Delegation – Claremont McKenna College

Outstanding Small – Yale University

To learn more about UPMUNC 53 click here to see their conference website. Thank you to the teams and delegates who participated in building this article with their comments and critiques. UPMUNC was extended an opportunity to contribute, but as of publishing has not responded. If information is provided, this article will be updated. Congrats to all who competed in or staffed the conference!

Guest Article: My First Conference

Guest Article by Emerah Adell

Bio: Hello! I’m Emerah, I’ve been doing MUN for 2 years now and have become completely and irrevocably obsessed with it! I have represented Croatia, South Korea and Italy for Rocky River High School’s MUN team and adore debate, dance and learning new languages!

It seems like my first Model UN conference was so long ago, even though it was less than a year.  To be honest, that first conference was the beginning of a somewhat all consuming addiction to the world of resolutions, diplomacy and parliamentary procedure.  My partner and I joined our school’s MUN team our freshman year of high school. We had absolutely no idea what we had gotten ourselves into.

During my first conference, My partner and I didn’t know anything.  Like, at all. Although our team counselor did his best, there’s only so much you can learn without actually being there.  MUN is a learn-as-you-go type of sport. That first conference was rough from beginning to end. Starting all the way at roll call.  Being Croatia, we were one of the first delegations to be called. It was completely disastrous and we broke one of the first unspoken rules of model UN.  When our name was called? We said, “Here.” (Like I said, we had no clue what we were doing!)

After a few opening speeches we decided to try to distinguish ourselves and wing an opening speech.  That went about as well as you can imagine, but after stutter stepping our way through the first 20 minutes of the day, things got much smoother.  We made it through the first day of debate without making complete fools of ourselves. There was a lot of vocabulary that we didn’t understand, and one super controlling delegation who almost took over the chair, but overall, it went well.

The biggest thing that I remember from that conference though? The delegation representing Russia.  Now, I personally have nothing… much against Russia, but these delegates? Man did they rub me the wrong way.  My partner and I were fairly serious about everything that was going on, because our goal was to win awards. These delegates were the exact opposite, they made jokes, screwed around and even brought out a deck of cards!  I realize in hindsight that we were fairly uptight, but it was still annoying!

The second day rolled around and our resolution was drafted, voted and accepted.  Sadly, we weren’t able to get our names on as sponsors, but we were close. After we finished the first topic, the committee began debate on the second one in a very joking manner, with Russia in the lead.  We drafted a serious, well thought out working paper. While they proposed that we launch all the nuclear waste, into space.

 My partner and i didn’t really understand that it was a joke and it was embarrassing to say the least.  We took everything way too seriously and got some weird looks because of it. The committee passed the joke resolution, but the good news was, we got some really helpful practice in on resolution writing.  I still stand firm that joke resolutions aren’t that funny. I love FunMUN as much as the next person, but joke resolutions are making fun of serious topics.

FunMUN was a completely unexpected part of the day.  We didn’t really even know it existed! Superlatives were great, and playing “BS” with the aforementioned deck of cards was even more fun.  We got to know the delegates we had just spent two days working with but also fighting against.

But it all wrapped up with the awards ceremony.  My partner and I weren’t expecting anything. We didn’t get sponsorship on the passed resolution, we didn’t do amazing on most of our speeches and we certainly weren’t knowledgeable on parliamentary procedure.  You can imagine our surprise when we were called up for Honorable Mention! It was pretty exciting for our first conference! All in all, it was an amazing experience and one that I’m excited to repeat for the rest of high school and college! And it’s definitely NOT an addiction that I should probably get help for!

MUN01 would like to thank Emerah for her contribution. If you would like to be featured as a guest writer, we will be re-opening applications soon. Keep an eye on our website and socials for updates!