So, what is MUN?

At its core, Model United Nations, or MUN for short, is a roleplaying game, in which students learn about diplomacy and the United Nations. Sometimes there are also simulations of other international organizations and unions such as NATO, ASEAN, and the League of Nations. In addition to being a great tool for learning about diplomacy and understanding geopolitics, participating in MUNs builds skills such as public speaking, writing, teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking.

Each participant is assigned a country and represents that country in a given committee. In each committee, one or two topics will be discussed until the delegates find a solution that satisfies all (or most) countries and solves the issue at hand. This solution or agreement will then be presented in the form of a document called a resolution.

Different roles

Chairs are the moderators of the debate. They decide who speaks when and they ensure that the debate flows smoothly and does not exceed the time constraints. A committee will usually have 2-3 chairs.

Delegates are the people representing countries, the main part of every MUN. Their task is to debate and hopefully solve the issue presented to them. A committee, depending on its type, will usually have between 10 to 30 delegates.

How are the debates structured?

To learn more about the rules that we use at NOTTSMUN read the Rules of Procedure Document.

First, the issue is introduced and the delegates can make speeches in which they express their country’s stand on said issue. After they have spoken other delegates can ask them questions. It is important to note that the delegates have to use official, formal language and may only refer to themselves in the third person. They also must represent their country, not their own beliefs or opinions. This means that if you are representing North Korea you might have to say some things that you do not agree with at all. But that is okay! Everyone knows that you are roleplaying your country and have put your actual beliefs to the side.

After a while, the delegates will get an idea of what other delegates want and identify some key points for solving the issue at hand. At this point, some motions might be introduced. The two most frequently used motions are:

Different committees

To learn more about the rules of each committee read the ROP document and the study guides of the committees.

The different committees handle different issues and topics. For example, SOCHUM debates problems related to social and humanitarian problems as well as human rights while the Legal Committee will usually handle (you guessed it) legal questions.

Some committees will also have slightly different rules. For example, in the Security Council, the UK, USA, Russia, France, and China have the veto right, while in the League of Nations, every single decision must be unanimous.


A crisis is a bit different from all the other committees. In crisis, delegates represent people, not countries. A crisis committee holds more power than the other committees and tends to be more chaotic. New challenges are constantly thrown at the delegates and the situation that they are dealing with changes very quickly. Crisis committees can be futuristic and deal with hypothetical conflicts set in the not-so-distant future of 2032 or they can take place in the past and tackle everything from the Second Punic War to the Cuban Revolution. In a crisis, the sky is the limit!

Beyond the Debate

MUNs are not just about debates and writing papers. They are also about fun and meeting new people! At the end of each conference day, there will be a social during which chairs and delegates can get to know each other and make new friends. It is a wonderful way of stepping outside your comfort zone and getting to meet people from different universities as well as well as doing some networking.

It is also an opportunity to dress up in your best formal attire and look your best for three days straight. Most conferences (including NottsMUN!) also have a photographer or sometimes an entire photography team so we will make sure to get your best angles.

The opening ceremonies usually feature guest speakers with valuable diplomatic experience and their speeches are followed by Q&A sessions, during which every participant gets the chance to ask a question. The closing ceremony includes an award segment during which all the best delegates of each committee are recognized for their efforts and given exciting awards.

To learn more about socials, awards and the guest speakers of NOTTSMUN 2024 read the NOTTSMUN guide in Delegate Resources.