"Model United Nations is an excellent way for pupils to improve their public speaking and debating skills, increase their understanding of international issues, and to share ideas with many like-minded teenagers from around the world."
Ruth Everness Director of MUN
Each year more than 400,000 pupils from primary schools to universities participate worldwide in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences.
MUN is essentially a role-playing exercise, in which young people assume the roles of diplomats. Through this, pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of international issues, from deforestation to the situation in the Middle East, as well as improving their public speaking and debating skills, and learning how to solve problems constructively.
One of the great strengths of MUN is that it is pupil-led, with Sixth Formers taking the lead in running weekly sessions, and playing a key role in organising our own annual conference.
The best way for pupils to experience all that the MUN has to offer is to attend conferences. These take place across the world, and vary in size and character, but all have a similar basis.
Before the conference, pupils attending (delegates) research the topics they will be debating and the views of the country they will be representing. They may then write a resolution, outlining a way to deal with one of the issues to be debated.
At the conference, delegates must try and win support for their resolutions, initially during informal lobbying, and then during formal debate, overseen by older pupils fulfilling the role of committee Chairs.
Resolutions which are passed by the committee may then be debated by all those at the conference, during General Assembly.
In March each year, Haileybury welcomes around 600 visitors from all over the world to our annual MUN conference, HMUN, which is one of the largest in the country.
Around 200 Haileybury pupils are involved in the conference, not only as delegates, but also in writing the agenda, chairing committees, presiding over the General Assembly, and helping in all sorts of ways to enable the conference to run smoothly.
The Haileybury MUN conference is open to all schools. Those who wish to attend, please click on the top link below for more information, or contact the Director of MUN, Miss Ruth Everness.
Each week, several MUN sessions are offered, catering to the needs of all pupils, from Lower School 1 (Year 7) to Upper Sixth. The sessions are generally run by Sixth Form pupils and supervised by members of staff.
We also attend a number of external conferences during the course of the year, again catering to a range of different pupils.
Each January, we take a team of our best Sixth Form MUN-ers to the Hague International MUN conference (THIMUN). This is the largest and most prestigious conference in Europe, with around 3,000 delegates participating.
For Lower School pupils, and those new to MUN, the one-day conferences at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey and John Warner School in Hoddesdon are particularly good, while those with a bit more experience can attend conferences at Royal Russell School in Croydon, and The International School of the Hague in the Netherlands.
The Director of MUN at Haileybury is Ruth Everness. Ruth teaches Physics and joined Haileybury in September 2011, having completed a degree in Natural Sciences, and then a PGCE at the University of Cambridge.