Four political science students founded the association MUN Team University of Zurich in 2007 to organize a delegation to the Harvard WorldMUN 2008 in Puebla. Eight other members joined the association and the preparation for this important conference. The experience in Mexico was great, and the delegation a huge success! To further participate at MUN conferences, two new board members were elected and later new team members joined. The team started growing and enjoys nowadays a strong place in student life at UZH.
Today it offers its members weekly training sessions, organizes delegations to international conferences as well as workshops and events related to the UN and its work. Through continuing efforts, the young team has quickly become known in the worldwide MUN landscape.
The foundation of ETH MUN
ETH Model United Nations was founded in 2007 by two enthusiastic students who knew about the principle of Model United Nations and could not bear this idea of not being implemented at Europe’s leading technological university. The first visited conference was Asia International Model United Nations (AIMUN) in Beijing. As a matter of curiosity, it is worth mentioning, that during this trip the idea for one of today’s leading travel platforms – Get Your Guide – was born. The latter is not only a spin-off of ETH, but also of ETH MUN.
Ever since that moment, members of ETH MUN have organized weekly training sessions to simulate the work and the intense debates of the UN and to prepare for international MUN conferences. Today, ETH MUN is one of the biggest commissions of VSETH (Students’ Union of ETH) with an ever growing number of members and an active Alumni network.
ZuMUN is born
Since their foundation, ETH MUN and MUN UZH made great experiences at various conferences all over the world. In general, each team visited two international conferences per semester. Additionally, both teams became member of Junes, the Swiss United Nations youth association. However, something was missing, since there was no conference back home we could call our own.
At WorldMUN 2014 in Brussels, members of both teams sat in a bar and ended up discussing the idea of a cooperation to organize our own conference in Zurich. It did not take long to find common ground and over the following months, the idea gradually turned more concrete. People were recruited to join the OC and April 23rd to 26th 2015 was chosen as the date for the first ever edition of ZuMUN.
The first edition takes its course
In autumn 2014, organizational work for ZuMUN 2015 took off. There were numerous issues to solve, some of them nobody of us ever thought of before. How should we secure the necessary funding? Especially bearing in mind that Zurich and Switzerland are not the cheapest places on earth and that we wanted to organize an affordable conference for our international guests. Which legal structure should we choose for the joint-venture between MUN UZH and ETH MUN? This question caused more than one sleepless night to OC members. How should we set up registration? How should we advertise a completely new conference to an international audience? Thanks to the commitment of all OC members of the time, all these questions could be resolved.
Finally the big day was there and ZuMUN 2015 started off. Not only the 100 delegates and chairs, but also OC members were thrilled. The 4 days of conference turned out to be an unforgettable event for everyone who participated. Backed by this success, the two teams soon decided to go for another year of ZuMUN. New people were recruited for the OC and the whole organizational process started again. The second edition of ZuMUN took place from April 14th to 17th 2016 and turned out to be as big a success as the first edition. The number of delegates could be increased by about 50%. Even more motivated now, the OC for the third edition was soon set up and started working in summer 2016. The initial questions that occurred during the organization of the first edition have been solved, but new ones arose. How can we improve efficiency in order to handle more delegates? How can we make delegates’ experience even better? How can we make ZuMUN more environmentally sustainable? These are the issues the current OC is addressing; that’s where we stand right now at the beginning of 2017.
We want to share our expertise with other MUN delegations and offer the opportunity to participate in a conference in one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Our advantage is that we have gathered the knowledge of two well-established MUN teams. Paired with Swiss efficiency and precision, we strive to deliver delegates an unforgettable conference. See you in Zurich from May 4th to 7th 2017.