Danish Model United Nations (also known as DanMUN) is a volunteer-run organisation, that organises an MUN-conference every year in October and has done so since 2005. It was created with the object of uniting students from various academic disciplines around a common interested in the UN. Since its conception, DanMUN has been specialising in simulating the Security Council and will of course be doing that this year as well.
MUNPlanet: DanMUN was founded in 2005 around the desire to increase awareness and create a basis for knowledge-sharing around a singular, uniting topic: the United Nations. It has now been over a decade. Could you tell us a bit about its history and what’s been accomplished up until this point?
For little more than a decade now DanMUN has proudly hosted its yearly conference along with smaller mock-sessions and lectures.
Since the beginning, the organisation has grown and now includes three university MUNs and serves as an advisor to upcoming MUNs, primarily on university level.
This progress is the result of hardworking volunteers and participating delegates, willing to delegate their time and cognitive skills in order to create successful conferences. For the years to come, we hope to continue to increase awareness and knowledge-sharing by expanding our community and presence in the academic circles, while assisting upcoming MUNs.
MUNPlanet: Since its founding DanMUN formed its own take on the MUN concept. Could you tell us more about this?
Instead of branching out to simulating different organs of the UN, DanMUN has chosen to retain focus on the Security Council and has therefore been able to explore matters and problems related to this more deeply. Attending a DanMUN conference will give you a more in-depth experience of what could happen at the UNSC. We are fortunate enough to have had some interesting and acknowledged lecturers that help put the simulations into perspective by adding a human touch to otherwise complicated geopolitical matters.
We believe that MUN at its core is a fun learning experience and that is the foundation of all our work.
MUNPlanet: DanMUN is renowned for its high quality lectures with experienced academics, diplomats and experts. Would it be too much for us to ask for some names?
The speakers and lecturers that attend the DanMUN conferences are chosen with the utmost care based on their academic expertise and connection with the topic and UN.
This year we have the honour of welcoming back Mogens Lykketoft, who has just finished his appointment as President of the United Nations General Assembly.
MUNPlanet: The theme for this year’s Security Council is “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. What was your biggest motivation behind picking this as the theme?
At DanMUN we’ve had the fortune to pick conference themes that are relevant and contemporary. Having simulated a debate on the Syrian crisis previously we thought about, which issue would be most interesting and pertinent. As Weapons of Mass destruction is a continuously prevalent issue it sparked our interest and having researched a little bit we saw a need for a well thought through resolution on the topic. Knowing the effort MUNers put into resolutions and the different take a young, engaged student may have on the issue, we hope that we can produce resolutions, which are not only applicable but also creative.
In DanMUN, we believe that the social element is an important aspect of any MUN conference. It creates a nice atmosphere amongst the delegates and serves as the foundation upon which you can build lasting relations and an international network.
This year, different games will take place in order for the participants to get to know one another along with dinners and arrangements in Copenhagen for when the academics side is over.
MUNPlanet: Students attend Model UNs to improve some of their existing skills or acquire new ones altogether. What are some key skills that the participants will be able to improve/acquire by attending your conference?
As with any MUN conference, a big focus is laid on giving delegates the opportunity to practice their public speaking skills. Further we hope to give participants the chance to interact with various people from different nationalities who share similar interests, thus building a highly valuable network. Lastly of course, diplomatic skills and knowledge of international politics are assets anyone can build on, especially with the conference theme in mind. Spreading awareness on the issue of WMD and the inefficient way it is being dealt with is something participants can take away from this conference.
MUNPlanet: How do you see new technologies, especially communities such as MUNPlanet, changing Model United Nations landscape in the coming years?
Social media platforms, like MUNPlanet, create a foundation for communicating across national borders and extend an otherwise local network to a larger, global network. It allows local MUNs to expand their reach and collaborate with other MUNs from around the globe.
MUNPlanet: Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What are some spots the participants have to check out?
For the politically interested, the UN-City, Christiansborg and Rigsarkivet are interesting places to visit. There are free walking tours departing from the centre of the Copenhagen, but if that is not your thing, grab a coffee to-go and take a stroll along the canals or through some of the little streets, away from the tumult of the dynamic city.
MUNPlanet: Can you tell us, in one sentence, why our members should not miss DanMUN?
The DanMUN spirit, interesting speakers and MUNRisk are just a few of the amazing things that will await you at DanMUN.
What is MUNRisk you ask? Apply and see for yourself!