MUNPlanet has worked with MUNC many times in the past. Still, for all the newcomers, it would be great if you could shortly introduce your conference.
The Montreal United Nations Conference (MUNC) is a three-day international relations simulation for students held annually in downtown Montreal. Each November, more than 500 participants congregate at Dawson College to discuss and debate global issues.
MUNC emphasizes the spirit of collaboration at its conference with the aim of encouraging participants to develop workable solutions to the world’s most complex issues. Students role-play as delegates representing the Member States of the United Nations. Through their lively debates and exchanges, delegates experience the dynamics of international cooperation.
MUNC is noteworthy for featuring committees in a Blue Division for secondary school and college students in addition to an Orange Division for university students. Each division is tailored to the knowledge and experience of the participant. The conference champions authenticity and realism, simulating committees that capture the spirit and work of the United Nations.
What makes a Model UN conference great? And what makes MUNC stand out?
With each year, our focus is on maximizing the delegate experience and placing the emphasis on the committees we simulate.
In 2018, we offered delegates ten committees including four new committees to the conference: (1) International Criminal Police Organization; (2) Suez Crisis of 1956; (3) United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs; and, (4) United Nations General Assembly Task Force on Security Council Reform.
In addition, we brought back favourites such as the International Court of Justice and the International Press Forum. The defining element at MUNC is our committee selection and each year we aim to deliver breathtaking experiences that capture the imagination of our participants. That is what makes MUNC stand out each and every year.
Why should every student a attend Model UN conference? More importantly, why should every student attend MUNC?
Model UN is an experience like no other. The friends you meet, the topics you learn about, the resolutions you write, the memories you make—there is something for everyone.
MUNC features a range of committees that cater to different interests. Our team works very hard on brainstorming how to make these experiences innovative and creative for our delegates, leaving them to desire more. We select keynote speakers that impact our participants and cause them to reflect on today’s world and the path to chart forward.
How have Model UN conferences contributed to your life, both professional and private?
Thanks to Model UN conferences, I have been fortunate to meet people from every walk of life and continue to stay in contact with many of them. I credit conferences with having enhanced my public speaking skills and teaching me about topics I likely would not have come across if I did not have a background guide to read. From organizing conferences such as the Montreal United Nations Conference and Harvard World Model United Nations, I have gained valuable organizational skills that I have been able to apply in my life.
There are a lot of MUNers who want to try and organize their own MUN conferences. Coming from your own experience, what would you say are the 5 most important factors to consider when organizing a MUN conference?
First, I would say the committees are an incredibly important factor to consider. We like our committees to be of an academic nature and focused on agencies of the United Nations. Our vision is to provide an authentic simulation of the United Nations and our committees are a reflection of that commitment.
Second, the organizers of the conference are pivotal. It is not about choosing the best people, it is about selecting the right people to lead the conference and preside over the committees. We dedicate much time to reviewing applications and interviewing candidates, looking for people that will work well as a team and that will have chemistry together.
Third, logistics are a defining characteristic of any conference. A strong logistics backbone will provide for a smooth conference operation. I frequently use my experience as a delegate attending conferences around the world as a useful tool for determining the logistical considerations our conference should have. The conference venue is at the centre of the experience and it is important to scout for locations that meet budgetary needs and can provide the necessities of a MUN simulation.
Fourth, the social events are a great way to celebrate the conference and reward delegates after a long day of committee work. Our conference offers a Diplomatic Reception on the first night open to all delegates, followed by committee dinners on Saturday night at some of the best restaurants in Montreal, and of course our annual Secretary-General’s Gala organized in a prestigious venue in downtown Montreal.
Lastly, partnerships and sponsors are integral factors to consider in organizing a conference and making it sustainable for the years to come. We dedicate time and resources to building relationships with schools from across the world, concluding partnerships with international conferences, and attracting sponsors.
As an incredibly successful Model UN, you are someone that conferences from all around the world look up to. What is one piece of advice that you would give them?
My advice to conference organizers is to be different from others by innovating the experience and offering a product that is new and interesting. I think one of our conference strengths is our desire to stand out from neighbouring conferences. For example, last year we introduced Diplomacy Awards becoming the first North American simulation to do so. We likewise are the first Canadian conference to be powered by mymun’s conference management system. Such features differentiate us and I encourage conference organizers to do the same, leading the way forward and attracting new audiences to Model UN.