Are We About?
Montana Model United Nations: Over 35 years of bringing
the world to Montana
Montana Model United Nations hosts a mock simulation of the United Nations
for over 500 Montana high school students each November, during the
Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Sponsored by the College of
Arts and Sciences, MMUN engages students by emphasizing international
affairs in a hands-on, intensive two-day setting, allowing Montana high
school students to explore their personal interests and learn about
corners of the world that were often unknown before their participation
in the program. The conference has been in existence for over 35 years.
When MMUN was founded in 1964, it was a forum for high school students
to debate issues of international importance in a format that reflected
the current times-the Cold War. In this context, MUN was set up into
western and Soviet blocs, maintaining an antiquated and unmoving system
of conflicting ideologies, leaving the more numerous developing world
caught between two superpowers. These MUN Cold War blocs largely remained
in force until 1997, gradually diminishing in power and echoing the
real world of a decade earlier.
The University of Montana Model United Nations collegiate team provided
the means to continue MMUN's transformation into a modern reflection
of the real United Nations. However gradual this transformation was
before, the experiences of the collegiate team in competition dramatically
altered the structure of the high school conference. Currently, the
conference is organized into eight committees, including the General
Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights, the Security Council, and
the World Intellectual Property Organization. Within these committees,
delegates, representing individual countries, extensively research contemporary
topics and prepare themselves to debate issues based on accurate country
representation, knowledge of facts, statesmanship, and the ability to
relate to and interact with their peers. MMUN exposes Montana high school
students to a larger scope of world events and allows them to realize
social and political complexities. This mock simulation of the UN enables
Montana high school students to obtain substantive oral communication
skills and reinforce lessons learned in history, government, and current
events classes, while exploring areas of their own personal interests.
Moreover, as the end of the Cold War allowed all nations to become more
vociferous in the UN, students are similarly free to discuss issues
actively, despite perceptions of their nation's status-whether they
represent Bahrain, the United States, or Senegal.
For more information on Montana Model United Nations, please contact
the College of Arts and Sciences, (406) 243-2632.