An alternative look at life in the Land of the Rising Sun, coming from its southernmost prefecture, the island of Okinawa.
Posted By Dave on July 8th, 2014


Those who have known me a while will know that I just about kept my body shape in control (mainly in Okinawa through sweating generally due to the heat and humidity) or because of walking so much with my car dying.  It definitely wasn’t due to exercise though!  But after a couple of months of being back in England […]


Archive for December, 2010

A Crisis During a Model UN Conference?

Posted By Dave on December 4th, 2010

Was doing a little reading on all things connected with the Model UN this weekend and it brought me back to something I thought about for over a year of teaching the MUN but never got around to implementing.  Wondering if anyone else has done this, and if so what kind of success they’ve had.

OK, so the standard Model UN conference has a main agenda for discussion, and that is the complete focus of the meeting.  Students are encouraged to study their country and be very familiar with it, although primarily with regards to this main topic.  But what would happen if, during a Model UN Security Council session we were to introduce a world crisis into the conference.  Something completely unexpected but that the students would quickly have to adapt to, discuss and produce a resolution for.  Off the top of my head, the first thing I can think of is North Korea conducting a nuclear test above ground, or using conventional weapons against either South Korea or Japan.  It would really throw the students as they’d never think of having to discuss anything other than their given topic, but they might really enjoy the chance to do something spontaneous and offer instant condemnation, pleads for restraint, promises of retribution etc.

For a start, I think this would have to be something for students with a pretty good knowledge of the Model UN and those with experiences of conferences.  If this were to be done I would like to do it by creating some sort of front page newspaper article that could be quickly submitted to the country delegates.  The chair would then be given a speech to read out announcing the event to all delegates.  The session (and it would probably have to be a Security Council session) would then change to an emergency session in which to discuss the problem.

The major issue I could foresee with doing this would be that if it is a made-up crisis then there will not be any information for which the delegates can go to research during caucuses.  If you choose a topic that is relatively current (e.g. the North Korea problem at this current time), then the students could get a fairly good background on it.  But the majority of research would have to be just on the region, and from what press releases you, the teacher, can provide them with.  It would require quite a lot of work in preparing materials from the teacher, but could be very rewarding for you and your students.

If anyone has tried this, please let me know how you implemented it and how successful you were.  If you haven’t and want to be my guinea pig, let me know!  I would love to work out a way in which this could be used in a conference.

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