Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) is first and foremost a simulation of the United Nations. Harvard Model United Nations India is in it’s third session this year, at Hyderabad, from 15th August to 18th August 2013.
Each high school attending the Conference represents one or more countries, and each country is represented by one or two delegates in each committee. Attended by 1000 students from around the world, the conference takes place for 4 days at the Hyderabad International Convention Center in Hyderabad.
HMUN is more than simply a simulation of the UN. It is a unique opportunity for high school students to discover and cultivate interests in international diplomacy and negotiation. Delegates have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the strengths and weaknesses of the UN and gain an appreciation for the value of compromise. Intensive committee sessions challenge the delegates and hone skills of communication, all the while discovering the art of diplomacy.
By providing an alternative to the multiple resolution approach, HMUN intend to demonstrate how the UN can be used to solve problems effectively. International diplomacy is most successful when nations are able to find common ground between national policies and national interests. To encourage this sort of compromise, HMUN is a platform where all the students in the committee come together to form resolutions, keeping their differences aside. HMUN thereby force all key actors in a dispute to reach an agreement. Without violating his or her national interests, a delegate at HMUN must be prepared to negotiate accordingly.
At HMUN, high premium is placed on the process of debate than on the product. Best possible use of the short four-day period, is made, in which delegates must work out solutions to problems that occupy professional diplomats for months and even years. Passing a good resolution, although a satisfying end to heated debate, should not be considered an end in itself. The way delegates “play the game” and negotiate successfully is much more vital to the learning experience. A successful delegate at HMUN is one who has learned the realities of compromise and has experienced both the thrills and frustrations of international diplomacy.
For the past two years, Rajagiri Public School has been sending a delegation for HMUN. In 2011, 12 students were sent to Mumbai for HMUN. In 2012 , a delegation of 15 students had gone to Hyderabad from August 16th to August 19th, where Afrin Shairaj obtained a Commendation Award for her excellent performance. Last year, around 11 countries including India participated in this conference. This year, 2013, a delegation of 17 students embarked on this trip, where they underwent the rigmarole of debating, making resolutions, compromising etc. as real diplomats.
The students who go as delegates to the Model United Nations Programme, turn out more confident, have higher self esteem, develop good communication skills, become good public speakers with good negotiating skills,lose inhibitions of speaking in public, develop good reading habits, develop logical,analytical and debating skills , learn to make friends and learn different cultures of students coming from across the globe. They develop innovative ideas, which can be used in their position papers and resolutions. Their writing and speaking in good English also undergo a massive change, which is noticed by the teachers when they are back from the HMUN.
These students, in turn conduct Rajagiri Model United Nation in Rajagiri Public School, where students from Std.VIII to Std X are encouraged to participate. The sessions, constituting of two days , was conducted in the year 2011 and 2012 successfully. The winners from each committee are sent for the HMUN, in the following year.