What is the National Model United Nations Conference?
Every March or April, the world of diplomacy at the United Nations in New York looks completely different from what we are used to: the diplomats are still as immaculately dressed as usual, but they seem to be years younger. The reason for this is the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference, the world's largest UN simulation, where students from all over the world meet to take on the role of diplomats and represent their country and its interests at the United Nations.
The members of the annual delegation, students from Stuttgart's universities and colleges, spend a semester preparing intensively for their tasks at regular meetings, national MUN conferences, and a preparatory weekend. They are supported and guided by team leaders with NMUN experience (Faculty Advisors). Of course, making friends and celebrating is not neglected during this time: After the weekly preparation meetings, the delegation often enjoys meeting other members of the association for a drink.
In recent years, our delegations have represented a wide variety of countries such as Ghana, Haiti, Chile, South Africa, Tunisia, Djibouti, Albania, and Norway and have been awarded special prizes for their outstanding achievements each year. The delegation of the Club of Hohenheim attended the conference in March 2022 as the representative for the Congo.
You can find an overview over the previous delegations here
The tradition-rich conference in New York has been taking place since 1946. In order to participate successfully, more than 5,000 students from all over the world have to acquire in-depth knowledge about the topics debated in their UN committee as well as the country they represent in advance. During the conferences, the delegation members have to be as diplomatic as possible while searching for compromises in resolutions and reports, as well as upholding the goals of the represented nation.
Participation in the NMUN conference in New York is the largest project of the Club of Hohenheim. Like no other project, it embodies the goals of the club to learn about international politics through practical experience and to enable the international exchange of students interested in politics with other students from all over the world. The project is an unforgettable and exciting time for all participants as they explore New York, the United Nations, and the complex international context in their team of 20 students.
If you make it into the delegation, you can expect six months of intensive preparation for the NMUN in New York. In weekly sessions, you will learn the necessary know-how about the United Nations, its committees, and how they work. You will learn these "Rules of Procedure" during a hut weekend at the beginning of the preparation, in the sessions, and during a trial simulation. In addition, you will write a position paper together with your committee partner, which has to be submitted to New York about one month before the start of the conference. In this two-page paper, you will explain the situation in your country on the respective topics that will be on the agenda in New York, as well as your positions and ideas for a UN resolution. You will be supported by former delegates of the Club of Hohenheim in writing your position paper.
Furthermore, you will have to take care of the financing of the project together with your project leaders. To be covered for all emergencies, each delegation member has to make a deposit. In addition to activities such as selling biscuits at the Christmas market, the acquisition of suitable sponsors from industry and business is on the agenda. In the past, our delegations have always managed to cover a large part of the costs with sponsoring, so that only food and the flight had to be paid for with their funds. If you are particularly successful in your sponsorship, you will receive a refund of the deposit you make at the beginning of the project.
In the course of preparing for the NMUN, you will have a very special opportunity to put your acquired knowledge of diplomacy, negotiation skills, and the Rules of Procedures to the test. Since 2004, the Club of Hohenheim has organized its own UN simulation in the Hall of Mirrors of Hohenheim Castle every year in January - the so-called Hohenheim Castle Model United Nations (HCMUN for short).
The polished floors of the staterooms of Hohenheim Castle form the diplomatic parquet on which the delegates, in the style of real diplomats, negotiate for around nine hours as representatives of various UN member states about the most urgent problems of this world and search for innovative solutions. At this conference, the delegates perfect their diplomatic skills, their knowledge of English, and their observance of the "Rules of Procedure", the diplomatic rules of conduct. The new delegates are supported by experienced NMUN participants from the CoH. The organization and management of the conference by chairmen and rapporteurs will also be taken over by members of the CoH, many of whom have already gained experience as chairmen during the NMUN conference in New York. A session of the General Assembly Plenary, the world-famous heart of the United Nations, is simulated.
Delegations from other universities are always welcome guests at the Castle Simulation. Thanks to the participation of students from the universities of Tübingen, Würzburg, and Witten-Herdecke, the Hohenheim Castle Simulation has developed over the years into a valuable audition simulation for many upcoming NMUN delegates.
The CoH never neglects the interpersonal aspects: After the simulation, the delegates of the different universities as well as all members and friends of the association can make new contacts, cultivate old friendships and thus end the day with a glass of wine or two at the traditional (and legendary!) wine tasting.
The Club of Hohenheim in the local News of Stuttgart: "Diplomat spielen in New York"
After the intensive preparation, you are finally on the plane across the Atlantic. It is well known that New York has more to offer than the NMUN. That's why the respective project leaders of the delegations organise a so-called Study Week in the week before the conference. During this week, you will get to know various UN bodies, visit the German representation of the United Nations and, if applicable, the representation of your country, and discover the ARD radio studio in Manhattan. Of course, the evening programme will not be neglected - whether at an NBA basketball game or a legendary karaoke evening in Chinatown.
The negotiations during the 4-day conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square are sweaty. But in the end, together with students from all continents, you vote on your own UN resolution. During the closing ceremony in the original General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, the most successful delegations will receive awards. In the best case, you will have made numerous international contacts, improved your English and your speech-making skills, and you will have learned a lot about the UN, and developed personally.
Student Blog of University of Hohenheim: "How to Become a Diplomat in a Few Months"
The successful participation in New York would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. The long-standing and new trust in our commitment causes a continuous development of the project and offers the participants the opportunity to gain very special and impressive experiences in the international structure of the United Nations. We would therefore like to express our sincere thanks to the following sponsors of last years delegation: