Haarlem Model United Nations is a non-profit organisation run by students of the Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem. For over twenty years, we have organised a conference that is attended by about 600 students from all over the world.

“Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.”  – Wikipedia

During a MUN conference, students will roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. The participants will be assigned countries, or occasionally a non-governmental organisation /other political entity, to represent in various committees, councils and assemblies, similar to the ones of the real United Nations. The delegates are responsible for taking on the views of the country or organisation they are representing, and it is up to them to make sure they keep that policy.

Delegates will solve the issues on the agenda by lobbying, followed by making resolutions. Once a resolution has been submitted, it will be debated by the committee and can be amended. This can be done by the delegates, who send in amendments to add, change or strike clauses. The amendments will then in turn be debated and will be voted upon afterwards. Once the debating time for the resolution has elapsed, the committee will vote on the resolution as a whole.

No ‘real’ actions will be taken as a result of the produced resolutions. However, a MUN conference can serve as a great learning opportunity and a MUN-weekend can also be a lot of fun as there is the possibility to become friends with interesting people from all over the world.

About the conference

HMUN is a three-day conference that is attended by about 600 students from all over the world and its twenty-third annual session will take place at the Stedelijk Gymnasium in Haarlem from the 26th to the 28th of March, 2021.

The students organising the conference are known as the Executive Staff. The Executive Staff of HMUN 2021 consists of eighteen students of the Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem and is composed of fifteen different positions. These students are led and instructed by the Secretariat, which is made up of the Secretaries-General and the five Deputies Secretary-General. The Secretariat and the rest of the Staff are directed as well, by five teachers from the Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem, known as the Board of Directors. These teachers are very enthusiastic about Model United Nations, and of great value for MUN in our school.

Furthermore, our Executive Staff is responsible for the guidance of our delegates to other conferences. Together, they help the delegates to get ready for upcoming conferences.

Along with the Executive Staff and the Board of Directors, there are three other notable teams affiliated with HMUN. These teams are the Content Team, the Hospitality Team and the Press Team. The Content Team organises and creates the Crisis, which will take place in the ad-hoc committees on the last day of HMUN. The Hospitality Team is in charge of making sure the stay of the guests attending our school is as enjoyable as can be. The Press Team commands the HMUN Chronicle and will keep all guests updated about the conference via its social media accounts. Once the conference starts, they will be interviewing delegates, writing articles and taking pictures.

About this year’s theme

The theme of HMUN 2020 is “Climate crises: turning the tide towards a sustainable future”. The focus of the conference will be on transforming our society into a sustainable one, which will put an end to the harm currently being inflicted on our planet, providing us with better chances for the future. A sustainable society is one that meets the current and future basic needs of its people in a just and righteous manner, without compromising the ability of future generations to do so as well.

The major industrial growth, which started in the late eighteenth century, resulted in countless new possibilities and caused the world to develop at an unbelievably fast pace. It was only halfway the twentieth century that scientists found out about the consequences of this growth regarding the environment and, more alarming, the impact it would have on our future. Still, it wasn’t until 2015 that this subject reached the bigger audience, a year before the Paris Agreement was signed. Since then, climate change has become an inescapable topic in the media.

Now, it’s been years, and still many governments refuse to take action, or only implement measures that are simply not drastic enough to change the course our environment is on. The main reason for this being the economic losses these changes would come with. Developing countries might be disadvantaged because of all the resources that would have to go into these changes, entire industries might be decimated and many people will have to change the way they provide for themselves.

During the 23rd annual session of HMUN, the focus will lie upon finding solutions for these problems, and finding ways to make these changes profitable for everyone. Since you have to be the change you wish to see in the world, we have made some changes to HMUN this year, to make it eco-friendlier. For example, the lunch will not contain any meat, and we will minimise the use of paper and plastic. Moreover, the official HMUN App is in the making, on which you will be able to find information about the theme, guest-speakers, practical information about the conference and the research reports.

Temperatures are rising. Biodiversity is going down. Resources are running out. And it’s time to do something about it. Let’s create a brighter future for ourselves and the generations to come.