More than 200 students from schools all over Jerusalem formally attired for the occasion, gathered this week at The Rubin Guest House to take part in the Israel Model United Nations (IMUN) for 3 days.
The Israel Model United Nations, the Israeli version of the MUN is an educational and academic simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations.
The Model UN is an international project that exists in dozens of countries throughout the world. It is run according to guidelines set by the United States, a leader in this field.
“MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities,” said Mayor Nir Barkat.
Each delegation of students represents several countries in the Model UN debates. During the months of preparation before the event the students met with experts from the Foreign Ministry and from academia. At the end of the UN Model conference all of the students received certificates of participation. Certificates of excellence were awarded to members of the outstanding delegations.
“The fantastic thing about the IMUN in my view, is that it is organized and conducted almost completely by the students without a lot of intervention by the teachers,” one of the students was quoted as saying.
The program is supported financially by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For the past several years it has been hosted by the City of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation, Hebrew University, and The Hebrew University secondary school (Leyada).
Although the program is organized by the secretary, a group of 3 or 4 students with the help of the mythical teacher samara which has been responsible for the program since it was established, Ilana Ben Ari from the department of education at the Jerusalem municipality and the another more large group of about 20 students: the chairmen.
The chairmen are divided in groups of 3 or 2 students and each group is responsible for one committee at the IMUM .
The committees are exactly as they are at the real UN and have the same titles.
But the IMUN is not only an academic and intellectual program, it also brings some humor to the United Nations. The Chairs which conduct the committees can decide to give humoristic punishment to a representative that did something that is against the rules of the UN or the formal way of speaking (speaking in the first person, informal language, …).
The representative of Italy for example had to sing a song about the beauty of the Chairperson with the rhythm of Lady Gaga’s “Bad romance” song.
The IMUN concluded with a final assembly in which the members of the Secretary explain the conclusion of every committee.