The 2019 conference will be taking place from the 23rd till the 28th of March.
The National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York is one of the biggest and most sophisticated simulations of the United Nations worldwide. Established in 1946 – one year after the foundation of the UN – the conference has since successfully taken place more than sixty times. Annually 4500 students from 250 universities worldwide gain an insight into the procedures of the United Nations. This provides students with a unique opportunity to accumulate skills in conducting diplomatic negotiations and public speaking, which could not otherwise be gained from day to day university life.
Specialized knowledge, rules of procedure and rhetoric are only a few of the skills that the students need to master. Acquiring these calls for initiative, discipline and focus. Having been able to gain several awards in previous years, the University of St. Gallen once more sets out to reach new heights. This year’s team consists of 24 highly motivated students determined to stand out from the other participants and to make the most out of this unique opportunity.
Delegates for NMUN 2018 have been chosen, applications for NMUN 2019 will be received in May 2018.
What is NMUN?
“National Model United Nations (NMUN) is a simulation of a diplomatic conference that takes place every year in New York in the spring and brings together 4,500 students from 5 continents. At HSG we offer, in close cooperation with the HSG Model United Nations Club, a course that prepares our students for participation in this conference. Students undergo an extensive eight month preparation, honing their research, writing, and public speaking skills in English. Together with two teachers (the head delegate and the faculty advisor) they then travel to New York to represent a country in the negotiations at the conference. This year’s delegation consists of 18 Bachelor students who represent Angola. As every year, we have on board some students who already have experience with the UN and the issues it covers (some have even participated in other Model United Nations conferences), while others are novices.Switzerland has a special relationship with the United Nations. We had hosted the UN in Geneva for a long time, before we finally joined. Undoubtedly, this last step boosted Switzerland’s international position and prestige. The principle is simple: he who’s in is on; he who’s out is off. This is true not just for participation in international organizations, but also in NMUN and our course. So why not join us? NMUN is an ideal platform for you, dear students, to learn about the UN and global governance, and for you, dear sponsors, to support. Our delegation last year – our ninth year in NMUN – represented the Sultanate of Oman and won several Awards for Outstanding Position Papers. Our NMUN 2015 Delegation is dedicated to continue this tradition of excellence in New York in March 2015.”
With their engagement and dedication to their project, the students who form the St.Gallen delegation to the annual NMUM conference represent one of the most important aspects of the educational mission of HSG: the ability and motivation to go far beyond their usual coursework for the sake of acquiring crucial professional experience. It is not only the enormous political importance of the UN as such which makes those experiences so precious, but also the exposure to the social and cultural challenges posed by the enormous diversity of the students who are brought together annually at this conference.
Recently, the University of St. Gallen has formulated its vision 2020 as follows:
As one of Europe’s leading business universities, we are recognised globally as a place for thought leadership on current economic, business, and societal matters and for the development of talent able to integrate perspectives and act both entrepreneurially and responsibly.
We are committed to educating our students by honing their professional skills as well as by fostering personalities who are able and willing to meet the future grand challenges of global change in a spirit of context-conscious openmindedness for the needs and potentials of the whole of the worlds` society. On this background, the University of St. Gallen appreciates and admires the huge effort our students put into their mission to NMUN. We are fully convinced that this effort is worth being financially supported, and we wish them every success in raising such support.
We are 18 Bachelor students of the University of St.Gallen who will attend the March 2019 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York together. In preparation for the conference, we hold regular meetings and work on the various questions that should be taken into consideration when attending a conference of this kind. This includes a variety of topics such as the rather strict rules of procedure, learning how to write a resolution correctly or discussing current issues on the UN’s agenda.
As our individual reasons for joining the NMUN-Course may vary (see also section “Who we are“) there are some common goals that we all hope to achieve during the next few months. One of them is to improve our skills with regards to discussing and defending a point of view which may even differ from your own. An additional difficulty to overcome will be to truly work together as a team, even though we did not know each other before the start of this course. Furthermore, we are looking forward to an interesting and active exchange of opinions with students from all over the world. We may have to overcome other, unforeseen challenges. But all the same, we are convinced that this conference and the preparation required for it will in any case broaden our horizons and will no doubt prove to be an invaluable experience.
Delegation of 2018
“Honourable directorate, esteemed fellow delegates, the delegation of the Republic of Seychelles would like to raise a motion to set the agenda…” Thus began a week of debate, of diplomacy, late-night merger talks and very little sleep. National Model United Nations (NMUN) New York had opened its doors once more to hundreds of universities from 190 UN Member States that came together to simulate the day to day workings of the United Nations, each delegation representing a separate Member State and their interests.
This year, the University of St.Gallen’s team of 18 students had the honour to play the part of the Portuguese Republic in nine different committees. Together with thousands of other students, they were given the opportunity to debate global issues in depth and attempt to reach consensus across national interests and cultural peculiarities of their respective assigned member states. In trying to strike a balance between raison d’état and the multilateralist spirit, they experienced what it means to work in an international environment like no other and cooperate intensely with people from all corners of the earth.
Topics ranging from cyber security to urban development or sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping forces were thoroughly discussed and fought over, with each delegation attempting to find a deal most suitable to their position. Alliances were forged (and broken), e-mail addresses and business cards exchanged, hundreds of pages written and miles upon miles of carpeted conference room floor hurried across, desperately attempting to be first to reserve tables for the many working groups that formed during the simulation.
The end result of this endeavour was the creation of working papers, draft resolutions and finally fully fledged, consensus-driven and widely backed UN resolutions, written in dozens of working groups spanning hundreds of delegates and comprised of thousands of lines of preambulatory and operative clauses.
Yet the week of 26th of April saw more than politics in the Hilton and Sheraton conference rooms of Midtown New York. Social events, both official and unofficial, complemented heated debates with casual meetups and dance parties, offering delegations a chance to get to meet each other outside diplomatic decorum and suit-and-tie attire. An opportunity fair and expert panels on various topics, organised by NMUN, neatly tied simulation into reality, giving students, staff and faculty more insight into the challenges the international community faces today, as well as presenting employment options to those wishing to pursue a career in the international field.
These events and debates gave delegates many an occasion to find not only diplomatic partners, but new and lasting friends, letting them come in contact with an immensely diverse group from many fields of study and countries of origin in a very short period of time. In this regard, NMUN offered a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and experience that was equally challenging as it was exhilarating.
On the last day all of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) delegations voted on some of their resolutions in the grand halls of their respective committees in the actual UN headquarters by the Hudson river. The grand finale consisted of all delegations meeting in the General Assembly Hall, sitting where normally only the most distinguished of emissaries did, and reviewing their achievements. His Excellency Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations, as well as members of the organising team and representatives of other NMUNs, held closing speeches and made final remarks, congratulating all delegations on the work they’ve done and empathising their role as creators and leaders of tomorrow.
As the event came to a close, delegates began to realise the toll the past days had taken on them, with many taking the very next opportunity to have a long awaited nap after an intense week of debate, work and socialising. In the end, the delegation from the University of St.Gallen brought home a whopping six awards for the category of “Outstanding Position Paper”, as well as the title of “Honourable Mention Delegation” which brought many a smile on the otherwise weary faces of a delegation that had left it all on the field.
We would like to thank our kind sponsors, the Mercator Foundation, the University of St. Gallen and HSG Alumni for their generous donations. A warm thank-you also to the Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York for granting us insight into their work, as well as the BIA programme for offering the NMUN course. Of course, no expression of gratitude would be complete without thanking Mrs. Brühwiler and her assistant, Mr. Linggi, for their tireless efforts for the course, before, during and after the trip.
We are now accepting applications for the 2019 delegation until June 17th. You can find information about the application process and the experience of past delegations on this website and on our facebook page.
Application Procedure for Elective for Fall 2018 (Deadline June 17th 2018)
The course will be credited with 6 ECTS to your independent electives. The grade is given only in the spring semester after the NMUN conference in New York.
1 Profile of Candidates
Students at Bachelor’s level who do not graduate before spring 2019 and are not on exchange in fall 2018
All majors are welcome to apply
Students will be expected to fundraise independently
Interest in international affairs
Continued dedication throughout the year
Strong communication skills and good knowledge of English
International experience is a plus
3 Required Documents – all documents in PDF format
CV in English without picture, but with relevant proof of English language
skills (if available like TOEFL etc.)
Current HSG grade transcript
Short essay of no more than a page; see section 4
IMPORTANT: Submit your entire application as 1 single PDF document.
Incomplete or incorrectly formatted applications will not be considered.
Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: June 17th 2018
4 Short Essay
You are an advisor on political affairs at the Swiss Mission to the United Nations in New York. For a visit by the Federal Councillor of Foreign Affairs, you are asked to prepare a memorandum on the role that the United Nations can and should play in the context of the crisis between Iran and the United States of America.
[max. 1 page]
 Unfortunately, BLE students won’t be able to receive credits for this class.
Assignments & Course Efforts
Leader Paper [35% of final grade]:
short paper in the style of The Economist leader papers on a subject related to the UN and/or the country our Delegation will represent;
to be submitted after the fall break 2018.
Position Paper [50% of final grade]:
2 page-paper to be submitted to the NMUN conference;
presents our country’s views and suggestions on the issues to be discussed in your respective committees;
written in groups of two;
usually needs to be written during the Christmas break; deadline depends on NMUN timeline.
Reflection Paper [15% of final grade]:
1 page on the lessons learned at the conference; to be submitted one week after the Spring 2019 break.
Organization of the NY trip:
Each participant will assume a role within the delegation, which will contribute both to the delegation’s preparation for the conference and to each delegate’s experience at the conference in NYC;
Fundraising: pursuing the goal of reducing the travel costs of the individual delegates through the acquisition of financial sponsors.
Accounting: managing the bills and fees connected to the conference of the entire delegation.
As part of our preparation for the Model United Nations, we also wrote a paper about common UN topics. But not just a typical paper we normally hand in at the university. This time the task was more challenging: We had to focus on just one special aspect of the topic and were free to develop our opinion through the paper. Similar to the Leaders section in The Economist (for more information visit The Economist) we did not take the perspective of an objectively reporting journalist but rather tried to build up an argument. The papers then were presented in class, which allowed us to simultaneously practice for our speeches at the MUN in New York. Feel free to have a look at a selection below.
The most important part of our preparation for the New York Conference is the writing of position papers. As we have been split up in pairs and each pair has been given a committee, we will be writing seven papers. Each of these deals with three different topics that will be discussed in the respective committees. It is our task to represent the position that Oman is actually taking as accurately as possible. That of course includes a lot of research in order to find the relevant documents that have already been published on the various subjects.
For examples of our position papers, please find the links below.
The Mercator Foundation Switzerland supports and initiates projects in the areas education, understanding, participation and environment. More specific, they want to contribute to fair educational opportunities in Switzerland and work to promote an open and engaged society, which shows responsibility in its behaviour towards the environment. With the program “Engagier dich!” they support students, who voluntarily engage with and take responsibility for society.
HSG Alumni is the Alumni club of the University of St. Gallen and was founded in 1931. The club encourages networking between former HSG students and wants to encourage the communion and bond to their Alms Mater.