MUN Squared, held on February 20 and 21, is the largest annual Model United Nations conference in the province. The conference is a simulation of the UN, where high school students represent a particular country and are tasked with representing that country’s views on a specific topic.
The conference is organized by the MUN UN Society, which was established in 1989. The society aims to promote the ideas represented by the United Nations by hosting and attending conferences, such as MUN Squared. The conference has been hosted by the MUN UN Society for 27 years and typically draws around 250 participants. This year’s conference had a large turnout and raised almost $300 for the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council, a local organization that provides advice and services to new Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The director of this council, José Rivera, was the keynote speaker for this year’s MUN Squared conference.
The MUN UN Society also hosts social events such as mixers and debate viewings. Brad Power, President of the MUN UN Society, participated in MUN Squared three years in high school and became interested from there.
“The society itself is quite open; we have essentially no qualifications or formal sign-up process. Anybody who wants to attend our meetings or social events is more than welcome to do so. There is typically a bit of a registration process for our collegiate Model UN events, and we require short applications to become a member of staff for MUN Squared, but we basically never turn people away that would like to get involved,” said Power
“We are also fairly active, this time of year especially, and an overall very friendly group of people.”
This year, the conference delegates discussed topics such as Nuclear Proliferation, Climate Change, Public Health and Artificial Intelligence. They also discussed the Siege of Aleppo and the Historical Committee aimed to recreate the Newfoundland National Convention, which took place in 1946.
“MUN Squared offers students a great opportunity to develop public speaking skills, hone their sense of fairness and compromise, and learn much more about international politics and global issues. In addition, I think one of the overlooked aspects of the conference is that it rewards delegates who are willing to compromise and understand each other’s point of view – a much needed skill in the world today,” said Power.
The MUN UN Society has been busy with this conference, but also has a mixer coming up in early March, with a tentative date of March 10, possibly including a beer pong tournament with each team representing a specific country.
There will be a collegiate Model UN event hosted for university students tentatively to be held on March 24 and on March 30. They will be hosting their Annual General Meeting to elect their next executive and discuss the success of the past year and future plans for the society.
You can learn more about the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council by visiting their website at http://riac.ca.
If you would like to get involved with the MUN UN Society, you can reach out to them through their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/memorialunsociety, through email firstname.lastname@example.org or join in on their next meeting!