Model United Nations (MUN) is an internationally known simulation model of the United Nations (UN) and its agencies. A program of the UN Foundation, Global Classrooms (GC) is the UN Association of the United States of America’s (UNA-USA) flagship program. GC is an innovative educational program that engages middle school and high school students in an exploration of current world issues through simulation exercises.
GC cultivates the literacy skills, life skills, and attitudes necessary for active citizenship. Over the past decade, GC has worked in 24 major cities around the world to bridge the gap in the MUN community between experienced programs and traditionally underserved public schools or schools new to MUN. The GC program has a 17-year track record of success and is considered the largest MUN network in the world—engaging more than 25,000 students and teachers annually in more than 20 countries at conferences and in classrooms. The program is offered in 10 U.S. cities, representing six of the nation’s top eight largest school districts, and in five international affiliate cities.
Two international conferences in New York City are held: one conference for middle school students and one conference for high school students. Over the past 16 years, these conferences have engaged more than 4,000 student leaders from academic institutions around the world, including Ivy League universities, and more than 48,000 high school and middle school students from 250 schools in 20 countries.
The purpose of the GC program is to foster the UN culture of global awareness and to bridge the education gap by allowing students to act as ambassadors who negotiate with fellow delegates to address current world issues, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure.
The GC program in the Middle East has been officially and exclusively implemented by the Lebanese American University (LAU). In 2015, the UN Foundation entrusted LAU with the ownership of the GC International MUN conferences in New York City, beginning in the spring of 2016.
GC LAU MUN’S WORLDWIDE SUCCESS
The LAU MUN High School program was first launched in 2005–2006 with 541 students from 76 participating schools. In 2010–2011, GC LAU MUN inaugurated its Middle School program; today, the program has witnessed exponential growth in both the number of students and participating schools. In its 10th year, the LAU MUN program hosted more than 2,600 students from 174 participating schools during its training sessions and conference.
For the past 10 years, more than 1,000,000 hours of teaching peace building and diplomacy were offered to a total of 16,000 middle school and high school students from 174 schools throughout Lebanon and from selected schools in the Arab world. LAU’s deeply seated belief in the educational value of the MUN program allowed it to recruit, train, and empower more than 1,500 LAU student leaders to spread the culture of diplomacy, peace, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
Since the program’s inception, LAU has sent 64 high school students to participate in the GC International MUN (GCI MUN). With more than 1,500 students from more than 150 youth associations, the LAU delegation has achieved outstanding results in its international performance, as the 64 students have won 64 awards ranging from Diplomacy Awards to Secretary General Awards.
In 2012, the LAU Delegation won the “Secretary-General Award” at the 13th Annual Global Classrooms International Model United Nations conference. In 2014, the LAU Delegation won the “Best Delegation Award” and six out of the six highest awards given at the 15th Annual Global Classrooms International Model United Nations conference.
All students who adhere to the attendance policy will receive a Certificate of Participation. In addition, students with a distinguished performance can receive the Best Position Paper Award, the Diplomacy Award, and/or the Secretary General’s Award. Schools with the highest ratio of awards with respect to the size of their delegation receive the Best Delegation Award. Awarded students who decide to enroll in LAU will receive a scholarship.
Also, to show appreciation for the esteemed advisors’ cooperation in the program, each school’s registered official advisors will be recognized with an Advisor’s Certificate.