At a Model United Nations conference, students role-play a particular nation’s ambassador to the UN, taking on said nation’s perspective, interests, and policies. Students debate with other participants on pre-assigned topics ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to global polio eradication, and work to collaboratively write and pass resolutions (non-binding agreements). Model UN conferences typically simulate multiple different UN committees (ex: the UN Security Council, the General Assembly). Some offer simulations of regional or national-level organizations and deliberative bodies, such as the Indian Council of Ministers or the United States Senate.
Students prepare for Model UN conferences by writing position papers, statements of their country’s official policy on the assigned topics; submission of these to conference staff is generally a requirement for awards eligibility, and the position paper serves as a reference guide for talking points throughout the conference. Students also conduct their own independent research using topic guides provided by conference staff, texts recommended by conference staff, and resources like the CIA World Factbook or the UN’s online collections. For more information, please see http://bestdelegate.com/
Here are some UNA-USA (United Nations Association of the United States of America) videos that very accurately capture what Model UN is and how it works: