The North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) conference is one of the oldest UN simulations for high school students in the world. Since 1963, the conference has been a forum where young students come from around the world. Three thousand high schools students convene for four days to explore various problems of the world and seek solutions through discussion, negotiation, and debate. Students simulate roles as delegates to the United Nations from a particular nation and serve as representatives of that country’s policies. Students at NAIMUN are pushed to heighten their understanding of the international system through 39 mini-simulations, ranging from standard committees like the UN General Assembly and the Security Council to crisis simulations of various regional organizations, national cabinets, corporate boards, and political organizations.
The conference is organized by the Georgetown International Relations Association, Inc. (GIRA), a non-profit organization that seeks to design meaningful exchanges that inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of leaders in government, business, and international affairs. NAIMUN is staffed and managed by over 250 undergraduate students from Georgetown University, all of whom have keen interest and substantial understanding of international relations.
For a conference of its size in a Model UN world now increasingly dominated by for-profit companies and large, hierarchical organizations, NAIMUN is unique in that all aspects of the conference – from the committee experience to the programming – are run by students for the benefit of their peers. We endeavor to provide competitive simulations and rigorous substance without losing sight of the educational and bridge-building value of Model UN as an activity. Ultimately NAIMUN belongs not only to the conference executives and GIRA, but also to the 3,200+ delegates, 200+ general staffers, and 300+ moderators who continue to make it the finest Model UN conference in the world. It is this collective spirit that has guided NAIMUN over the past 50 years and will continue to drive it in the future.
Our Core Values
Secretary-General Chase Wagers and Executive Director Abbey Nichols hope to build on NAIMUN’s five decades of excellence by adapting the conference to the character of the contemporary Model UN circuit, while staying true to GIRA’s and NAIMUN’s history and mission.
Unparalleled Substantive Rigor and Innovation
With over 3,200 of the best delegates from around the United States and the world, NAIMUN has been called the “high school championship” of the Model UN circuit, a reputation earned through years of substantive excellence. NAIMUN LVI will continue to outperform its peer conferences by providing rigorous and innovative simulations that challenge delegates and foster thought-provoking debate. Going beyond traditional assemblies and cabinets, a large number of non-traditional forums, corporate boards, and domestic bodies push the boundaries of Model UN and will force delegates to confront the changing nature of international politics today.
We believe that every student who comes to NAIMUN should walk away more proficient in the critical 21st-century skills of public speaking, leadership, and writing. The staffers are relentless in this pursuit, striving to ensure that every delegate gets to speak, that every student can guide discussion and lead, and most importantly, that every delegation has the opportunity to contribute. Because these abilities are incredibly important, the weekend is used to sharpen every delegate’s skills to the best of each committee’s potential, be it speaking in front of hundred in a large General Assembly, or leading by forging consensus in a small crisis committee. NAIMUN is so much than a run-of-the-mill Model UN conference because it, along with its parent organization GIRA, actively goes above and beyond the call of duty to see the success and empowerment of all attendees.
Inclusion for All Delegates
NAIMUN LVI will counter the growing tendency in the high school circuit towards ruthless competitiveness by reaffirming the core educational values of Model UN. The aim of the NAIMUN simulation is not personal or collective glory, but rather the heightening of understanding of the international system from both political and legal perspectives, and the enrichment of negotiation, judgment, and problem-solving skills. Improved instructional materials and dedicated training for crisis will ensure that even first-time delegates feel involved, supported, and appreciated. A reformed awards policy and improved chair training will encourage delegates to compete on the substance of their arguments. Finally, improved outreach and support for local, West Coast, and international schools will promote diversity of opinion and ensure that all delegates feel welcome at NAIMUN and in Washington, whether they come from Silver Spring, San Francisco, or Shanghai.
Integrating Technological Changes
NAIMUN LVI will continue to build upon the use and integration of technology both before and during the conference. Whether using technology pre-conference to connect delegates and Georgetown staffers, or in-conference to increase opportunities for engagement in larger committees or advance the crisis elements in smaller committees, NAIMUN LVI hopes to stay ahead of the curve technologically.
Carpe Diem (Seizing the Day)
NAIMUN is situated in the heart of Washington D.C., which means that all students are provided the chance to explore firsthand the greatness of our nation’s capital. As in years past, NAIMUN LVI will seize this opportunity and offer unparalleled out-of-committee programming experiences to all delegates. This includes and certainly is not limited to visits to foreign embassies, monuments on the National Mall, museums across the city, or even high-profile buildings like the White House or Pentagon. This prime location, if not used to the best of its potential, would be wasteful. NAIMUN recognizes this and thus provides—in the spirit of carpe diem—all delegates an unforgettable opportunity to experience all that the District of Columbia has to offer.