Over 120 university students play the role of UN delegates at University Camilo José Cela

Over 120 students from 12 universities across Spain will meet this week for the fifth MiMUN-UCJC, Madrid International Model United Nations, an educational model that simulates the functioning of the United Nations and one of the few endorsed by the UN itself. The sessions have started today at the University Camilo José Cela Almagro building (UCJC) and will continue until Friday 8 November, the day on which MiMUN-UCJC will conclude with the presentation of the final proposals in an event held at the Madrid Assembly, with its president Juan Trinidad Martos as host.

During the inauguration, Nieves Segovia, president of SEK Education Group (to which UCJC belongs), and Emilio Lora-Tamayo, rector of University Camilo José Cela, both gave opening addresses.

In her address, the president of SEK Education Group encouraged institutions to engage young people “inviting them to sit at the decision table, listening to them and offering them spaces to train in active participation.”

Nieves Segovia encouraged students to assume their role in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals: “You must be critical thinkers, agents of change with the capacity to act and mobilise other young people, as well as innovators to be leaders and make change happen in your communities and countries ”.

Furthermore, Emilio Lora-Tamayo, has stressed the role of higher education as a transmitter of knowledge and recipient of inquisitiveness and innovation, as the backbone of society and forger of its students’ intellect and humanity. Therefore, in his opinion, higher education must be, and will always be, on the front line.

The rector of UCJC also stressed that “University Camilo José Cela was not destined to be just another university, but to contribute to society and add value to a new humanism with higher ideals, in which the concept of global citizenship is an essential element to finding the global solutions that the world needs”.

Verónica Gil, student general delegate of University Camilo José Cela, added that “In MiMUN-UCJC we want to find creative and innovative solutions, develop critical thinking and for students to be able to look for other truths apart from those taught to us”.

Throughout the week, through different debating and negotiating techniques in Spanish and English, students will represent the member countries in the different UN commissions.

This year delegates and authorities will address issues related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as the protection of the global climate and the mitigation of the impact of rapid technological change, women’s leadership and political participation international organisations, the right to access to drinking water and sanitation or the conflict in South Sudan.

In this educational experience, university students must place themselves in the shoes of the delegates of the country they are asked to represent and find solutions to specific problems on the international agenda.

Promoting students’ critical spirit and participation

MiMUN-UCJC seeks to recreate the experience of the world of international diplomacy: with rules and regulations that adhere rigorously to the realities of how the United Nations works, dealing with current affairs, with lobbying and negotiating sessions, possible crisis situations requiring emergency sessions of the various commissions.

Model United Nations aim to foment a critical attitude and encourage student participation in the acquisition of the principles, values and mechanisms necessary for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. They also contribute to understanding the current international situation.

The team organising MiMUN-UCJC is made up of experts from the UN and university students with broad experience in other models, who represent member countries and different UN bodies.

Characteristics of MUN Models

MUN projects aim to foment a critical attitude and encourage student participation in the acquisition of the principles, values and mechanisms necessary for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. They also contribute to understanding the current international situation.

MiMUN-UCJC (Madrid International Model United Nations) is the Model United Nations organised by University Camilo José Cela, which took place for the first time in October 2015.

The project is directed by a group of students and teachers with a rich experience of Model United Nations. UCJC can count on the previous experience of SEK Education Group, which has run Model United Nations at its schools for the past ten years.

Since 2007, SEK Education Group has organised SEKMUN Model United Nations at its schools. They are for Year 4 ESO (Mandatory Secondary Education) students and for Year 1 Baccalaureate students belonging to SEK schools and other guest international schools. Over the course of the model, students reflect and work on current affairs and international politics within the framework of the United Nations, using Spanish and English as their working languages.

The rules of procedure of MiMUN-UCJC have been drawn up along the lines of those of WORLDMUN, an organisation that originated in the University of Harvard, and to which other prestigious universities, such as Yale, Oxford, La Sorbonne et alia also belong.

Banco Santander, having sponsored this and other academic initiatives by University Camilo José Cela for years, is the company with the greatest investment in the world (Varkey Report/UNESCO-Fortune 500) and, through Santander Universidades, has over 1,100 collaboration agreements with universities and institutions in over 21 countries. More information at www.becas-santander.com

More information on MiMUN-UCJC Model United Nations