The 10 EC course United Nations & Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory & Practice (UNMD) is a unique academic program in the Netherlands because of its high level and its strong practical component. At the end of this course, you should be able to successfully speak in public, debate, negotiate effectively, and know how to lobby. Furthermore, you will have a working knowledge of international law, international economics, and international politics. Finally, you should have a thorough understanding of the matters discussed in the committee you will attend at HNMUN. (If you are puzzled by the abbreviations, get used to it! You cannot read a UN document without encountering a dozen of them.) The course is composed of the following components:
The preparatory track
The preparatory track is aimed at teaching you the necessary skills and knowledge. It consists of weekly Friday meetings, which shall mostly be held in Nijmegen. (Sometimes we will attend lectures in, for instance, Amsterdam or The Hague and visit Ministries and embassies.) The first meeting will be in September and the last one in February, just before we leave for the USA. A typical meeting will start on Friday around 10.00 and end at 18.00. You will start with a lecture, from 13.00-14.00 you will have a lunch break and from 14.00-18.00 you will enjoy three trainings in small groups.
The high level of the course is maintained by inviting top professors and by attracting excellent trainers on the one hand and by selecting a small group of bright and motivated students on the other.
In principle, you are required required to attend all Friday meetings. If you miss more than two meetings, this will affect your grade, if you miss more than three meetings (for any reason) you will be required to write an extra assignment, and if you miss five you will automatically be expelled from the course. We also maintain the right to expel you if you fail to meet other crucial obligations, such as writing a position paper.
Course outline preparatory track
Introduction to the UN and MUN
International law, economics, and politics: theory and practice
In-depth country study. In these weeks we will study the country we are assigned by Harvard National Model UN in lectures and an embassy visit and you will write your position paper, which is required for participation by Harvard.
Public speaking, negotiation and lobbying. Although you will have practiced these skills a lot, in the last weeks of the preparation track we shall target them individually and provide you with a theoretical framework.
In October you will attend a problem solving training in order to effectively address the complex issues you will be faced with. This training will focus on essential analytical and strategic skills you will need during the preparatory track; they will also prove to be valuable for your further career. It runs for an entire day and will test your stamina. This day is one of the unique aspects the course has to offer!
In November, you will be ready for your first real-life MUN experience. OXiMUN at Oxford University will be your first test case where you can show how much you have advanced. This experience will also be highly beneficial for your performance at Harvard.
New York Training Week (NYTW)
In the week before HNMUN, we will have five days of an intensive final preparation. In small groups, you will discuss and plan your strategy for your committee, determine your potential allies and foes, practice opening speeches, as well as impromptu speeches. Furthermore, you will receive intensive negotiation training during this week as well. In addition, we shall make use of the fact that we are in New York and attend briefings at the United Headquarters and visit several diplomatic missions. During the evening, we shall provide an optional social program. After this intensive week, you will have a few days off before HNMUN to relax and explore New York and Boston.
Harvard National Model United Nations
When you enter the conference area (or arena perhaps) in Boston, you will find yourself optimally prepared for the 60th edition of the Harvard National Model United Nations. This is the oldest, largest and arguably the most prestigious Model United Nations (MUN) around.
What is it exactly?
As in any MUN, the idea behind HNMUN is to let you experience what it is like to work as a diplomat in the UN. Every delegation, such as ours, will be assigned a country (which can be for instance China or Denmark), which it will have to represent in several UN committees, ranging from the Security Council (with 15 countries) to the General Assembly (193 countries). You will represent your country on your own or in a two-man team. Your mission is to seek solutions to global problems, while also successfully looking after the interests of the country you represent. Topics in committees can revolve around threats to international peace, such as "The situation in in the Democratic Republic of the Congo" or challenges as "Narcotic Drugs" or "Natural Disasters". The result of your efforts will be a resolution, which has to be adopted by the majority of the member present.
Participants at HNMUN are highly dedicated students who attend prestigious universities such as Yale, Chicago, Oxford, University of Pennsylvania or Westpoint Military Academy and also many international schools.