GhentMUN is a group of students that join forces in order to create a yearly Model United Nations in the city of Ghent. The event is organized in the spirit of promoting knowledge about the UN and international topics. Usually, each edition of GhentMUN tries to raise awareness on global issues and more specifically, the 17 SDGs of Agenda 2030.
The City of Ghent
Ghent is a city in the Flemish Region of Belgium and is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Late Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe, with some 50,000 people in 1300. It is a port and university city.
Containing more than 74 000 students, the city of Ghent can be called one of the main student cities of Belgium without any doubt. Hosting many institutes of higher education, many students from Belgium and beyond find their way to this beautiful city, which is full of cosy bars and restaurants. The high amount of students ensure an exciting nightlife in this cosy city.
Ghent has the perfect combination of being both a busy city in business and culture and being the biggest university city in the country. Of the many institutions for higher education there are for example Odisee Hogeschool, HoGent, Artevelde Hogeschool, Universiteit Gent and even a campus of Catholic University Leuven.
The United Nations (UN)
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that promotes international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and experiences extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.
The current secretary-general is Antonio Guterres, former PM of Portugal
A Model United Nations (MUN)
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation to give students a chance to learn about diplomacy and international relations within a UN context. The purpose of MUN is to be a diplomat for a certain country, other than your own, and defend its position on a certain topic in a UN council. The ultimate goal of the discussion between delegates is to achieve a resolution with joint aims and goals concerning the issue. Consequently, MUN involves and teaches not only researching, public speaking, debating and writing skills, but also critical thinking, teamwork and leadership abilities.
MUN’s are organized all over the world and try to motivate students to take part in the world of diplomacy and international relations at every level. Subsequently, you don’t need any particular experience in advance to participate, neither do you have to study any study related to diplomacy or law. MUN is for everyone who is interested in global issues and finding ways to solve them.
Lucas Haitsma on his experience with Model United Nations:
Often, our committees are centered around many of the 17 different Development Goals presented in the Agenda 2030.
Our footprint is also important to us. It means that we always try to organize our event in such a way to reduce waste and be as sustainable as possible when choices need to be made. For example, we tend to use recycled paper and offer fair and ecological food and drinks.