Student Life

Discovering the world of diplomacy: EDHEC organises the 9th edition of the Model United Nations debating event

On 15 and 16 February 2024, the EDHEC Business School student association devoted to diplomacy and geopolitics, EDHEC Nations Unies, organised the 9th edition of the MUN (Model United Nations) debating event for high school pupils on EDHEC’s Lille campus. The event is based on the reconstitution of UN debating sessions and saw some 600 high school pupils from 13 high schools in the Lille conurbation take part in discussions on major global issues, such as the regulation of artificial intelligence, the quest for sustainable farming and the protection of marine biodiversity. The aims were to have the participants discover international negotiation mechanisms in an active way and to encourage them to express their ideas. On site, members of the EDHEC Nations Unies association chaired the committees, co-ordinated the debates and managed the logistics. 

Reading time :
23 Feb 2024

During the MUN, the high school students were organised into pairs and assigned a country for them to represent during the debates. The discussions took place in English and French within nine committees inspired by UN bodies and specialist agencies such as UNESCO, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) or the HRC (Human Rights Council). The conversations covered the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), including biodiversity, energy, water, poverty and gender equality.  


During the exchanges, each pair negotiated with the other delegations, in order to sensitise them to their point of view. This exercise provided the high school students with the opportunity to discover the world of diplomacy in an active way, while also learning to speak in front of an audience: “At high school, pupils rarely get the chance to express themselves in front of an assembly”, underlined Clara Lenoir, President of the EDHEC Nations Unies association. “MUNs give high school pupils the opportunity to develop their eloquence and to assert their ideas. The two days of debates also enable them to understand today’s world by exploring problems related to social and climate issues”. 


Following the discussions, the high school pupils wrote up the resolutions and had them voted during a general assembly comprising all the committees. Each year, three distinctions are awarded: the most persuasive delegation, the delegation that revealed itself throughout the debates and the prize for the best written resolution. 


Lastly, this 9th edition of the Model United Nations highlighted the function of ambassador and the role of diplomacy in international relations, through a conference led by Jean-Maurice Ripert, former French ambassador to Russia and China, and former permanent representative of France to the United Nations in New York.

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