Throughout the academic year, the Away Team competes in the Model United Nations (MUN) collegiate circuit at a number of Model UN conferences hosted across the United States. Due to its competitive nature, members of the Away Team become highly seasoned in all aspects of debate, including tactics and strategies as well as a compilation of historic and current affairs that provide precedence for their choices in committee.
An MUN Conference is generally a comprehensive, 3-4 day simulation of the United Nations’ various organs and specialized agencies. A number of Conferences choose to simulate other governmental organizations, executive boards, and cabinets too as a way to broaden the experience and intellectual framework of debate. Committees might include NATO, World Health Organization, European Commission, a congress of Western US water stakeholders, or African Union to name a few. Every committee revolves around a topic of contemporary or historic relevance, and of global or regional importance. Delegates must think critically, act quickly, and sincerely represent the interests and viewpoints of their designated entity.
Committees alternate between periods of formal and informal debate. Like DUMUNC and DISCON, these committees are also run via Robert’s Rules of Order. During formal debate, delegates will offer the general stance of their country or entity to the other representatives present and give proposed solutions to the crisis at hand. Delegates may rebut or affirm the stances of their counterparts during a period for comments. Informal debate is a period during which the delegates are free to negotiate their stances, foster diplomatic cooperation, and generate dynamic solutions. Some committees also offer a “Crisis” simulation, during which the focus of the committee changes rapidly and delegates must respond in a real-time manner.
DIRA generally sends members of the Away Team to 1-2 conferences per semester. Each conference is a new opportunity for Away Team members to implement their learning in a dynamic manner and to foster new skills in public speaking, teamwork, negotiation, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the effective presentation of new ideas.
The Away Team is known for demonstrating award-winning success on the circuit, and each year we hope to increase the number of awards we bring back to Duke.
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