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11 Differences Between THIMUN and the Typical

MUN in North America


1. THIMUN is run by the THIMUN Foundation. The THIMUN Foundation is a non-profit that is led by
educators and helps organize the conferences every year plus provide support and affiliation status to other
conferences. THIMUN conferences therefore are standardized, focus on education, and of very high quality
because feedback on the conferences doesn’t get lost.

2. There are THIMUN-affiliated conferences. Besides THIMUN, THIMUN Singapore, and THIMUN Qatar,
there are many THIMUN-affiliated conferences. All these conferences have met the requirements for affiliation
and will offer the standardized rules of procedure, debate style, professionalism, and culture of the THIMUN
conference. This standard makes it easy to prepare for all THIMUN-affiliated conferences whereas in North
America, every conference has slightly different rules and different cultures and emphases.

3. There are no awards. THIMUN is meant to be purely educational and there are no awards. Students enjoy
Model UN for the experience. Although the conference does not have awards, delegates are still on policy and
the quality of debate is very high. Many participants consider being named the main submitter (sponsor) to be the
highest honor at a conference, and many main submitters go on to be rewarded with positions as staffers at these
conferences. Students should leave the competitive mindset of American conferences behind when they go to
THIMUN.

4. The conferences are much more international. The vast majority of schools that attend THIMUN-affiliated
conferences are international schools, and it takes international schools from multiple countries in order to reach
to the size beyond a small conference. These factors inherently make the conference much more international in
terms of participant background. Oftentimes, there is no country that sends a majority of the delegates, and
sometimes it’s even hard to tell which country sent a plurality of delegates. Students will be able to make friends
from around the world at THIMUN conferences.

5. Conferences are staffed by high school students. All the THIMUN conferences are staffed by high school
students. This is a huge contrast to North American conferences where college students staff all the conferences
besides the ones hosted by high schools. These high school students are very experienced though — they’ve
typically been main submitters and see staffing as part of their Model UN career — and North American teachers
may be surprised at how well these students can maintain decorum better than many college staffers can.

6. There are Youth Assemblies. Youth Assemblies are essentially committees where students represent
themselves and discuss how to create and implement real solutions to real problems that they can bring back to
their local communities. There are often projects and presentations; they are not meant to be a simulation like
Model UN. This gives students a chance to take action now.

7. Conferences are much more strict and formal. THIMUN conferences are much more formal in proceeding
and much more strict on proper rules of procedure. Students are very disciplined and very respectful of the
speakers during the Opening/Closing ceremonies and General Assembly Plenary sessions. Delegates also tend to
be much more professionally dressed than their North American counterparts.

8. The first session is a full day of lobbying. Essentially, the first day of committee is a full day of unmoderated
caucus. Delegates work together to draft their resolutions. This allows delegates to focus on writing the
resolution (as opposed to competitively piecing it together during brief 10-20 minute unmoderated caucuses
intermittently throughout the conference) and to go more in-depth in discussion and solutions.
9. The focus of the debate is on amending resolutions. Since resolutions are already written during the first day
of lobbying sessions, the rest of the committee sessions will focus on amending the resolutions. The main
submitter (sponsor) will read off the draft resolution and then delegates will make speeches in favor or against
the resolution and submit amendments to it. The focus is much more on debating the merits of the resolution.
North American delegates should also note that this process may feel more dragged out because there are no
unmoderated caucuses in between to switch up the debate format.

10. Teachers can get involved in the Approval Panel. Draft resolutions have to go through an approval panel
for editing on grammar and spelling before it is presented to the committee. Committee chairs do this type of
editing in North American conferences but at THIMUN conferences there’s a special room staffed by teachers
that take care of this; the THIMUN chairs focus on the substantive aspects of the draft resolution.

11. There’s a General Assembly Plenary session. This is actually not THIMUN-specific; conferences hosted
by non-profit organizations such as NHSMUN and GCIMUN in the United States also feature GA Plenary
sessions (both of the latter two conferences do this in the actual General Assembly Hall at the UN Headquarters).
This is where delegates from all the GA committees get together on one of the days to present, discuss, and vote
on the resolutions after several days of debate in their own committees. It’s a more realistic simulation of the real
United Nations.

Reference:
KFC. (2012, February 09). Going Abroad? 11 Differences Between THIMUN and the Typical MUN in North
America. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://bestdelegate.com/going-abroad-11-differences-between-
thimun-and-the-typical-mun-in-north-america/