The Spanish Model UN has a simple process, insofar as it largely mimics the more traditional, English-language high school Model UNs which are held around the country. In short, it is a simulated version of the processes of the official United Nations. Students assume the role of “delegates” or representatives for countries around the world. In the Spanish-language version, students only consider the perspective of countries whose official languages include Spanish, which narrows the focus, in effect, to Spain and Latin American countries. As the students represent their respective countries and debate current issues, they must converse and present solely in Spanish. Outside of the geographic and linguistic parameters, the students follow the protocols associated with traditional versions of Model UN: they research the countries which they represent or the topics which they must address, prepare resolutions, negotiate and debate with one another, identify resolutions, and otherwise conform to parliamentary rules and procedures. All of this is done with the philosophical intent that they contribute to the betterment of our global community.
With the guidance of the faculty coordinators, students are placed as representative delegates either in the General Assembly or in one of several crisis committees. In both committees, students must represent individual countries and work together, on behalf of those countries, to reach agreement to solve world dilemmas. For more information about how to prepare your students to serve in these committees, see our Teacher Resources.
The General Assembly is the primary organ of the Spanish Model UN, as it is of the official organization, and typically involves the majority of the student participants. It serves as principal forum for international debate and resolution, and is composed of representatives from all participating countries. Each country is represented by no fewer than two students and no more than four. All students are encouraged to participate by voicing their concerns, discussing their opinions, delivering the resolutions, and, overall, directly contributing to this global forum.
While the majority of the students participate in the General Assembly, smaller groups work simultaneously on pre-determined topics as part of Crisis Committees. The committees consider pre-selected topics of universal concern such as human rights, militarization, security, poverty, famine, education, gender roles, economic development, environmental sustainability, climate change, and so forth. In accordance with the Spanish Model UN’s focus on Latin America, the Crisis Committees are developed as simulations of the Organization of American States (OAS), although they function without an established agenda. Instead of proceeding according to a predetermined agenda, as the students do in the General Assembly simulation, Crisis Committee delegates must fluidly respond to an unpredictable set of circumstances as they are challenged by continuous, real-time updates on world events. Throughout the duration of the event, Crisis Committee participants will hear from invited experts, officials, and ambassadors who assist and help the students create effective, comprehensive solutions.
In addition to participating in either the General Assembly or the Crisis Committees, students also have the opportunity to hear from official figures in the community who are currently involved in international relations. Past keynote lecturers have included the Ambassador to Japan of the United States, the Consul of Mexico in Albuquerque, and a Spanish diplomat working with the Spanish Ministry of Education.