Our History2018-09-14T02:24:27+00:00

History of Model UN at the University of Ottawa, 1962-present

Model UN began as a series of student-led Model League of Nations simulations in the early 1920s. From then on, students across the world have come together to create mock diplomatic realms to discuss real-life politics. The origins of MUN at the University of Ottawa have been traced back as early as 1962, in partnership with SUNAC (Students United Nations Association of Canada). Please join us on this short timeline of MUN highlights throughout the decade. We have taken time to summarize archival documents from the past and present a non-biased overview of international topics discussed over the generations. Please let us know if you would like to see a copy of the Archived documents.

SUNAC and the University of Ottawa, 1962-1967

SUNAC was a federation of existing UN clubs, and its’ responsibilities included distributing ideas between university associations, providing important materials, and setting-up a speakers’ bureau based on the localities of various universities. uOttawa’s Model UN team served a vital role in their operations, as it was home-base for most of the communications relayed between universities. It is important to note that this congregation of clubs is the earliest physical evidence of Model UN presence on the uOttawa campus however, SUNAC acknowledges in its’ constitution that the association brings together existing Model UN clubs.

SUNAC also sought to promote the organization of regional seminars on international affairs, including the Second Annual National Conference held at the University of Ottawa from November 28 – December 1, 1962 (newspaper article pictured here). The theme was “The Emergence of Regionalism as a World Force and its effect on the U.N.” and delegates were given the opportunity to visit various embassies in Ottawa as well as receive opening remarks from the Governor-General of Canada, His Excellency Major General Georges P. Vanier and the Leader of H.M. Loyal Opposition inCanada, the Honourable Lester B. Pearson.

SUNAC CONSTITUTION

Canadian Delegate to the 14th Annual ISMUN, 1962

At the invitation of the Greek United Nations Student Association, the 14th Annual Conference of the International Student Movement for the United Nations was held in the beautiful town of Levahidis, Greece. The Canadian delegation, comprising of the President of the uOttawa MUN team, represented Canadian national interests on a global stage. During these times of de-colonization, the discussion was mostly catered to evaluating colonial-era policy as it applied to a variety of countries, including Cuba. Canadian delegates refused to condemn all colonial regimes as evil and argued for the economic benefits colonizers brought to colonized lands.* However, he stressed that colonial regimes should choose to leave as soon as the colonized country could manage its open business; meaning sufficient political, economical, social and educational foundation.

*Please note that the items discussed from MUN conferences do not reflect the political opinions of the sitting Association.

University of Ottawa United Nations Organization, 1994-1997

The University of Ottawa United Nations Organization (U.O.U.N.O.) was formed in 1988 by students interested in world affairs and in the United Nations.

For this time period, UNO brought UN Peacekeepers in for classroom discussions, gained insight from guest speakers and “fireside chats” with CIIA (Canadian Institute for International Affairs), celebrated the UN’s 50th anniversary with the United Nations Association of Canada (UNAC), held a fundraising party on the West Block of Parliament Hill, attended the Lester B. Pearson peace medal ceremony, participated in UNAC foreign policy seminars and secured a temporary office on campus.

The conferences attended are as listed: Carleton MUN, McGill Model UN (won honourable mention), Harvard MUN conference (represented Slovenia), and the New York MUN conference. UNO held 6 general assemblies over the academic year covering a variety of topics including: Cuban politics, Third-World Urban Development and Youth Engagement in UNAC.

MANDATE

International Affairs Association, 2006-2013

The International Affairs Association (IAA) is the official predecessor to MUNA, and was run by current uOttawa alumni from the years of 2006 through 2013. IAA was quite the active group on campus, from running in-houses to sending delegates to National Model UN held in New York City. An in-house was hosted in 2012, running a mock session of the Group of 77 – a coalition of developing nations at the UN, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations – to discuss vaccines, immunizations and primary education for children. Although the group evolved into what we know as the Model United Nations Association today, its’ history still carries us through present events.

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