As Old as the United Nations
Shortly after the foundation of the United Nations the first Model United Nations took place at the United States of America. So almost since 1945 students are learing and training their negotiation skills by authentically simulated negotiations of specific committees and organs of the United Nations. Additionally, the purpose of a Model United Nations ever was to raise awareness about imminent global issues and to provide a platform to foster lively debates among participants. Therefore, a MUN is not only an event where one can meet with lots of different young people but it is also a serious role play. There, the participants find themselves in the position of a delegate of a foreign country and have to negotiate and discuss for saving the national interests of a given country, Observer or NGO.
History and Review of VIMUN
There are many MUNs held all over the world. In Austria the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria - Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs (UNYSA-AUSTRIA-AFA) is in charge of the MUN activities. The first small UN simulations took place in the 1960ies. In 1995 the UNYSA-AUSTRIA-AFA organized the first international MUN in Vienna as part of the official programme of the Austrian Federal Government for the 50 year anniversary celebrations of the United Nations. VIMUN since that time is the annual highlight of the UN youth acitivities in Austria. Every August up to 250 students and young graduates from about 40 different nations participate. As the conference entirely takes place at the United Nations Office at Viennna, VIMUN is perhaps the most authetical MUN world-wide.
The conference has a long and vibrant history. During the last years, VIMUN has expanded and prospered by having hosted about 5000 students. Experiences gained at VIMUN range from the enhancing of ones diplomatic skills to getting more insights into imminent global issues. As a consequence participants of Model United Nations very often follow careers as high-ranked diplomats, leaders in business, law and government later on in their lives.