The ti-mun project
The TI-MUN project aims to offer young people in the upper middle and professional schools of the Canton Ticino the opportunity to learn about the UN and participate in the Model United Nations projetct, a simulation of the activities and debates currently underway at the United Nations Organization.
Students will participate as delegates, ie ambassadors of a UN Member State: they will therefore have to carefully balance the need to reach a shared solution around an issue and the specific national interests of the represented country.
MUN is a project, which aims at training youth involving various aspects of their personalities, such as cognitive, attitudinal and relational aspects. Thanks to MUN, young people can access current political and international issues through a gradual, precise and relevant approach, aimed at promoting the integration of the individual in society and at enhancing the knowledge and skills, which are necessary for an informed understanding of the present time.
In a period increasingly characterized by globalization and intercultural exchange, it is necessary to look at the challenges posed by the contemporary world starting from considerations and points of view different from one's own, while collaborating with others in order to reach multilateral solutions. Those attending MUN conferences are therefore called to represent a country different than their own, standing up for its interests in front of other nations, building alliances and constantly striving to develop a fruitful dialogue with their counterparts.
mun in switzerland and abroad
MUN is a global project which involves associations in most universities around the world. Many of these teams organize conferences open to international students. Therefore, almost every day in the world there is at least one international MUN conference taking place.
In Swizerland there are currently thirteen university associations, whose members organize both weekly meetings and international conferences on Swiss soil. They furthermore send delegations representing their teams and Switzerland abroad. For years now our country has also been sending delegates to the most prestigious international conference: WorldMun.
Since 2007 the Swiss local associations have been united under the umbrella organization UNYA/JUNES, founded by former Federal Councelor Micheline Calmy-Rey.
The MUN project is particularly suitable for applying knowledge and skills acquired by the students during their upper middle, professional and academic education, as well as to practice other significant attitudes: integrating and collaborating in a community, acquiring and applying a scientific research method, becoming a responsible member of the society. Participation in the conferences also makes it possible to realize various civic attitudes such as respecting the rules of the game, curiosity and understanding towards other social realities, openness to new cultural perspectives.
The MUN activity is a meaningful learning situation that stimulates skills and knowledge through documentation work, critical analysis of issues and the development of strategies. The students involved must take advantage of their linguistic and rethorical knowledge, their creative attitudes, their persuasiveness and adaptability, managing to resolve complicated issues through collaboration and multilateralism.
building a network
MUN activities take place within a group of students. No delegate can in fact act unilaterally and, to promote his or her interests, every MUNer has to confront and agree with others. This working method characterizes MUN even outside the simulation. Equally important are the convivial moments in which the participants can learn, build new friendships and share experiences, among themselves and with the guests involved in the project.
Involving students and enthusiasts from all over the Canton Ticino, as well as from other Swiss Cantons and from abroad, the conference becomes a learning community: getting to know each other, interacting, creating and maintaining contacts are not only a necessity but represent an ideal of community.
Over the next few years, we expect to host regularly a TI-MUN Conference in the fall semester. In a short time we want to become an active pole in promoting the project in the Ticino institutes (high schools, professional schools, USI and SUPSI) and in maintaining contacts between the delegates of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Synergies with educational institutions
The most evident parallelism with the work done in middle upper and professional schools as well as in universities is in the disciplines of Human Sciences. But if we consider the issues related to the environment, renewable energy sources or interculturality, migration and criminal justice it extends to almost all the subjects taught. Special synergies in the middle upper and professional sector could be developed around the teaching of English, the official language of most MUN conferences and projects.
The TI-MUN project can play an important role in the context of civic education and citizenship education: the way debates are conducted has in fact strong similarities with the work of municipal councils and parliaments. To identify concrete solutions and to promote a multilateral approach is at the basis of civil coexistence while the need for documentation work is fundamental to develop a critical and constructive approach to the problems of the present time.
Participation in other MUN conferences
Once the project has been consolidated in the Ticino area, we want to make use of the accumulated experiences to form a team of students wishing to participate in MUN activities proposed by Swiss and international associations.
To speak about the UN means to talk about current issues and to promote the topics on the agenda of the General Assembly. This all implies contacting experts in the mentioned fields. These contacts can be put to use not only during the MUN Conferences, but also through ad hoc lessons in schools, evening meetings and continuous education courses for Ticino teachers.