Karinthy Model United Nations (KarMUN) conferences are an educational activity in which students simulate the workings and protocols of the United Nations. Both the organizers and the participants are either studying in high school or at university. These MUNs involve researching, critical thinking, improving writing skills and public speaking about different issues of the world. They help students get acquainted with the world of diplomacy, debate current affairs, and understand the foundation of intercultural relations. Thus, the conferences also cater to building relationships between students that are interested in the world as it is today.
Students represent countries different from their own. During the debates, the delegates need to stick to the policies, beliefs and views of their represented country, even if it does not match their own opinions. The participating students also have to bear in mind the dress code – Western business attire – with a special emphasis regarding the Opening Ceremony, which is traditionally held in the Hungarian Parliament. The delegates sit in different committees, either in ones existing in the real United Nations too, or in ones specifically created for MUNs. The working process simulates the original system such as creating agenda, having debating sessions, drafting and passing resolutions and voting. Furthermore, committees might get the opportunity to go on a field trip to a professional setting with a presentation on one of their issues. These field trips and the guest speakers provide a deeper understanding of the issues. The main aim of the committees is to write and adapt a resolution, which is accepted by the majority of the delegations. On the third day, the General Assembly takes place, where some of the committees sit together in the school hall to discuss their previously adapted resolutions and share their ideas with the rest of the delegates.
KarMUN is a conference which has been organized annually since 2005, hosted by Karinthy Frigyes Bilingual Secondary School, in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. It was the first MUN conference in Hungary, and still one of the leading conferences in the Central-European region. Although 17 years ago the number of attendants was only 30 students, over the years this number has multiplied and now for the past two years we have received more than 250-300 students from all over the world.