Investing in future generations? Here’s why MUN’s are key

Dear reader,

Thank you for stopping by. I wanted to write a post addressing the current situation and its effects on our organization from my view. At the heart of my message is a hope that we can meet again soon. Until then, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Kunnes tapaamme jälleen,

Marika, President of FinMUN

Through play, we learn

As a result of the ongoing crisis, many MUN conferences around the world have been forced to cancel or be postponed until a later date. Although upsetting, this is, of course, a necessary action at this time. For us, however, it also means that we must now do our utmost best to prioritise avoiding losing a generation of young people learning about the United Nations. Our response to closed borders must be to nourish international relations between young people through MUN activities; to foster co-operation, diplomacy and dialogue.

In MUN conferences around the world, hundreds of young adults take up the role of the World Health Organisation to tackle hypothetical challenges very similar to the one we are dealing with currently. When students walk in the shoes of WHO, a country or another body of UN at a Model UN conference, the effects are deeply valuable not only to that individual, who develops a multitude of skills, insights, and international friendships that last over a lifetime; but also because MUN provides thousands of young people the platform to realise the complexity as well as the fragility of international relations and decision-making. They also come to understand that they hold the potential to make a positive impact to the world through their actions. And acknowledging that can shape the way they decide to influence the communities around them in a profound way.

When two people are together, they are not two but six: what each one is, what each one thinks he or she is, and what each one thinks the other is. And what is true for people is also true for countries and organisations.”

It is urgent, that as a global community we must now work together to tackle the challenges that affect us all. This enables us to work towards significant advancements in policy, healthcare, the environment, business, production and education around the world productively. MUN is a platform for developing the skills necessary to deliver on these aims.

We need funding, today and tomorrow

We at FinMUN increasingly aim to equalize opportunities to attend excursions abroad so no one is left behind due to financial constraints, and to be able to attend our conference with a deducted fee – but this can only be made possible if we are able to cover the costs through our funders. We also use funds to cover the necessary core costs that keep our organization alive, to purchase materials for our activities, and as of late, to strengthen opportunities to expand our activities in a digital format. I want to extend our thank yous to the Ministry of Education and Culture through the UN Youth of Finland as well as Jenny and Antti Wihuri’s foundation, in particular, for your past and present support to our organization. We are grateful for the opportunities presented to us that enable us to carry on our activities, and remove economic obstacles from all students who wish to take part. We look forward to working together with foundations across the board that help make them happen for 2020-2021.

A couple of words about our activities over the past year

The board of FinMUN 2019-2020: Heidi, Gur, Mariel, William, Pihla, Matti, and Yedil have all done a great job this past year. Special thank yous also go to Grete, Julia, Nour and all other FinMUN alumni who have been paving the way for the Finnish MUN community, as well as the UN Youth of Finland. Your teamwork and outpour of support have been an absolute delight. Working together with other MUN’s around the world has also been the key to FinMUN’s activities over the years. A special shoutout goes to the individuals and teams behind the MUN’s in Sweden, whom with it’s been a privilege to work together with in the past, present and future.

What a whirlwind of a year it has been. The 2019-2020 term for FinMUN is not something any one of us could have predicted at the beginning of the year. From stable and steady waters, to then suddenly finding ourselves at the heart of a storm – one outside of anyone’s control and one no one can yet predict when and how it might end. But we are adjusting to this new reality. We packed away our plans for this spring and put them away to wait for better days. Perhaps the world is ready for those plans to be unpacked in the Autumn, perhaps later than that. However, in the middle of this atmosphere of uncertainty, we are also looking at ways to digitalize our activities. And what I can say, is that when the time is right, we hope that the community will only come back stronger. We will meet again; over breakfast with Embassies based in Finland where you can enquire on foreign politics and find out more about their Ambassadors’ fascinating careers, at exciting excursions to conferences abroad, and at the FinMUN conference in Helsinki that brings people together from all corners of the world. But for now, we strive for ways to adapt to this new normal.

Going forward

The time available we can use to plan and execute activities for our members, so a generation who is knowledgeable about the United Nations is borne out of this isolation. Our future conferences will be nothing short of extraordinary; perhaps taking place in a new digital format, at least for the time being, to protect the world’s health until we have a cure. But we will meet again, and we look forward to meeting all of you, whether that be virtually or in real life.

From myself, I want to thank you once more for being a part of this journey, supporting us in ways big and small, and finally, leave you with a quote from former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan:

More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that is why we have the United Nations.” 

Want to be part of the board or help organise events? Get in touch by shooting us an email at We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!