Embedding the SDGs into your MUN conference is a relatively simple task. Making intentional connections between the SDGs and what you debate, the guest speakers you invite, and some of the extra things that make your conference pop with SDG awareness. We’ve hyperlinked some examples and resources to get you started.
Pick one of the SDGs to be your driving theme. Some SDGs are vast, complex, and touch on a variety of different areas. Some conferences are experimenting with theming their entire conference around not just ONE SDG, but each committee being focused on ONE SDG and all topics related to that one Goal.
If you have multiple committees, and multiple issues within those committees, make a plan to have at least ONE debate topic related to the theme per committee. Exploring the SDG Targets will yield numerous ideas for issues before the UN, backed by data and fantastic resources. Click on the images below to see the Administrative Handbook. Debate topics are listed on page 8-9. (UNODC mandates focus primarily on SDG 16)
Research and Reports
If your conference provides research/chair reports as part of delegate’s preparation, ensure that you are making clear SDG linkages to that issue, and citing UN sources. Most SDG targets are driven by data, so ensure that you are including links to data-driven resources. The SDG tracker is a great place to start.
Your keynote speaker should be linked in some way to your theme and selected SDG. If your speaker can make explicit linkages to the SDGs, ask them to include that.
Show SDG-related Videos
Kick off your opening (or individual committees) with a relevant short video addressing the SDG. The Worlds Largest Lesson and Project Everyone have great videos on a variety of topics. We also have a number of videos on our website that have worked well in past conferences.
Add a new or specially themed committee so that all the topics associated with it are linked to the SDG. You could call this “Special Committee on Gender Empowerment” for SDG 5, or “Advisory Committee on Global Water Issues” linked to SDG 6. You could also add a committee like UNESCO and delve into a variety of SDGs that fall under UNESCO’s purview. You could also experiment with adding a Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Committee (CCPCJ). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has developed MUN materials to help delegates run a CCPCJ, which focuses heavily on SDG 16. Check out the E4J MUN Guide for more information.
MUN Impact Zone
Set up a MUN Impact Zone at your conference and let schools or delegations share the work they are doing to support the SDGs. Perhaps your school’s Habitat for Humanity club would like to share the work they have done (That’s SDG 11, by the way), or a visiting delegation has a strong Amnesty International student chapter they would like to share (SDG 10 and 16). Maybe your MUN club raised funds for water sanitation program (SDG 6). Set up a place at your conference to highlight the REAL work of REAL delegates for REAL support of an SDG. Encourage networking and a sharing of ideas.
Make sure each participant in the Impact Zone can link their work to an SDG and that they can clearly articulate that to others.
Social Media Campaign
There are numerous UN and NGO-driven social media campaigns that you can tap into. Adopt one that aligns to your theme/SDG. If you can notify the agency or NGO and let them know what you are doing, they might be able to suggest additional resources and to share your work into their networks. This SDG 5 #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign, driven by the Spice Girls video remake, is an easy addition to a Gender Equality and Empowerment themed conference.
— THIMUN Qatar (@THIMUN_Qatar) February 5, 2018
Whatever you decide, make the linkages to the SDGs clear and unambiguous.