Last month, Model UN members from countries including Belgium, Congo, France, Germany, Madagascar, South Africa, South Korea and the United States — all in Israel this year for studies abroad — joined Israeli Jewish and Arab peers at Ariel University for the first-ever MUN Debate Competition in Israel.

“The conference consisted of at least one student from each continent, which is really wonderful to see,” says Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science major Michael Polevoy, vice president of Ariel University Model UN (ArMUN). “Israel is networking with tomorrow’s world leaders.”

Polevoy said the one-of-a-kind event used some of the latest simulation technology.

The 70 delegates were divided into groups of three, each representing a state on the committee determining ways in which the growing threat of cyber terrorism should be dealt with.

Competitors were divided into two rooms, the formal discussion room and the research room. In the discussion room, one representative from each country negotiated with the other countries. In the research room, two representatives of the other countries watched the discussion room live and conducted research accordingly to assist their representative in the formal discussion room.

Participants in the first-ever MUN Debate Competition in Israel. Photo courtesy of ArMUN

The contestants all had to present research, spoken and written material, in English, aiming toward a unanimous committee decision on how to deal with cyber threats. The winners of the April debate competition were a team from Tel Aviv University (first place) and a mixed team from Tel Aviv University and IDC (second place).

The Israeli Model UN Association includes groups active on 13 academic campuses. In August 2018, the TLVMUN will host an international Model UN conference.