A model United Nations delegation can be a fun project for every Social Studies class. The number of topics to research are more numerous than any teacher or class could think of. When looking for a topic just make sure that it is current, controversial, and global. If every student is having fun with it you probably will get more accomplished than the real U.N.
African Aid- Not many topics are as controversial as how to distibute aid to foreign countries, especially Africa. This discussion allows the students to research which countries should recieve the most aid and what problems these countries face in distribution. Have the students look at how aid is given now and why the current method is so inefficient.
Terrorism- Probably the biggest hot button issue around the world the last nine years has been terrorism. The students should discuss and understand the problems countries such as Pakistan and northern African states have when combating terrorism. They can then debate what each country should be able to do. Don’t overlook rougue countries such as North Korea and Iran and make sure to at least try to have representation of their point of view.
Human Rights- This issue has dropped off since Bill Clinton and even George Bush pushed China to allow more freedoms. But the issue is as real now as ever. Should countries such as China be allowed to dictate their citizens, or is the responsibility of the world to ensure basic rights and freedoms to all people? If you have balanced representation this topic can be very heated as many communist countries are successful.
Trade- Have the class research and discuss whether the most developed countries truly engage in fair and equal trade with their less developed counter parts. Are the rules in place there to help the rich at the expense of the poor? Or are the laws fair and equal as they are? Make sure the students recognize the issue of U.S. tariffs on many foreign goods.
There is just a very small sample of ideas that you can use in your class’s mock U.N. delegation. Remeber to have the students research and discover every possible side to their story and never let them forget that they represent the best interests of their respective country.