Model UN Refugee Challenge

Worldwide, 70.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution. We believe that young people have a central role to play in finding ways to help them thrive, not just survive. 


Model United Nations (MUN) conferences taking place in 2020 are invited to join the MUN Refugee Challenge and debate one or more of the following issues: 

  • Climate change and displacement
  • Countering toxic narratives about refugees and migrants
  • Supporting the economic inclusion of refugees
  • Improving access to education for refugees

The resolutions that emerge from these debates will be put before a jury composed of UNHCR members, young refugee leaders and independent experts. Awards will be announced in 2021. The best ideas will be shared with policymakers and be promoted on UNHCR’s social media channels, which are followed by millions of people.

Join the Challenge


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can register for the MUN Refugee Challenge?

Any MUN organized in 2020 can take up the Challenge. The competition is open to MUNs at university and high-school level. MUN organizers are responsible for registering their group’s participation in the Challenge. Students taking part in MUNs as “delegates” cannot directly register themselves but can encourage their conference to take part in the Challenge. 

What are the conditions for joining the Challenge?

  1. Register your MUN’s participation
  2. Set up a committee to debate one or more of the Challenge’s topics.
  3. Ensure a minimum of 25 delegates are on your committee.
  4. Give one student the role of UNHCR delegate.
  5. Share the Challenge’s background material with delegates.
  6. Invite a UNHCR guest speaker. More info
  7. Tell others about the Challenge! More info
  8. Once your MUN conference is over, share your resolutions and tell us how things went. A submission form will be available in January 2020.

What committee should I set up to debate the Challenge’s topics?

You can either set up a UNHCR committee or debate the Challenge’s topics under other relevant committees, such as the General Assembly, ECOSOC or the Security Council.

What are the deadlines for registration?

There are four deadlines:

15 December 2019

Deadline for MUNs taking place from January-March 2020

15 March 2020

Deadline for MUNs taking place from April-June 2020

15 June 2020

Deadline for MUNs taking place from July-September 2020

15 September 2020

Deadline for MUNs taking place from October-December 2020

Can I register for the Challenge even though my MUN’s topics have already been identified? 

Yes. If your current topics align well with the Challenge’s themes, you can register for the Challenge. 

For example, if you are due to debate climate change, you can register this debate under the Challenge’s first topic > climate change and displacement. However, you must ensure that part of your debate touches on the displacement aspect of climate change, and only submit your most relevant resolutions to the Challenge for the jury’s consideration.

Can I invite a UNHCR guest speaker to introduce my MUN?

Yes. You are encouraged to invite a UNHCR guest speaker and we can help link you up to local UNHCR offices. However, we cannot guarantee the availability of our colleagues. Please contact Pauline Eluère at [email protected] for more information.

Can I promote my MUN’s participation in the Challenge?

Absolutely! Indeed, you are strongly encouraged to do so. Here are a few ways of going about it: 

  • Talk about the Challenge on your website and social media platforms. Use the hashtag: #MUNRefugeeChallenge. Follow and tag UNHCR’s social media platforms: @Refugees on Instagram, Twitter; @UNHCR on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Create your own content about the Challenge before and during your MUN conference (e.g. videos, photos and text). The best social videos created about the MUN Refugee Challenge will also win awards.
  • Share the Challenge’s promotional video on your platforms.
  • Reach out to local media outlets. Tell them about your participation in the Challenge and ask if they are interested in running a story about it. 
  • Use the Challenge’s official logo in your communications. Please do not use UNHCR’s official logo. Here you can download the blue version and the black version of the Challenge’s logo.

For any further questions about the MUN Refugee Challenge, please contact Pauline Eluère at [email protected]