The AMUN Lottery: Which Country Will You Choose?

Drawing the first school at the 2017 Country Assignment Lottery.

Each member of the General Assembly shall have one vote.

~UN Charter, Chapter 4, Article 18

Conference hasn’t even started, but here at AMUN, we are already making our plans for next. Information on next year’s dates, simulations and hotel will be available on our website soon. One of the most important things we’re doing right now is selecting the UN bodies we’ll be simulating next year. Schools attending AMUN should also be thinking about their plans for 2019, beginning with determining their approach to selecting their country(s) in the 2019 Country Lottery.

2019 AMUN Country Assignment Lottery

The first set of country assignments next year will take place at the Country Lottery during AMUN 2018. For each country a school would like to have assigned during the Lottery, a non-refundable $75 fee is due. The names of participating schools will be placed in the lottery drum and selected one at a time, with the school selecting choosing an available country to represent in 2019. Each school that requests one delegation will be entered in the first-round of the lottery; subsequent rounds will be held for schools that reserve more than one delegation.

AMUN’s country assignment philosophy is that group leaders themselves have the best understanding of their group’s ability to represent a certain country in the upcoming year. We believe this works better than the popular practice of conference leaders or staff determining who gets which country. Group leaders, rather than conference staff, are in the best position to know how many students are likely to be part of the next year’s group and those students’ level of experience. For example, if this year has been a rebuilding year with a lot of students new to Model UN, you might expect to have a group of experienced, seasoned students in in the subsequent year, thus enabling you to take on a more challenging or more extensive country assignment. On the other hand, if you have had a great year with a lot of experienced representatives who are graduating, that’s great, but consider that you may have a rebuilding year next year. You are also in a better position to know about institutional funding levels or class requirements, all considerations that may affect your school’s country selection.

The bottom line is that when choosing a country, we encourage you to think about how complicated representing a specific country will be and whether your school and your group of students will be well-suited to representing it.

Here are some things to consider when making your country wish list.
  • How many people does your group typically bring? Look at the minimum and maximum number of students for each country and choose one that you’ll be able to comfortably fill.
  • How experienced will your group be next year? Will your group be able to handle a Security Council country or one with a complex approach to international relations?
  • Is there a specific region of the world your group would like to focus on? Do you or your students have a particular interest or expertise in a region or issue?
  • Are there particular simulations that you want the opportunity to participate in?
  • If you will be selecting more than one country, consider the combination of countries that you might select–for example, do you want to aim for countries that might naturally work together, or ones that will allow your students to explore very different parts of the world?
Are there any limitations on a school’s selection?

AMUN has minimal requirements on delegations’ selection of countries, with the exception of schools that take a Permanent Five delegation or a country seated on a Security Council Simulation. Any school with a seat on a Security Council simulation must provide at least one, but preferably two representatives for each session of the simulation, including the first session on Saturday, the overnight crisis session on Monday, and the last session on Tuesday. Additionally, each Permanent Member of the Security Council must assign a representative in every simulation to which it is assigned. Failure to fulfill these basic obligations will disqualify the associated school from representing a country with a seat on any Security Council simulation (contemporary or Historical) the next year.

That’s it. There are no other limitations to your country selections—it’s the luck of the draw and the lottery drum (and, of course, your good judgment) that hold your fate.

Some final lottery tips

The lottery changes every year—that’s part of what makes it fun! A Permanent Five delegation isn’t always the first to be chosen, and every year there is a school convinced the system is rigged against them, only to be chosen first in the lottery the next year.

  • Fill out the lottery application completely!
  • Keep up with the country selections as the lottery takes place; this will help you make your selection quickly once your school is called.
  • Have a game plan if your top choices are taken. Countries seated on Security Council simulations tend to go quickly, but there are often special committee assignments available late into the first round.
  • There are usually about 75 countries taken in the first round of the lottery.
  • Keep your sense of humor as the number of schools in the first-round drum decreases. Someone has to be first…and someone has to be last.
  • There are no bad country assignments.
  • If you’re stuck on a country selection, ask one of our expert staff members to help you make your selection—we’ll be on hand.

We hope that you’ll consider these questions when making your delegation wish-list, and we’ll see you at the lottery on Monday 19 November.

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