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Countries to be included in a MUN
There are 193 Member States of the UN. When choosing the countries for your Model UN, there are various considerations:
- The number of participants: each Model UN delegation should ideally have two members.
- The Model UN agenda: you should choose countries that will be relevant to the issue(s) you have chosen for your event. For example, a resolution on access to water should include countries from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Australasia, among others. The countries that you choose should have divergent interests, meaning that they will disagree about the issue under discussion.
- Geographical spread: you should aim for a geographically wide range of countries, including at least one country from each continent. The countries that you choose should come from different areas of the continent – for example, if you only choose two African states, do not choose two West African states.
- Economic spread: you should aim to include developed and developing countries.
- Political spread: you should aim to include countries representing contrasting political and economic systems, including both democracies and dictatorships, as well as pro- and anti-Western countries.
- States in conflict: where states have a major current, or historical, disagreement, you should not include only one of them. For example, if you decide to include India, you should also include Pakistan.
- ‘Mediator’ states: although you should include states with divergent interests, you should also include some neutral states that can act as catalysts or mediators in order to achieve a consensus acceptable to all. States such as Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland can play this role.
- Permanent five: you should include the Permanent Five members of the Security Council (although no country has a veto in the General Assembly) – China, France, the Russian Federation, the UK and USA.
- EU Council Presidency: you should include the country holding the EU Council Presidency, which can speak on behalf of the whole EU on most General Assembly issues. To find out which country currently holds the EU Council Presidency, click here.
- Don’t forget the ‘little’ states: Model UNs have a tendency to stick to the ‘big’ states, like always using Nigeria, South Africa or Egypt to represent Africa. It can be more interesting and a bit more challenging to use smaller or simply less-well known states that fulfil the same geographic or other criteria.