Country and Committee Assignments

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Part IIIa. Country and Committee Assignments

Most conferences consist of two or more bodies being simulated - each of these bodies is universally referred to as a committee regardless of whether it's actually a "committee", an "assembly", a "commission", etc. In the real world, countries are members of certain committees, but not all countries are members of all committees. To show which countries are on which committees, most conferences have set up a "country/committee matrix" to show teams that might come to their conference which countries are where. It might look something like this:

  General Assembly Security Council Economic and Social Council Total
Algeria X
X 2
Bhutan X

China X X X 3
France X X X 3
Germany X X X 3
India X
X 2
Mexico X

Pakistan X
X 2
Russia X X X 3
United States X X X 3

In this example, the conference is simulating three committees: The General Assembly (which has every country on it), the Security Council (which has only five of these countries on it) and the Economic and Social Council (which has eight of these countries on it). The "X" here means that the country is a member of that committee. Conferences usually simulate committees that have different members and different sizes of membership as well.

The team from the University of America, who wants to attend this conference, might have ten people attending, so they would request from the conference enough spots to have all ten of their people assigned. Let's say they requested (and were assigned) Algeria, China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan. So now the University of America has been assigned these five countries, but they still need to assign individuals to the country. They might make a matrix of their own, which would look something like this:

  General Assembly Security Council  Economic and Social Council 
Algeria Alex N/A  Brittany 
China David Emily George
India Heather N/A Josh
Mexico Leila N/A N/A 
Pakistan Mark N/A Noelle

In this example, the University of America has assigned its ten people to the various spots they have open. Alex is representing Algeria on the General Assembly, Brittany is representing Algeria on the Economic and Social Council, David is representing China on the General Assembly, and so on. Now each of them should look up the topics that the committee they're on will be discussing, and prepare accordingly, beginning with their research. When they get to the conference, they'll be in the committee with other committee members - which means that Alex, David, Heather, Leila and Mark will be in the same committee (as five different countries) and will most likely work with each other much more than Alex and Brittany will (even though both of them are representing Algeria) - because even though they're the same country, Alex and Brittany will be in two different rooms, representing Algeria's position on different issues.

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