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Norwich School Blog

NORMAC 2019 report by Chief Rapporteur Arjun Kamath

NORMAC is the only stand-alone secondary-school Model Arctic Council in the world today. Pupils play the roles of delegates from Arctic states and—unusually in model diplomacy—indigenous peoples. Their challenge is to negotiate consensus on some of the most pressing questions facing not only the Arctic and its communities but by extension our world as a whole.

Now in its fourth year, NORMAC once again delivered an exceptional conference to pupils and teachers from across the country. NORMAC 2019 took place from Thursday 28th February to Sunday 3rd March, it was the most extensive NORMAC yet, involving a third day of diplomatic meetings. Norwich School is proud to be longstanding hosts of this prestigious event, enabling the conference to take place in the historic buildings in The Close. 

NORMAC 2019 Chief Rapporteur and Norwich School pupil, Arjun Kamath (L6B), reports on the conference: 

"NORMAC 2019 was a fantastic experience. It was the perfect opportunity for those interested in diplomacy or current affairs to channel their knowledge and passion into coming up with solutions that could be applied to deal with the very real and concerning problems the Arctic faces.

NORMAC this year started in the magnificent Birkbeck Hall in The Great Hospital, where NORMAC Director Dr Anthony Speca gave an engaging and informative presentation of the Arctic and what he experienced whilst living and working in the Canadian Arctic.

The next 3 days of the conference were followed by insightful discussions and lots of co-operation in order to achieve general consensus. It’s the need for full consensus amongst delegates, and the fact that indigenous peoples are also represented alongside states, that makes NORMAC so unique and exciting for those participating. But it wasn’t only the depth of the discussions that made NORMAC enjoyable, but also the fact that the NORMAC Secretariat made sure all the delegates had fun, which is equally important in having a productive and enjoyable experience.

On Saturday night, Dr Speca and NORMAC Deputy Director Mr Tom White organised a fantastic formal dinner at The Assembly House, which was delightful as the delicious food was also accompanied by an intriguing keynote speech by Dr David Rose of the University of East Anglia about the challenges of making evidence-based government policy in a world of ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’. Dinner was then followed by an entertaining ‘Arctic Pub Quiz’.

Although unfortunately NORMAC went by so quickly, what really impressed me as the Chief Rapporteur was the diversity of the discussion, and how remarkably detailed the three resolutions that the delegates established were, indicating how NORMAC not only encourages participants to pay attention to detail but also incentivises people who have never met each other before to create relationships that go a long way.

Considering this was my first NORMAC and the first for many others, the dynamic and firm organisation as well as the passionate commitment of the school and organisers reflected very well not only for me but for countless other participant and advisors; all of whom gave very positive and encouraging feedback about this year’s conference.

It goes without saying that although NORMAC 2019 may be over, the anticipation and excitement for NORMAC 2020 only awaits!  If you or your school are interested in participating in NORMAC 2020, you can learn more about it and register early interest at www.normac.org."

 

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