Naiara Gil, Minister, Denmark: The 19th of April, Wednesday, four fourth of ESO students and two second of Bachillerato students, along with Nicola Dignum, MUN Director, went on a night flight to Stansted to attend the first ever Norwich Model Arctic Council conference, hosted by Norwich School in Norwich, Norfolk. Before they made it to Norwich, they spent a brilliant day in Cambridge visiting all the university's buildings and the Polar Museum, and they were even given a guided punting tour through the river Cam.
Sofia, Naiara, Eugenia, Ane, Laura and Rosie
After visiting the city, the girls travelled to Norwich the following Friday to attend the conference that started that same evening with a opening ceremony. Saturday morning was spent creating the resolutions in the Working Groups, and that same afternoon they were debated in the Senior Arctic Officers' meeting, where Sofia was representing the Kingdom of Denmark and Ane was the SAO of the Saami Council. The last day was entirely dedicated to the Ministerial meeting, where the Naiara and Rosie represented the Ministries of Denmark and the Saami Council. Lastly, during the closing ceremony, the Saami Council won the award to the best delegation, but the girls from Denmark were really close to winning one too! Overall, the girls loved this new experience and they are really wishing to go back next year.
Naiara speaking as the Minister for Denmark
Sofía Echezarra, Senior Arctic Officer for Denmark: One of my best and most fruitful experiences of my scholar life has been attending the NORMAC conference at Norwich. It has been the first time that I have participated in a conference as a delegate and it has impressed me how interesting and fun it has been. I have represented the Kingdom of Denmark and my working group has been SDWG, where we have debated the issue of the access to education for arctic children. Besides learning interesting information about my country and about the challenges that the indigenous people have to face to receive a good education I have learned valuable skills of speaking, debating and listening, I have seen how difficult it can be to achieve consensus between all States, I have improved my English and I have meet lots of interesting persons.
Sofia, as the Senior Arctic Officer, with Naiara and Eugenia
Taking advantage of our trip to England before the conference we spent two nights at Cambridge and there our MUN director surprised us by taking us to the Scott Polar Research Institute, where we increased our knowledge about the Arctic and by taking us punting. While we were punting a woman told us Cambridge’s history and we enjoyed it a lot. I have founded both Cambridge and Norwich very charming and beautiful cities with very nice and friendly citizens. I am very sad that the conference is over but also happy for all the positive aspects that I have gained thanks to it and I would definitely wish I could come back next year. And for those who have never attend a conference I encourage you to do it as it is an amazing experience.
Punting in Cambridge
Eugenia Eguia, Delegate, Denmark: Last weekend we attended the first official NORMAC conference that was held in Norwich school. The conference was a simulation of the Arctic council and I was representing the kingdom of Denmark with Sofia Echezarra and Naiara Gil. The conference was great! We all had an amazing time and we made lot of new friends. I was in the working group of AMAP in which we debate and discuss a resolution that could resolve climate change and arctic wetlands.There were 2 more working groups which were PAME (about fisheries) and SWDG (about education).
Before attending the conference we stayed 2 nights at Cambridge. We visited the Arctic museum, cambridge university and we also went through the Cambridge river, in which we learn a lot about all the colleges that were there like kings or trinity. I totally recomend this experience. I have learned a lot about what is really happening in the Arctic and what all Arctic states and permanent groups think about it. Also the conference was quite small so there was a familiar atmosphere which made us feel really comfortable.
Visiting the Scott Polar Museum in Cambridge
Laura Olaortua, Delegate, The Saami Council: Last weekend, from the 19th to the 24th of April, we went on an amazing trip to Norwich to attend the first Normac conference never before done in the world. Before arriving Norwich, we stayed a couple of days in Cambridge visiting the city. We all fell in love with the wonderful and enormous university. Everybody was very friendly and we were very happy there!
We bought Cambridge University sweatshirts!
After visiting Cambridge, we arrived to Norwich to attend the conference. The conference was about the Arctic and the problems that it has. This conference was divided in three working groups: AMAP, PAME and SWDG. I was from the AMAP and we discussed topics related with the climate change and the wetlands, all related with the point of view of the indigenous people that I represented, called the Saami Council. It has been an incredible experience, we have learnt a lot of things and we made a lot of friends. Everything was very well organized and the school was amazing. I recommend this experience to everybody because it teaches you a lot of things and makes you stronger.
The Arctic Council
Ane Goikoetxea, Senior Arctic Officer, The Saami Council: Hi my name is Ane and i'm 15 years old. Last weekend we went to Norwich, a small town near London to attend a new conference (NORMAC) hosted in Norwich school. All the students were divided in committees such as PAME, AMAP and SWDG. I was in PAME and we discussed the question of commercial fishing. Also, there were different delegations and my delegation was representing the Saami Council but there were also students representing the Arctic States. We all had a great time during the conference and we learn so many things about what is happening in the Arctic.
Ane, as the Senior Arctic Officer, with Laura and Rosie
Before going to Norwich we spent two days in Cambridge visiting the city, we went to the Arctic Museum and we visited all the amazing Universities. Im very pleased to have taken part in this conference i hope will repeat this amazing experience!!
Visiting Christ College
Rosie Tregenza, Minister, The Saami Council: Last 19th of April, six 4th ESO and bachillerato students left to go to the first ever Model Arctic Council, which was hosted by Norwich school. Model Arctic Council is very similar to MUN, but in one conference you have a minister and a Senior Arctic officer (Sao) and the other one you have an ambassador, respectively. We had 2 delegations, Denmark and the Saami council. Before the conference, we visited Cambridge, where we visited the Polar Research Museum. It was interesting to learn about the conditions the explorers live in. After, we went punting, where a very nice tour guide told us about the different colleges and their rivalries. By that point in time we were starving so we went to a cafe were they sold sandwiches and hot drinks for a very reasonable price. Afterwards, we went shopping on the local high street, and some of us bought some clothes. To end the day we went to the hotel and finished doing our research. On the Friday morning we left Cambridge to go to Norwich, where a fabulous dinner awaited us. There we got to meet new people, with whom we were going to have to work with the next day. Then Saturday came a long, and truth be told we had no idea about how the conference was ran, so we spent most of the time wondering what was going to happen next . That afternoon we had the Sao's meeting where Ane Goikoetxea and Sofia Echezarra led our delegations. They debated all the resolutions that the working groups, or in MUN what we call Committees, had produced. They thankfully approved all resolution, so that the Ministers could debate it. On Sunday, the final day of the conference, it was the Ministers turn to debate the resolutions. The ministers were Naiara Gil and Rosie Tregenza. With a few amendments we passed all 3 resolutions! After that, the saddest part of the conference came, the closing ceremony. There, Dr Anthony Speca thanked us for coming as we were the only school from abroad . Then awards came along, and to our surprise the Saami council won best delegation!
Rosie accepting the Best Delegation award for the Saami Council
The Saami Council
The Denmark Delegation