MAC Bilbao will be organized and run by Anthony Speca. Anthony is the founder and manager of Polar Aspect, a consultancy focused on Arctic public policy. From 2008 to 2011, he lived and worked in the Canadian Arctic as a senior policy official with the Government of Nunavut, and he continues to publish and speak on a range of Arctic issues.
Anthony also teaches Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Norwich School, one of the UK's leading independent schools. Outside of class, he oversees the school's extension programmed for pupils applying to Oxford and Cambrishe, and he supervises MUN and other youth diplomacy - including NORMAC, the world's first secondary-school-level Model Arctic Council.
Whilst schools with experience of MUN may find some aspects of the Arctic Council familiar, it does offer an exciting new format of model diplomacy. The Arctic Council is unusual not only in promoting the active involvement of indigenous peoples alongside states, but also in making all decisions by consensus rather than majority vote. The Arctic Council is also well-known for collegiality and consensus-building even during times of tension between participants elsewhere in the World - valuable lessons for delegates to learn.
MAC Bilbao will run alongside MUN Bilbao, sharing the Opening Ceremony and the final General Assembly session and Closing Ceremony. During the rest of the conference, the MAC delegates will be in Working groups, the Senior Arctic Officers' meeting and the Ministers' meeting.
There are two Working Groups which will debate one topic each. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) will debate the Question of Methane Hydrates and Climate Change, whilst the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) will debate the Question of Broadband Connectivity in Arctic Communities. Each delegation consists of two delegates, each one sitting in one of the Working Groups. They will then sit together in the Senior Arctic Officers' Meeting where one of the delegates is the Senior Arctic Officer and then in the Minsters' Meeting, where the second delegate is the Minister.
A Delegates' Guide and Research Report will be provided to delegates before Christmas 2017.
The first Working Group session will start with Opening Statements from the delegates. The remainder of the first session and the second session will be used to draft resolutions. More than one resolution can be drafted on each topic. These resolutions will then be presented in the Senior Arctic Officers' Meeting for debate and amendments.
Saturday Morning will start with Pre-Ministerial Briefings where Dr. Speca will speak individually to each Minister. Delegations will then have some free time to prepare theirselves before the Ministerial Meeting starts at 2pm. During this meeting, the prepared resolutions will be debated and if time allows, a new topic of 'The EU as an Arctic Council Observer' will be brought up for discussion.
On Sunday, the Arctic Council delegations will join the GA session where the Bilbao Declaration (final resolutions) will be presented.