Local versions of the Model Arctic Council have taken place in locations such as Arkhangelsk and Rovaniemi, but this is the first truly international version of this format.
Seventy students from Arctic communities worldwide were selected to work toward real solutions to Arctic challenges and present draft resolutions and a report to the Senior Arctic Officials assembly at the end of their week-long session.
At the final presentation on March 14, participating students read out their declaration, and received certificates of completing the Model Arctic Council, as well as awards for outstanding performances. In their speeches, both students and attending dignitaries emphasized the importance of mutual trust, compromises, personal connections and listening to each other in solving challenges together. US Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, SAO Chair David Balton, UArctic President Lars Kullerud and UAF Chancellor Emeritus Brian Rogers all expressed their pride in the work of the Model Arctic Council students, and hoped to see them carry the lessons forward to their future careers.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks' Arctic and Northern Studies program director Mary Ehrlander said Model Arctic Council helps college students learn about the process by discussing the problems it seeks to resolve.
“We're thrilled at the breadth of participation in the MAC and that students will be tackling actual Arctic Council priorities,” she said. “These students are going to be tomorrow's leaders in the Arctic. It's exciting to envision the recognition that the program will bring to UAF as a leading research university in the North.”
For more information see the Model Arctic Council page at UAF.