Last year, ten students from the Pomor State University (PSU) in Arkhangelsk took part in the seminar, and this year the cooperation expanded. After two months of  intense studying of the UN structures and organs, human rights, politics, and peace and security, 80 students from 17 nations gathered in Arkhangelsk to put an end to world conflicts.
The Model United Nations is an activity in which students play  the roles of foreign diplomats, including all the necessary preparations before a simulated session of the UN Security Council. Based on a scenario, the participants research the different states’ perspectives before they debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions.
This year, 40 students from Tromsø and the same amount of students from Arkhangelsk prepared themselves at their respective universities before they all met in the Russian city. A quick briefing was held before the main event – the session of the “UN Security Council”
As the conference sought to be as realistic as possible, the well prepared participants dressed appropriately, debated in correspondence with UN procedures and engaged in intense lobbying. According to the students, one challenge was to develop diplomatic skills, which include rhetoric techniques. Although they had no background in diplomacy, they learned it “the hard way” during the conference. One example was when the president gave a reprimand to representatives of Qatar for being too direct and demanded an official apology to USA and Great Britain.
This year’s constructed scenario was the tense situation in Georgia caused by Abkhazia’s seeking international recognition for its secession from Georgia and unification with Russia. The student’s assignment was then to work out and propose a solution to this possible violent conflict. After two intense days the hard working “Security Council” passed a resolution and established an international peacekeeping force for the area.
As the first university in Norway, the UiT offers the Model UN as a 10 ECTS-credits course in English for Norwegian and international Master and Bachelor students. The Russo-Norwegian cooperation on Model UN took place within the framework of the “Bologna-project”, a grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The intention is that the course can be established at  PSU as