MUN Bilbao, as well as debating real problems that affect the World, would also like to help tackle a problem through more positive action.

Therefore, every year MUN Bilbao will choose a NGO or organisation that is linked to one of the topics discussed and debated during the conference and will donate a sum of money to them. For every person who registers to attend the conference, two euros of their registration fee will be donated.

For the 2022 conference, MUN Bilbao will be supporting the organization Save the Children. This organisation was the first global movemnet for children, boldly declaring that children have rights. Nowadays, it champions the rights of the world´s 2.3 billion children. This NGO works in over 100 countries to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. It believes that every child deserves a future.

Please feel free to visit its website to find out more: Save the Children – Basque Country

Sustainable Development Goals: 1 – No Poverty, 2 – Zero Hunger, 3 – Good Health and Well-being and 4 – Quality Education.

MUN Bilbao 2022 raised 386 euros for Save the Children.

Previous NGOs supported by MUN Bilbao:

MUN Bilbao 2017 raised 530 euros for Room to Read (

MUN Bilbao 2018 raised 840 euros for Deliveraid (

MUN Bilbao 2019 raised 874 euros for IndustriALL Global Union (

MUN Bilbao 2020 raised 1847.20 euros for the Thirst Project (

MUN Bilbao is for school students, not university students. It is open to Observers who wish to come and watch the conference and find out how MUN works. Observers do need to pay the registration fee.

MUN Bilbao’s general theme is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.

Prior to the conference:

1. A school needs to create groups containing four or five students and these groups are called delegations. Each delegation will represent one member (country) of the United Nations (UN). The students are called delegates, with one delegate being the Ambassador of that country. There is no limit to how many delegations a school can send to the conference.

2. Having formed a delegation, the delegates must look in the Menu under ‘Members’ to see what countries are available. There is a chart which shows which committees each member can sit on and, if necessary, which committees they have to sit on (in bold). To see which topics will be discussed in each committee, please look in the menu under ‘Committees and Topics’. There will be three topics for each committee and two for the Security Council. Please note that if a Security Council country is chosen, the delegation can be formed of six delegates.

3. Each committee will have two students who are responsible for controlling the committee, ensuring all the delegates are following the rules and that the debate flows smoothly. These two students are called Chairs and applications for Committee Chairs are very welcome. For more information on how to chair, please look in the Menu under Preparation/Chairs. Interested students must complete the bottom half of the Delegation registration form which can be found by looking in the Menu under Participate. If a Chair application is rejected, the student will be able to attend the conference as a delegate. Chairs will be responsible for providing Research Reports for the delegates in their committee and checking the delegates´ Position Papers.

4. Having chosen a member to represent, the delegates now decide which delegate is going to sit on which committee for that member. The delegation can now register for the conference. In the Menu, go to Registration and complete a Registration Form for each delegation. One delegate is also the Ambassador of the delegation.

5. Once the delegation’s registration has been accepted, they can now start researching. The delegation first researches the member they are representing, then starts researching the topics they will be debating in their committees. It is important to remember that everything said and written must be from the member’s point of view, not the delegate’s personal point of view. Delegates must read their Chairs´ Research reports. For further advice on research, please go to the Menu and look under Preparation/Delegates. 

6. Each delegate also has to prepare a Position Paper to be submitted to their committee before the conference. To find out more on how to prepare a Position Paper, please look in the Menu under Preparation/Delegates. If a Position Paper is not submitted, the delegate will not be considered for awards.

7. Having researched the member and the topics of the delegate’s committee, each delegate now chooses at least one of their committee’s topics and prepares a Resolution. It is completely up to the delegate if they wish to write more than one Resolution. To find out more on how to write a Resolution, please look in the Menu under Preparation/Delegates.  Each delegate must bring with them paper copies of their resolution to hand out during Lobbying (about 15 copies).

8. The Ambassador of the delegation has to prepare a Speech for the Opening Ceremony. For further advice, please look in the Menu under Preparation/Ambassadors. 

9. The delegation also needs to prepare stationary to use for note passing during committees and General Assembly. For further advice on preparing stationary, please go to Preparation/Delegates. 

During the conference:

1. On Thursday afternoon, the Ambassador and MUN Advisor must register their arrival and collect their welcome packs. 

2. Buses will take everyone to the Opening Ceremony, to be held in the Paraninfo of Deusto University in Bilbao (to be confirmed). The Ceremony will start with Opening speeches which will be followed by Ambassadors’ speeches.

3. Once the ceremony ends, we will attend the Welcome Cocktail, in the same location (to be confirmed), before all the buses return everyone to the hotels.

4. On Friday morning, delegates will start with Lobbying Topic A in their committees. This is an informal session where delegates need to gain support for their resolutions by collecting seven signatures from other delegates in the committee. Please be aware that of the seven signatures, there is a maximum of two signatures from delegates of your school which are permissible. Upon arrival at the Lobbying session, each delegate will be given a Signature sheet by the Chairs. Having gained seven signatures, the delegate takes the resolution and the Signature sheet to the Approval Panel. At the same time, other delegates will be looking for your signature for their resolution. Delegates can only sign two resolutions on the same topic.  

5. If you decide to merge your resolution with other delegates, please note you can only merge with a maximum of two other delegates and you must all be from different schools. If you wish to merge with more than two delegates, the extra delegates must be co-submitters rather than main submitters. If merging, you only require five signatures from other delegates before going to the Approval Panel.

6. The Approval Panel is responsible for checking that each resolution meets the requirements with regards to punctuation, layout, the words used to start clauses and that the resolution reads well. The Approval Panel is not responsible for checking the validity of the content. If a resolution is approved, it is returned to the Chairs of the committee to be debated. If a resolution is rejected, it will be returned to the delegate to be corrected and resubmitted.

7. The second session of Friday morning is when delegates debate Topic A on their committee.

8. After lunch, the afternoon session will comprise of lobbying and debating Topic B in committees. To see more information on the process and rules of debating, please look in the Menu under Preparation/Delegates. 

9. There is no social event on Friday evening so you are free to entertain yourselves. 

10. The session on Saturday morning continues with lobbying and debating Topic C in committees.

11. The session on Saturday afternoon will involve debating resolutions on any topic in committees. There is also an optional Mass late afternoon.

12. The main social event of the conference takes place on Saturday evening. It consists of a formal Black Tie event. For more details, please look in the Menu under Social. 

13. On Sunday morning, the General Assembly will take place, which will involve debating one resolution from each committee (excluding the Security Council, the Arctic Council and the ICJ).

14. This session will be followed by the Closing Ceremony and speeches. Lunch will be provided before departure.

15. For those sitting on the Arctic Council, relevant material explaining how it works will be made available to you before Christmas.

This committee is concerned with the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. 

The topics to be discussed will be announced.  

This committee is open to students under 15 years of age.

  • TOPIC A: The question of the negative impact of alcohol on health and life expectancy.
  • TOPIC B: The question of the implementation of measures against illicit use of the internet.
  • TOPIC C: The question of the importance of a good education for girls and women of poor or discriminatory countries such as Afganistan


Model Arctic Council Bilbao (MAC Bilbao) is a simulation of the real-world Arctic Council.  Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is devoted to advancing international cooperation and good governance across the Arctic. Around its table sit not only the Arctic States—Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA—but also Arctic Indigenous peoples organisations representing the Aleut, Athabaskans, Gwich’in, Inuit, Saami and the many peoples of the Russian North.

Held at Colegio Ayalde in the vibrant cultural capital of Bilbao, Spain, MAC Bilbao is one of the few diplomatic simulations of its kind in the world ever held at secondary-school level. Before becoming an educator, MAC Bilbao Director Dr Anthony Speca lived and worked in the Arctic as a senior policy official with the Government of Nunavut, one of Canada’s Arctic territories. Since 2016, he has launched a number of Polar Aspect MAC conferences, both in-person and online, in order to share his enthusiasm for the Arctic with youth, and in the hope of inspiring them to learn more about this unique region and its peoples.

Whilst pupils with experience of Model United Nations may find some aspects of the conference familiar, MAC Bilbao offers 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 life after school.


Participation in MAC Bilbao is open to pupils from any secondary-school around the world. Schools are invited to send one or more delegations of two pupils each to play the role of representatives from one of the eight Arctic States or six Arctic Indigenous peoples organisations. As with most other model diplomacy conferences, MAC Bilbao delegates are usually aged 15 to 18, though some may be younger.

At the MAC Bilbao conference, delegates will grapple with the challenge of reaching consensus on some of the most pressing challenges facing the Arctic, and by extension the world as a whole. Whether an experienced ‘MUN-er’ or a newcomer to model diplomacy, all prospective delegates can take advantage of Polar Aspect’s online OMAC Delegate Training as part of their preparations for MAC Bilbao, should an OMAC Delegate Training round be scheduled.

However, no special training, or even prior experience of the Arctic or of model diplomacy, is necessary to participate in MAC Bilbao. Delegates will be provided with a Delegate Guide and Research Guide in good time to help them prepare.  The MAC Bilbao Secretariat will also be on hand before and during the conference to answer any questions.  Scheduled ‘reflection’ sessions will help delegates pause to consider the progress of the conference, and to transform their experiences into learning.

Since MAC Bilbao operates by the rule of consensus, delegates will find their diplomatic skills stretched and improved.  Unlike at other model diplomacy conferences, MAC Bilbao delegates do not debate pre-prepared resolutions.  Rather, they rise to the challenge of negotiating mutually agreeable ‘declarations’ in real time. To assist with the process of consensus building, each delegation is requested to provide a very brief discussion paper a week or two ahead of the conference, which will be circulated to other delegations.


Just as the Arctic Council is unique amongst international organisations, MAC Bilbao is unique amongst diplomatic simulations. Four characteristics make MAC Bilbao special:
  • Consensus. All decisions of MAC Bilbao, whether substantive or procedural, must be made unanimously. There is no option for a majority vote even if consensus is elusive. For this reason, MAC Bilbao delegates do not debate preprepared resolutions, nor lobby for signatures as at Model United Nations. Rather, they rise to the challenge of negotiating mutually agreeable declarations in real time.
  • Collaboration. The Arctic Council has a reputation for collegiality. The MAC Bilbao Secretariat exists only to facilitate cooperation between delegates, who are encouraged to use their privilege to discuss issues and negotiate solutions informally. There will also be time for spontaneous interaction with other delegates between meeting rounds and during breaks. Cultivating positive working relationships with other delegates is important.
  • Indigenous participation. Unusually in model diplomacy, MAC Bilbao delegates have the opportunity to play the roles of Arctic Indigenous peoples’ organisations, as well as Arctic States. Playing such a role illuminates what small but determined group of people aware of their rights can achieve on the international stage. It also reveals the Arctic as a homeland—and even delegates representing Arctic States should be aware of what it means to be an Indigenous person and to have Indigenous rights.
  • Thematic focus. Unlike Model United Nations, which can be thematically diffuse, MAC Bilbao offers delegates an in-depth engagement with one of the world’s most fascinating and fast-changing regions. There are only eight Arctic States and six Arctic Indigenous peoples’ organisations, so MAC Bilbao conferences are also small and intimate. Delegates get to know the issues, and their fellow delegates, more closely.


There are three parts to a MAC Bilbao conference.The first part simulates meetings of two of the six Arctic Council Working Groups, which attempt to lay the groundwork for a common approach to pressing Arctic issues assigned in advance of the conference. The second part simulates the work of Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) as they negotiate a political declaration based on that common approach. The third part simulates a Ministrial meeting at which the political declaration is decided, should the SAOs have been successful.

At the end of each day of the MAC Bilbao conference, delegates gather for ‘debriefing sessions’ with the MAC Bilbao Director.  At these sessions, you reflect on the progress of discussions and negotiations, aiming to transform your experience into new knowledge about the Arctic, about diplomacy and international affairs, and about yourself as an effective communicator and collaborator. There are two debriefing sessions each the end of the first two days, one for Arctic State delegates and one for Permanent Participant delegates. The debriefing session after the Ministerial meeting is a plenary session involving all delegates.
MAC Bilbao also shares social events with MUN Bilbao.  Delegates will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of a large and buzzing MUN event whilst at the same time taking part in an intimate and innovative conference like few others in the world today.  Make a journey to the far North with MAC Bilbao!

Programme 2024 - 25th to 28th January

Programme for the 8th Edition of Mun Bilbao Conference, 2024

Thursday 25

Friday 26

Saturday 27

Sunday 28

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