Friday, June 6, 2008


From the 28th to the 31st of May, the annual SIMOTAN – a NATO Council Simulation – has taken place in Lisbon.
The event has been organized by the Portuguese YATA, in association with the Portuguese Atlantic Committee, the Institute of Political and Social Sciences (ISCSP) and the Tecnica University of Lisbon.
The participants, twenty-seven Portuguese and eight foreigners from Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and United States, had to face an international crisis as if they were delegates at the North Atlantic Council.

Each one represented a NATO country different from his/her own: USA, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Canada were represented in the Council.

This year’s scenario, was managed by a professor of the Institute and was based on an humanitarian crisis in the border between Chad and Sudan.
During the simulation, the participants worked a lot, making Position papers, Draft Communiqués, Amendments, facing a Press Conference, a NATO Intelligence Briefing and an Instant Press Release.
After two days of work, long and exhausting debates, and many coffee breaks, the delegates managed to reach a consensus on Saturday morning, for the first time in SIMOTAN history (as Hugo Palma said).

As expected, not everybody got involved in the same way during the simulation, due to the different personalities and individual approaches to the activity. Some of us were more focused on wording and held some long discussion on that, while others were more into "second track" diplomacy.
To conclude, the kindness of the Portuguese organizers, especially of the Portuguese member staff, their good capacity in dealing with the scenario, both in a serious and enjoyable way, with their funny presence in the many leisure time during the staying, made the experience absolutely worth it and unforgettable for everyone.

Ilaria Pitton
Italian Participant
Youth Atlantic Club of Gorizia

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