Carleton Model NATO is a unique four-day event that brings together university students from across Canada and the United States to Ottawa to simulate NATO decision-making. Students represent NATO and Partnership countries and engage in debate and collaborative problem-solving in the main committees of NATO on pressing issues affecting transatlantic and international security. Delegates must work together with other members to prepare communiqués while at the same time being careful to represent the particular interests of their own country.
As the North Atlantic Council (NAC) has the final say over everything that the alliance does, every communiqué that NATO committees agree upon must subsequently be passed by the NAC on the final day of the conference. In addition, the NAC is a consensus committee. So if any delegate on the NAC votes against a communiqué, it will not be adopted. This feature of NATO decisionmaking provides an exciting challenge to delegates as they work to coordinate policy and negotiate strategies within their respective teams.
While committee agenda items are communicated in advance to allow delegates to prepare their country’s positions on specific security issues, the Carleton Model NATO conference also includes an element of improvisation, testing the diplomatic skills of participants: At some point during the two full days of committee deliberations and debate, organizers introduce a real-world crisis that requires immediate action by individual committees and the NAC. This immersive experience provides students with a unique understanding of the challenges of NATO decisionmaking and the management of pressing global security problems.
At the Closing Ceremonies organizers award the best Delegates in each committee and best overall Delegation at the conference.
In addition to the two days of NATO simulations, the Carleton MNATO conference also hosts distinguished speakers, social events, learning and professional networking opportunities that only Ottawa can provide. We offer delegates opportunities to connect with professionals in Ottawa’s policy and diplomatic communities. Delegates attend briefing sessions at the embassy of their assigned country or meet with officials at Global Affairs and Department of National Defence. The Opening Ceremonies feature a keynote speaker and reception. The second day features a catered luncheon and a distinguished speaker. Past speakers have included Canada’s Chiefs of Defence Staff, Ministers of Defence, Canadian and foreign Ambassadors, NATO officials, military attachés, and academic experts.