Since 2007, NACTS has sponsored a team of student delegates from ASU and a staff advisor to participate in the Triumvirate, the North American Model Legislature. This year, Arizona State University sent a delegation of three students to Querétaro, Mexico. This 5th edition of Triumvirate brought together over 50 university students from Mexico, the United States and Canada, from May 30th to June 4th, 2010 at the Querétaro Campus of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. During the event, student delegates participated in an international negotiation exercise simulating a parliamentary meeting between North American legislators.
Prior to arriving in Querétaro, delegates were assigned one of the three roles: legislator (representing a country other than their own), journalist, or lobbyist. Legislators were also assigned one of four commission themes (North American Governance, Making Smart Borders more Efficient, Managing Transboundary Water in North America, and Countering Human Trafficking) and were charged with drafting and trying to pass their commission’s resolution in the General Assembly. Never before had commission groups drafted six or nine page resolutions as the delegates did this year to diplomatically navigate particularly controversial topics such as the commercialization of water in North America.
ASU Student Delegates and Their Roles and Commission Assignments:
The students all discovered “how extensive the process of drafting legislation is and how important compromise and collaboration are” to be able to pass new legislation—Meaghan Dirksen.
Plus, “legislation never makes everyone happy;” there is always room for amendments and revisions—Nisha Patel.
Representing Mexican legislators, the three ASU students learned how influential lobbyists are and that journalists can change the course of the legislation, especially when making inflammatory remarks about the Mexican caucus in the daily newspaper, The TrilatHerald. Issues of the The TrilatHerald and the Final Report are available on the conference website.
Read Meaghan's Peer Profile page on the 2010 Triumvirate event. NACTS’s own Sara Sonnenberg attended as commission advisor for Border Efficiency.
The North American Forum on Integration (NAFI), a non-profit organization based in Montreal devoted to developing North American dialogue and networks organizes the Triumvirate.