Brief Overview

The Steering Committee grew to eight members: Soy Quan (Jackie) Chan, Patricia Heffernan, Shailesh Khatri, Finau Soqo, Are Wakowako, Roneel Dutt, Ritu Sabharwal, and Kelesoma Saloa. Several were from tourism and/or management classes as the lecturers saw participation on the steering committee as being supportive of the goals of their coursework.

In 1998, USP students from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu participated. There were usually two students from each country who were the PM and the Minister of Fisheries.

One innovation was a meeting with all delegates on Friday, Sept. 18, 1998 for a leadership training and orientation session to better prepare the participants for their roles in the simulation.

Dr. Robin Taylor, lecturer for Cross-Cultural Psychology had his students involved in SPICOL II. He was willing to become more involved as an Advisor and had some valuable ideas to contribute. So Robin, Robert, and Ward committed themselves to SPICOL III. Additional faculty help was provided by Tim Pickering and Vina Ram Bidesi.

The simulation proper began on Monday, Sept. 21, at the Marine Studies Lecture Hall.

The chief guests were Mr. W. Noel Levi, Secretary General, Forum Secretariat, and Mr. Peniasi Kunatuba, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, & Forestry for Fiji. Tonga had volunteered to be the host country and they provided for the opening ceremonies. 

The conference chair was Leonaitasi Taukafa and Sandeep Singh served as conference raporteur.

Nineteen research papers from a wide variety of disciplines were presented on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. 

The weekend retreat was held at the Korean Village in Pacific Harbor (simulated International Gateway Hotel in Nuku'alofa, Tonga). Again, the students worked very hard and productively over the weekend. The "crisis" was in the form of a visitor from a simulated Japanese aid agency which informed the delegates that aid to most of the South Pacific was going to be drastically reduced while aid to the fishing grounds where Japanese did the most fishing (like FSM) would be increased. 

Not only did the delegates reach consensus on a communique, but they reached a historic "Nuku'alofa Agreement" whereby all countries (except Kiribati) agreed to forego bilateral fishing arrangements with Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea and only deal with those countries under a multi-lateral agreement through the Forum Fisheries Agency. A formula for dividing the funds among the countries was worked out so that no country would get less than they had been getting under bilateral arrangements.

The closing ceremony on Monday, Sept. 28 was a bit shorter than in the past because some of the ending was postponed until Tuesday. After signing of the communique and the "Nuku'alofa Agreement", final speeches were made and an open press conference was held. At that point the simulation as a simulation was ended.

On Tuesday, back in S024, certificates were awarded and there was a formal debriefing of what had gone on so that the students (now no longer in the simulated role) might have some reflection on the learning experience. There was again some entertainment provided by the Tongan Student Association.

The third conference was sponsored by SSED, USPSA, the Marine Studies Program, Air Pacific, USP Book Centre, and the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre.

Learning Through Simulations (copyright 2011, Society in Transition)