During the Meeting, Sri Lanka and Oman reaffirmed the commitment to further consolidate and advance bilateral political and economic cooperation. The discussions focused on the follow-up action on the decisions made at the First Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations held in Muscat in 2014, and new avenues for bilateral cooperation.The two sides agreed to work towards the establishment of business, trade and shipping links between Oman, as a gateway to the Middle East and Sri Lanka, as a hub of the Indian Ocean. The Sri Lanka delegation to the Bilateral Consultations was led by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and the delegation of Oman was headed by the Under-Secretary for Diplomacy and Chief Master’s Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman Mahmood Awad Al Hassan. Senior Officials of both Foreign Ministries participated in the discussions with several line Ministries and agencies representing Sri Lanka joining as well. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing to work together at regional and multilateral fora for advancing shared interests. Consolidation of bilateral political relations through exchange of high-level visits was also discussed at the Meeting. A wide range of matters for mutual collaboration in the fields of trade; tourism; immigration and emigration; labour and manpower training; defence; agriculture; higher education; and culture were reviewed and discussed.Moreover, fisheries, sports, oil and gas were identified as new areas for possible future cooperation. It was also agreed to assist the establishment of a Sri Lanka-Oman Business Council between the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The two sides also agreed to conclude an Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments at the earliest, and to consider entering into a MOU on Skills Development and Mutual Recognition of Qualifications to facilitate mobility of skilled workers from Sri Lanka to Oman. The visiting Omani delegation also called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana during their stay in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Oman are seeking to cooperate on fisheries, sports, oil and gas in the future.During the Second Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations, held in Colombo at senior officials’ level, an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman was signed by the leaders of the respective delegations.
After months of preparation and hard work, the Brock Model United Nations team proved it has what it takes to impress on a global stage.The 25-member team, consisting of students from a variety of programs and years, recently returned from New York City after its most successful season yet at the National Model United Nations conference.The event drew about 6,000 students from around the world to the bustling metropolis, where from March 18 to 22 they ran a United Nations simulation. Each team is tasked with representing a different country and debating current global issues from that country’s stance. The teams then work together to negotiate and create successful resolutions. Brock’s group, which this year represented Spain, earned a Distinguished Delegation Award, which is presented to the Top 10 per cent of teams in attendance.In addition to the group honour, second-year Political Science students Emma Evans and Jessica Beaupre won awards for Outstanding Delegates in Committee for their work on the United Nations Environment Assembly.Second-year Political Science students Jessica Beaupre and Emma Evans won awards for Outstanding Delegates in Committee for their work on the United Nations Environment Assembly.Club President Jenelle Taylor, a fourth-year Political Science student, said the team — the biggest delegation in Brock Model UN’s five-year history — is thrilled with its showing.“It’s so fulfilling to be a part of something that aims to help make a difference in the world, and to be recognized for those efforts,” she said. “This is the biggest team we’ve ever taken and the best we’ve ever placed. We worked so hard; it was incredible.”That success is due in part to the months of training and research the team put in before the conference arrived. It began with team tryouts in September, with preparations for New York, including weekly debating exercises, beginning soon after.Taylor said students from all years and majors are welcome to tryout, as it’s often a benefit to have people with different perspectives and areas of expertise at the table.While students from some institutions receive course credits or even monetary compensation for their participation in the conference, Brock’s team is driven solely by the passion of its members.Political Science Associate Professor Blayne Haggart, the club’s faculty advisor, said the team runs like a well-oiled machine that requires no faculty intervention. While some monetary support is received from Brock University Students’ Union and the Department of Political Science, the trip to the conference is funded mainly through fundraising initiatives hosted by the students.Haggart credited the team for the impressive showing at what is essentially the “NHL of the Model UN.” “These students are going to do great things in the world and all of Brock should be proud of them,” he said. “This is also a great way to fly the flag internationally for Brock. It puts our name in front of the world and is an attractive opportunity for prospective students.”Taylor, who graduates this spring and will pass on the reins as president, hoped to encourage students to tryout for the team that has left a lasting impact on her life.“It gives you experience in so many areas — public speaking, writing skills, teamwork and working under pressure, and the networking opportunities are invaluable.”And, as part of the conference, students get to visit the United Nations headquarters.“You get to sit in the seats of UN ambassadors. It’s so inspiring,” she said. “I’m sure it helped a lot of students to envision where they want to be in the future.”More information on the club is available on the Brock National Model United Nations Facebook page.