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Writing a position paper
At some conferences it is a requirement that delegates submit a position paper to the committee chair at the start of the session. However, even if you don’t have to, it’s a good idea to do it anyway as part of your conference preparation. Position papers are a good way of sifting through and distilling all the information you discover through research into a simple format that serves as a valuable reference both for yourself, and at conferences where papers are collected and shared, for other delegates and directors.
Format for position papers
Position papers should be about one page long. The position paper is not an exercise in elaborate writing or a demonstration of breadth of knowledge on a topic; rather, it is an opportunity to get straight in your own mind:
- What is your country’s position on the key issues?
- What kind of solutions will your country look for in a resolution?
At the top of your position paper you should list the following:
1. Committee Name
2. Topic Area
You should then divide the bulk of your paper into two parts:
I. General Position Statement
II. Responses to Questions a Resolution Must Answer
Frame your nation’s perspective in terms of solutions proposed in the past or the views of regional blocs and other countries that share your position. It is also important to examine prior UN resolutions, decisions, declarations or reports. Statistics and quotes from international documents often give compelling factual support for your arguments.
An excellent position paper will include:
a) A brief statement on why your state feels the topic is important nationally and globally
b) A clear and concise statement of your state’s position on the topic
c) An explanation of why your state takes this position
d) Major UN actions on the topic that your state feels are significant
e) Suggestions for addressing the topic
Example paper: Olympic Truce [need info from Natalie on this]