The Position Paper is the climax of the preparation process for any Model United Nations conference, representing the summarized, researched and representative view of your state on the particular issues your council is addressing. Remember, the guidelines for position papers may differ depending on the council you are in: check your background guide and email your chair in order to confirm the specific parameters of your position paper. Position Papers are due before the first committee session on Thursday. Any delegate without a Position Paper will be ineligible for awards.
The Basic Structure
- One page, front and back, with one topic more or less filling up each side
- A header with the DELEGATE NAME(S), NATION, COUNCIL, AND SCHOOL
- Optional idea: Try sprucing up your header with appropriate color, national flags and/or seals, watermarks, or other official looking edits – it shows your chair you worked hard and makes your position paper stand out.
- The topic name clearly stated
- Three paragraphs per topic:
- The first paragraph should be an introduction to the topic from the perspective of your na-tion. What is the history of the issue according to your nation? Why is this issue important? This is the shortest and least important section of the position paper.
- The second paragraph should be an analysis of the topic from your country’s perspective. What does your nation generally think about the issue? What are things that have worked in the past? What are things that have not worked? This is most likely the longest part of the position paper, extremely important, and the place where you will utilize most of your research.
- The third paragraph should be a discussion of solutions your nation is proposing to solve the problem. What are these solutions? Why and how would they work? How will you solve any problems that might arise in implementing these solutions? This is where you can let your creativity and research combine, and begin formulating the kinds of proposals that will later come to fruition in your resolutions.
- Remember to cite any opinions that are not your own or facts that are not common knowledge. If you have any references to cite, they should be entered as footnotes at the bottom of the page and in a bibliography at the end of the paper.
- Remember to not use first person pronouns (I think, we feel) – instead, use the state name (the United States thinks; the People’s Republic of China)
- Use the active, not the passive, voice
- Avoid flowery language
- Remember that your position paper is the first impression your chair will have of you, making it a great way to help summarize your thoughts on the topics to be discussed. Therefore, go beyond your research when you are writing it.
Example Position Paper
Topic: BALANCING THE COMMITTEE AT LARGE
For too long, has the tension between uncompromising and democratic socialism gone on. With both parties trying to achieve one common goal, the rivalling ideologies are standing in each others way to implement socialism within the states of the world. The Second Social International has turned itself to this issue on countless occasions but so far, with little success; the reason for this being the unbalance between using anarchy or political means to affirm the right of nations to self-determination.
At the heart of this issue, is the autocratic system created between the proletarian and the bourgeoisie. I, Wilhelm Liebknecht believe that through social democracy, the member states of this council, can implement socialism into a state through reformist and moderate measures. We must advocate a peaceful transition of the economy to socialism, through progressive social reform of capitalism rather than unruly and unpredictable anarchism. Only through social democracy, can we oppose the issues caused by capitalism and resolve the imbalance, deprivation and oppression it has caused for the citizens of the globe.
This council must advertise a society where all of its members have the right to freedom of speech, legally guaranteed by the government. However, it is not enough to simply implement these rights, they must also be promoted in order to ensure all citizens a free and just life and to promote the social, cultural and economic situation of the nation as a whole.
With this in mind, I proceed to this meeting of the Fourth Congress, encouraging a newfound trade union and labour movements, hence establishing an unprecedented, reformist socialism. The fact is, through uncontrollable means i.e. by revolting against their governments, we as the people of the countries of the world will never achieve the control of our nations.
The issue at hand, is an overly autocratic system of government, in which there is a highly rich upper class of capitalists and on the other side an immense labour force, working under severe and brutal conditions. In summary, I strongly support the political movement of Social democracy, as it sees political reform superior to aggressive revolution in order to overcome a repressive government and find a middle ground between the two rivalling ideologies. I urge the other members of the council, to support a united front against the capitalist, authoritarian and unfair practices that plague the citizens of all our nations.
Topic B: POLAND AND THE SOCIALIST STATE
Over the last several years, the bourgeoisie have subjected the commonwealth of Poland to conditions they will no longer endure. From the uprising in 1863, there have been efforts to achieve a new, proclaimed liberal reform, which however resulted in more harm than good. Although the agricultural society, which was a union of reformist landowners was established, it failed to change anything significant in the agrarian sector. In the same very year, the people of Poland decreed for peasant emancipation and appealed for support from several neighbouring states, which aided the geopolitical neighbour relations. Among these states were Lithuania, Poland and Rus, all of which responded to the cry for help. With the fighting extending and anarchy becoming more and more combative, it becomes even more important for this council to address the issue immediately.
The Second Social International can aid the Polish independence movement through implementing policies that support gender equality, income distribution and geopolitical neighbour relations. Bearing this in mind, I proclaim the establishment of a socialist economic system that can be implemented in all nations across the world. The minority cannot rule the majority; the Polish independence movement must function in the best interest of the proletariat people and resist to the totalitarian jurisdiction of the bourgeoisie.
This council must promote a society of total unity in which the culture, political state and the economy of Poland can flourish. Retaining this in mind, I believe that the restoration of the Polish state, cannot be achieved by just removing the constituent of Russian rule, but it must incorporate procedures that shift the means of production to another paradigm.
Although Solidarity is the least discussed amongst three social democratic core values, the idea dates back to the forgone times. Universal solidarity represents the concept of providing unconditional care for other human beings. In the terms of this debate, it refers to uniting the different partitions of society and unifying their shared principles. I believe that by pushing solidarity, we as a people will achieve better security for the future individuals. One proposition of how to implement these ideals is through social insurance ventures.
In summary, the three core values of social democracy (freedom, solidarity and equality) are the only way to lead to the fundamental rights that all classes have a right to, and in the long term form the foundations of pluralism which will lead to covenants among the nations of the world. As a result, Poland can affirm its right to self-determination and resolutions of this nature will also help to implement socialism in different countries as this is one of the millennium goals of this council. I urge the other members of this council, to unite and to support our common goals using measures that can diminish the exploiting, controlling imperialism of Tsarist Russia.