Position Paper Guide
Secretariat Team 2019
November 23, 2018
Before the conference, it is crucial that each delegate complete a position paper for each of the topics they will be discussing in their committee. This paper is the culmination of a delegate’s research, analysis, and synthesis. Position papers are an integral part to all Model United Nations conferences, as they help delegates solidify their understanding of both the topic and their country’s stance. Thus, position papers are mandatory for the delegates who wish to be eligible for an award, with the exception of delegates participating in ADHOC. Position papers must be emailed to your committee’s Dais by February 16th, 2019.
Position papers give staff members an indication of a delegate’s understanding and research of the topic. This allows the staff members to anticipate and prepare for the flow of debate in the committee, as well as use the paper as a reference when choosing awards. Typically, each position paper is approximately one page of content and a bibliography. The position paper is a summary of the country’s stance on the issue, and research for it gives the delegate a deeper understanding of their stance. Beyond the position paper, delegates are encouraged to compile research into a research binder or an online document.
In Model United Nations, research is the key to an engaging and effective debate. Position papers are a culmination of that research and will showcase the delegate’s preparation for the sessions of debate, discussion, and problem-solving. External research is vital for the delegate to understand the topics raised in debate, and will enhance their Model UN experience. Reliable sources of information can include the United Nations archives and websites, official government sources, political leaders’ speeches, and academic compositions. A great way to begin researching is to use the discussion questions in the backgrounders.
While all topics and nations will have different policies, there are a few areas of discussion that may be beneficial for delegates to write about.
Topic Background (Red)
What is the definition of the topic?
Where does the topic take place and who are the main stakeholders?
How are citizens effected?
When did this topic become an issue?
Past Action (Green)
What has your nation done to address the issue?
What are the treaties and resolutions your nation has helped implement?
Does this issue stem from your nation or is your nation indirectly involved?
What has the UN/your committee done to solve this issue?
Has the UN/your committee implemented any prior resolutions?
What are the different viewpoints on this issue?
Country Policy (Blue)
Where does your country stand on the issue?
What have your political leaders said about this topic?
What are the statistics backing up your country's stance?
Possible Solutions (Sky)
What is a possible solution that your country would support?
What are solutions that your country would not support?
What are existing frameworks that could be added upon?
How would this solution be funded?
How would this solution be implemented?
- Delegate name, country, and topic
- Written in third-person
- Times New Romans, size 12
- Bibliography (MLA Citation)
Sample Position Paper
Topic A: The Empowerment of Women in Developing Countries
Committee: United Nations Human Rights Council
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Delegate: Alice Li
Empowerment of women has been a fundamental topic for human rights. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), “Women’s empowerment is vital to sustainable development and the realization of human rights for all.” According to Sara Longwe, women’s empowerment is defined as “the process by which women collectively come to recognize and address the gender issues that stand in the way of their advancement. In a patriarchal society, these gender issues are the practices of gender discrimination which are entrenched in custom, law and ideological belief”.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as the UN Women, states that there are seven primary principles of empowering women. Summarized, they are primarily to establish high-level leadership for gender equality, treat both genders fairly through work, education, safety and well-being, and promoting equality and empowerment through enterprise development and community initiatives. As a sovereign member of the United Nations, the United Kingdom strongly favors the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. As the third Millennium Development Goal, promoting gender equality and empowering women and the fifth, improving maternal health. The United Kingdom notes with approval the strong necessity and importance of the empowerment of women.
Historically, the United Kingdom has strived to empower women using multiple methods. Issues related to so are well established, with main concerns focusing on the pay, employment and services. In 1970, the Equal Pay Act passed, giving individuals within the UK the right of same pay and benefits as the opposite gender. The Sex Discrimination Act in 1975 banned gender discrimination in the same areas of education, employment, etc. A regulation of the same year, Maternity Leave and Pay Regulations allowed women statutory leave with pay up to a year. The EOC, Equal Opportunities Commission is a strong factor involved with promoting women’s rights as well. We see that past solutions that have worked before may be viable options for the empowerment of women in developing nations as well.
The United Kingdom, on a national level, is an advocator of the empowerment of women’s rights. The United Kingdom National Committee for UN Women is a postulation for UN Women in the United Kingdom. The UKNC for Women focuses its work on influencing and raising awareness on a national and international level to promote change for the treatment of women. As a self-funding organization, approximately 90% of income is returned directly toward the UN Women programs. The United Kingdom also has many more informal associations aiming for the empowerment of women, including “Women Empowered”.
The United Kingdom acknowledges the differentiating situations within all nations, primarily developing nations. We see that support from the government, and various other organizations including NGO’s can be a viable option for women empowerment, as proven within our nation. Within developing nations, especially those with a developing governmental system, third party support from nations such as ourselves is fundamental towards the empowerment of women. As a sovereign member state of the United Nations, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is greatly looking forward towards discussing possible solutions and plans of action.
“Latest Publications.” Empowering Women: Promoting Gender Equality: UNFPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
“Women And Development.” Women’s International Network News 27.3 (2001): 13.
Canadian Reference Centre. 20 Nov. 2014.
“Women’s Empowerment Principles.” HeadQuarters. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
“United Nations Millennium Development Goals.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
“Overview of Gender Equality Issues in United Kingdom.” Overview of Gender Equality Issues in United Kingdom. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
“UN Women.” About Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
“Women Empowered.” Women Empowered (WE). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.