Position paper is the first document the delegates submit in an MUN. It’s very important because it specifically carries marks. Sometimes there’s even an award for the best position paper.
As in the GSL, you make first impressions on the other delegates, in the position paper you do the same but on the chair. This is why chairs evaluate it and regard it as important because it reflects how prepared you are.
Those delegates who want to ace the MUN are never loose on the position paper, and so you also must not be.
Also, as I mentioned that since GSL speech is like speaking the position paper, one could say that position paper is like writing the GSL. If you don’t know what GSL is, check it out here.
If you’re not aware of MUNs, check out my terms series, starting here.
If you’re all done there, head below!
I’ve mentioned below the format starting from the top of the page that will make a winner position paper. Do note however that without proper research, your position wouldn’t make it even if you follow the guidelines below
1. Topic background and past actions
It’s always important not only to explain the issue but to do it in a precise yet impactful way.
It’s good to put the following:
- Year the issue started. This emphasizes that the issue has been there for so long and thus creates a sense of urgency.
- Casualties in the issue, past and present(lives lost etc.). This emphasizes that there urgency in the issue due to dangerous consequences.
- Past actions of the UN(resolutions etc.). This emphasizes that the issue has importance in the UN, thus must be taken seriously by all members.
- Your country’s past actions. This could be participation in the resolutions/actions of the UN, bilateral or multilateral agreements or basically anything significant your country has done. This shows that your country is committed to UN’s agenda and thus, gives a sense of invitation to other members to do the same.
2. Your country’s policy
The most important and impactful part of the MUN.
Getting this wrong is the biggest blunder you can make at the conference because it shows that you don’t know what you(your country) stand for. Make sure to present a clear policy that your represented country has. For this, you need to check what the country leader(s) has said on the issue. And yeah, write it in the 3rd person, not only this part but the whole document also.
Sometimes, countries don’t openly have a policy on the issue. In this case, you need deeper research. Even if then there’s nothing, keep a diplomatically neutral position.
Again, whatever you personally feel isn’t important, but your country’s position.
3. One or two brief solutions
Just like in the GSL, give brief directions to where a committee must move instead of detailed solutions because all the sessions are there to get to the final solutions.
Note that you must use figures from known sources(UN’s own site, international big news channels) to get the most credible statistics.
Below I’ve shown a sample position paper to give you more understanding:
The above sample is not a position paper that you must copy, because it’s not a pet one nor is it a perfect one. Just try to get the idea from it
Don’t forget that the position paper is gonna grab the chair’s attention and will instantly put you in one of the contenders for the awards.
Once, a chair openly appreciated me and presented my position paper and GSL as a sample to others. The words she used were ‘one of the few best I’ve ever seen.’
So, in short, get it best.
Thanks for reading my article!
If you have a question, let me know in the comments!
Good luck to your MUN journey!