Guide for Position Papers
Winners of the Best Position Paper Awards –
Chosen by the Committee of Global Model UN Officials:
* In addition, a Position Paper Award was given to Christine Battiloro (United States) representing France (chosen by the Committee Members of the Fourth Committee)
Position Paper Guidelines
The position paper is a brief and concise description of a state's, international organisation’s or NGO's position and priorities for a given committee. The position paper allows delegations to plan their course of action before the meeting by taking into account the other countries’ positions outlined in the position paper.
Once the position paper is completed and sent to the chairpersons of the committee, it allows them to give you useful feedback for further preparation.
It is mandatory for all delegates to write a position paper.
Please pay careful attention to the following guidelines when drafting your position paper.
It is crucial to properly identify your position paper. It is not necessary to put your name anywhere because you will be known throughout the conference by your delegation's name rather than your own.
- On the top left corner, write the name of your committee e.g. Conference of Disarmament.
- Write the name of the delegation you represent (state, NGO, International Organization) bold and centred e.g. Kingdom of Sweden.
- When saving your position paper, use the following formula: Committee's abbreviation, Underscore, Delegation e.g. 'GAFirst_France' or 'GAFourth_Greenpeace'.
Your position paper closely follows the different topics as they are presented in the SG’s report for each committee.
- The first sentence of a position paper uses the following formula: "The issues before (your committee's name) are: (list all the issues you are discussing in you position paper)".
- Number the topics (in accordance with the draft agenda of your committee) and write their title in bold.
The paragraphs on each topic should contain the following elements:
- A general sentence in the beginning clearly stating your country's position
- A succinct policy statement for each topic representing the relevant views of your assigned delegation (state, NGO, International Organization)
- An elaboration of your position (you should draw from one or more of the following: quotes from the UN charter; agreements/resolutions your state has ratified; quotes from statements made by your head of state, head of government, ministers, delegates to the UN, and any other relevant international documents)
- References to your state’s past experiences with the topic – if applicable
- Recommendations for actions to be taken by the committee
- A conclusion restating your country’s position on the topic
- Please cite any relevant statistics, quotes etc. (in any widely accepted scholarly citation format)
Once you have discussed all the topics on the Committee’s agenda, you do not need to write an overall concluding paragraph for your position paper.
- Do NOT use the first person in your position paper. Instead simply use your delegation's name or alternatively expressions such as "our government", "our country", "our nation".
- Long essay type position papers presenting a nation's history or background information on the topic are not useful. A simple and concise overview is best.
- Length: Position papers must be a MAXIMUM of ONE PAGE PER TOPIC. (Font: Calibri, Size: 11)
If your committee only has one topic, you can extend the position paper to one and a half pages
- Deadline: The deadline for submission of position papers is Saturday, 25th July, 2009.
It is absolutely crucial to respect this date so that the chairpersons - and possibly the head delegates - can give you helpful feedback
o Please EMAIL your position paper to your committee chairperson AND your head delegate
o Upload a copy of your position paper on the Taking it Global Website
o Send your position paper to the rest of your delegation as well
- Language: Position papers will be accepted in both English and French. If you are submitting a position paper in French, please also submit an English copy
For questions concerning position papers, your committee or your topics, please contact your committee chairpersons directly.
Position Paper awards
In the spirit of creating a cooperative and friendly environment essential for fostering constructive discussion, debate and consensus-building, the Global Model UN will not feature any best delegates’ awards. However, there will be position paper awards.
Your Position Paper will be read by the GA officials of your committee and members of the Secretariat, and rated on a scale of one to ten (1 worst, 10 best), following these criteria:
- Does the Position Paper follow the guidelines closely? (Including formatting, style and structure)
- Is the position paper comprehensive, addressing all issues on the draft agenda?
- Is the country accurately represented?
- Is the paper focused on a clear position? Are there any valuable novel and creative ideas for problem-solving?
- Does the Position Paper integrate a regional/sub-regional/bloc perspective in its proposals for solving the problems/in finding meaningful ways in which to address the key concerns of the Committee?
Approximately 10 position papers will be short-listed per committee. Thereafter, the short-listed papers will be reviewed, discussed and rated by a team consisting of the USGs, the SG and experts from the UN.
Click here for a sample position paper.