Position papers are an important element of judging in selecting the overall team awards. In order for a delegation to be considered for an overall award the team must have submitted a complete position paper package (one per each committee on which that country is seated), the papers must be in the prescribed format. Please email position papers to firstname.lastname@example.org
A position paper is a one page statement of a country’s policy on each of the topics under consideration by a committee and the rationale behind it. Issues requires each country’s representatives to submit position papers to each committee on each topic of debate. There are several reasons for position papers. Writing position papers serves to focus delegates’ thoughts on the topic areas. Position papers also give Committee Chairs an opportunity to learn the degree to which the delegates understand the topic areas. Delegates should have copies of their own position paper so they can refer to them the day of the event. The papers will also be of use when delegates attempt to write a resolution that may deal with the points of major concern to the committee. Furthermore, access to the papers may allow them to clarify points made in another delegate’s speech.
A position paper must be written on each committee’s topic area. When writing their position papers, delegates should ask themselves two questions about the issues in the topic areas:
|What are the major points of interest or concern in this area?|
|What are the possible resolutions to the problems in this area?|
Next, delegates should answer specific questions about their country’s position:
|Of what regional or functional grouping is our country a part?|
|What is our country’s policy on the topic? Why?|
|What issues in this area are particularly relevant? How?|
Delegates may wish to research their country’s position on issues in the area and on similar issues that have directly affected their countries.
The above information should then be placed in a one-page position paper. Delegates are not expected to cover in a single page their nation’s policy on every aspect of the topic, but rather to give a short statement of purpose for their actions in the committee. Delegates are encouraged to include any avenues that they wish to pursue in committee in attempts to provide a solution to the problem presented. An example of a position paper follows this section.
Each position paper should have a heading at the top with the following information:
|The delegate’s name (bold and centered)|
|The committee name (bold and centered)|
|The country’s name (bold and centered)|
Then each topic section is to have a heading
|The topic title (bold and italicized)|
Position papers should be submitted in Times Roman 10 or 12 point font on diskette in Microsoft Word format or transmitted as an email attachment. Position papers should be transmitted as a country package and not individually and must come from the faculty advisor and not the individual students. Last the position paper needs to follow the below criteria.
|Position Paper evaluation criteria and expectations:||Excellent||Good||Fair||Poor|
|(1) A clear statement of your country’s position on each topic and an indication of why your country takes this position in the context of what it has already done in relation to the topic|
|(2) Overall assessment of paper. Paper is well researched, organized, presented and answered the main issues. It provides the reader with clear understandings and explanation of policies.|
|(3) Include sufficient detail and elaboration.|
|(4) Suggestions for a plan of action in addressing the issue.|
|(5) Employ correct grammar and usage. Also use correct mechanics (spelling, capitalization, punctuation, paragraph form). Make sure that the paper makes logical sense and flows well by providing transition sentences.|
SAMPLE POSITION PAPERs
General Assembly Plenary
Delegation from the United Kingdom
Johnson County High School
Topic A: International Cooperation on Humanitarian Assistance in the Field of Natural Disasters, from Relief to Development
The United Kingdom has been fortunate enough in our long history to have emerged in the modern age free of any of the disaster-based setbacks much of the rest of the world has had to face. Indeed, the UK has been relatively unaffected by natural disaster. This does not, however, make the United Kingdom apathetic to the plight of the Global community, particularly in the face of some of the most tragic natural disasters history has seen that have occurred in just the last few years. Though the United Kingdom has not been directly affected, we have played a direct role in addressing and solving these crises. The UK has played significant role in infrastructure development and funding in Haiti after the most recent earthquake. The UK also played crucial roles in disaster relief efforts in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh after tsunamis. Overall, the United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest contributors to disaster and humanitarian relief. However, we also believe that contribution without coordination can be just as disastrous as any earthquake or flooding. As such, the UK sees two major changes that should be made in the way the United Nations handles disaster relief. First and foremost, the United Kingdom believes it is imperative that all states fully implement the Kyogo Declaration. This declaration refocuses disaster relief and development efforts by addressing the major flaws in the Yokohama strategy, specifically the need for better coordination and disaster identification preparedness. When states fully implement this policy we will be better able to prevent disaster and address it in the unfortunate even that it does occur. Secondly, it is imperative that we reorganize humanitarian relief organizations under the United Nations. The United Kingdom has seen major cooperation occur between NGO’s, the private sector, and the public sector in our own country. Establishing an umbrella-type organization or body that can coordinate all of these organizations (or at the very least be aware of their role, etc.) is crucial to accomplishing the goals the United Nations has set for itself.
Topic B: International Drug Control
The United Kingdom is hardly unaffected by the trafficking of illegal of substances. Drugs like Heroin from Afghanistan have been able to successfully cross our borders through other countries like Turkey and Pakistan. Cocaine from Colombia and other South American countries has also infiltrated the United Kingdom. Ultimately the majority of drug concerns in the United Kingdom are the results of foreign markets. However, the United Kingdom does believe that a strategy modeled after our own domestic policy will be the most effective reform to the United Nations method of combating illicit drug trade. The UK has developed a four-prong method of addressing domestic drug use. Focusing on young people, communities, treatment, and availability has been a crucial part of the United Kingdom’s fight against drugs. Such a policy should also be the framework of reform for the United Nations. Focusing not on young people, but instead on easily susceptible groups, including those who are impoverished or dependent on drug trade will be crucial to eradicating the cause of drug trade at it’s root. A focus on communities should remain a cornerstone of UN policy: instability is often the route of drug dependence, drug trade, and organized crime. Renewed and increases efforts to address these causes at a community level with a focus on not just development, but specifically drug eradication will be a crucial part of a new strategy. Treatment will perhaps be the least important of the four particularly as we strive to eradicate the cause, not consequences of drug trade. However, under UK policy, treatment is preferred to incarceration and the United Nations must adopt a similar policy when dealing with those responsible for trafficking. This does not necessarily mean that we as an organization should send every petty trafficker to a rehabilitation program, but rather that our goal should be reestablishing those that are often the victims of their societies as productive members of the global community. Fourth and finally, reducing the availability of drugs on an international level must me a major facet of United Nations policy. Again, this will involve community development and addressing the problem at its route. Thus far, focusing solely on the consequences of illicit drugs has been ineffective. However, by redistributing resources to address causes the United Nations will be more effective at creating real drug control.
General Assembly Plenary
The Republic of Mali
Johnson County High School
Topic I: The Use of Economic Sanctions for Political and Economic Compulsion.
Since the 1990’s and the end of the Cold War, the United Nations has seen a rise in the use of sanctions imposed by the Security Council in facilitating the objective of peace and security for the international community. In Article 39, The Charter of the United Nations sets forth the ability and obligation of the Security Council to seize matters with “the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression.” Articles 40 and 41 of the charter detail that authority and the discretion the Security Council is obligated to consider when the imposition of sanctions is deemed necessary to satisfy the body’s objective. Although recognizing the ability of the Security Council to impose sanctions for the peace and security of the international community, and the intent of Article 42 in directing that matters seized by the Security Council should be evaluated through the imposition of sanctions prior to any military action, The Republic of Mali stresses the gravity of any such decision. Sanctions should be considered only after all other means of diplomacy are exhausted. The Republic of Mali contends that sanctions should have a single goal, and they should be lifted immediately upon the satisfaction of the Security Council’s demands. To both facilitate the clear and precise actions deemed necessary by the Security Council, and to encourage a quick response by the targeted state, any sanction should be multilateral in its implementation. When considering a proposed sanction, the Security Council should consult all affected parties: the sanctioning states, targeted states, and third party states. To further empower a multilateral nature to sanctions, and to justify the Security Council’s demands of a targeted state, the Security Council should solicit the opinion of the General Assembly to demonstrate an international consensus. Article 50 of the Charter should also be considered when the Security Council evaluates any proposed sanction. People experience suffering even without bombs being dropped or guns being fired. At times, the suffering can be experienced to a great extent and tremendous casualties may result. The reality of the affected people should be weighed heavily in any decision. Though Mali has never felt the direct impact of economic or political sanctions, there have been negative impacts from economic sanctions as a third party state. Third party states will inherently face an economic impact, and though Article 50 allows for states to consult with the Security Council as to the economic burden experienced after sanctions have been implemented, there should be due diligence by the Security Council to foresee any negative economic impact resulting from the imposition of sanctions under consideration. The establishment of trust funds to assist third party states encountering negative economic impact experienced through the implementation of sanctions will help to facilitate international consensus by eliminating opposition based upon purely economic concerns, and will serve to alleviate any negative impact to innocent citizens.
Topic II: Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights in Post-Conflict Situations.
The Republic of Mali has been an active leader in progressing human rights and rule of law for all people. Mali has signed 43 Human rights treaties, and has demonstrated to the world the progress that a country can make when there is a dedication to democratic values. Since the signing of its constitution, the Republic of Mali has achieved great success in the battle against poverty and hunger. For almost 60 years the international community has endeavored to establish a foundation of sustainability and justice for all of earth’s citizenry, and the United Nations General Assembly has furthered the cause with the ratification of resolution A/RES/60/151 which defines the reality that to satisfy the objective of global democracy and further human rights, the international community must continue its financial support. The General Assembly has established the precedent for intervention and reviewing post-conflict situations in their evaluation of The Democratic Republic of the Congo, A/RES/59/207, the situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan, A/RES/59/206, and the regional oversight of democracy and human rights in Central Africa, A/RES/59/183. The Malian President, Amadou Toumani Toure, challenged the international community when he presented his vision for a democratic world, “We need a climate of freedom and the rule of law in order to create a context conducive to good governance, to the fight against corruption and to participation by populations in all their diversity, especially cultural diversity, in the management of their affairs and in the free choice of their representatives. We must have a clear, unambiguous common position that condemns brutal disruption of the democratic process. We have to prevent by all means genocide and flagrant violations of human rights.” Mali has made substantial efforts to protect the inalienable rights of its citizens, and is currently involved with several multilateral programs in an effort to facilitate further progress. One such instance is Mali’s collaboration with Nigeria in continuing the growth of democracy within the African continent, and to further enable women in the political process. The Republic of Mali has demonstrated the internal efforts to approach democracy on a local level, but it is up to the democratizing nations to follow Mali’s example and it is the responsibility and obligation of democratized nations to aid these nations in their plight.
World Food Programme
Johnson County High School
Topic A: Food Procurement in Developing Countries.
United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, stated, “2010 is a test of the world’s concern for the poorest – and their faith in us. In conscience and in our own self-interest, for their sake and ours, we dare not fail. We must act now to give the entire world back its future and its hope.” Now is the time for the World Food Programme (WFP) to take innovative steps in aiding the poorest developing countries around the world. The poor global economic climate has only pushed these nations closer to a never-ending fate of misery. But we have the potential to change that now, through the application of the knowledge that we have acquired from past attempts. The World Food Programme and the United Kingdom have each taken significant steps to decrease reduce the rate of hunger in developing countries. The UK has played a significant role in boosting the agriculture markets in Africa, allowing them to move forward. Additionally we have funded and conducted research on the efficiency of current WFP courses of action in struggling countries such as Uganda. The World Food Programe has established the Purchase for Progress (P4P) policy which establishes a system to allow included nations to purchase foods in specified nations and assists and encourages small rural farms to contribute food and crops to the WFP’s global operations. The success of this policy is unable to be determined due to the lack of measuring system established within it. This is the first solution the United Kingdom proposes. We must establish a concrete “grading” system, to allow us to keep track of the policy’s progress or lack thereof. This will ensure that we do not support an inefficient. Knowing what the World Food Programme has observed about the causes of poverty and hunger will be a key tool in crafting P4P for success. Dependency breeds poverty. Simply throwing money to weak economies and corrupt rulers prevents it from being effective. We must encourage the use of the P4P as a tool for these nations to bring themselves out of the hunger they endure. By creating a clause which would allow dialogues to open between the countries receiving assistance and the ones providing it, similar to the G-20 policy that the United Kingdom enacted in 1999 and still uses today, we would more effectively target the sectors that need the most help, and could provide advice and policy suggestions for these nations to sustain themselves. The Prime Minister stands fully behind this, saying, “We must encourage the capacity of developing countries to grow their own way out of poverty.”1 If we ever hope to achieve success, a plan to reduce dependency will be included. While the P4P plan is a promising solution to the world wide problem of hunger, there are still other issues that need to be addressed in order for the plan to be a long term solution. It is absolutely essential that federal governments encourage private food and agricultural corporations to invest in food procurement in impoverished nations. When the private sector brings business to a poor part of the world, they create jobs and allow for a sustainable market to be established, ultimately decreasing the amount of hunger and poverty in that area. We must offer incentives such as tax breaks, funding to assist businesses in expanding to areas of need, and encourage consumers to buy food that would benefit these causes.
Topic B: Humanitarian Access and Its Implications for the World Food Programme.
During this time, increasing numbers of people are losing access to the resources they need most, compromising their well-being and even lives. On the other side, the World Food Programme (WFP) also faces many implications by choosing to become more involved in the act of distributing this aid. However, it is a course of action that the United Kingdom (UK) strongly supports. With the WFP to lead the way in this effort, there is no limit to the amount of good that we could accomplish. The United Kingdom and the World Food Programme have each taken great action in providing humanitarian access, both separately and in alliance with one another. The United Kingdom has played a key role in the aid received by Sri Lanka through funding and organization through several programs such as UNICEF and IOM. The WFP has always been a leader in the humanitarian aid sector offering food procurement and rations in times of emergencies. The World Food Programme should take initiative to establish a unified policy that allows humanitarian access to be increased. The starting point would be to begin discussions on the conditions and regulations within this committee. However, we must then branch out to address the larger international communities that are not involved here. The goal of this committee will be to establish a standard procedure for negotiating access to those in need. We must bear in mind that humanitarian assistance is most effective when it is received quickly, and set up the framework to require negotiations to move swiftly. We could do this by setting a deadline for a compromise to be reached no more than three weeks after negotiations begin. The penalty for failing to do so shall be decided during committee. In order to entice nations to hold to this, we should offer an incentive to the governments of the nations in dispute. Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said, “with revenues falling and demand for services increasing in developing countries, aid can play an irreplaceable role in keeping schools and hospitals open and providing a vital safety net for the destitute.” As leaders of the world, this is our responsibility. There would also need to be a separate framework in relation to food aid given in times of emergencies, such as natural disasters. The World Food Programme should set up a forum in which a nation that has endured an emergency circumstance outside of their control is able to submit a request for the needed amount of food, as well as the types of food that are especially needed. The World Food Programme could then pull from food banks and encourage members with strong agriculture to donate to these nations. It will be essential that we provide the aid and food necessary to those countries in need. The WFP needs to lead this effort by setting an example and precedent. When nations in the international community outside of this organization see such a large and powerful group performing these duties, they will be compelled to follow their lead. In areas that lack humanitarian access, the WFP needs to begin to consider taking drastic action, such as food air-drops. Taking this action would allow people that were currently unable to access aid to be given the resources they need. We should take steps to establish permanent facilities in areas of high destitute, war, or natural disaster. Establishing these facilities would mean that even in times of absolute crisis when there is no way the WFP can directly help that these areas are still prepared to handle the situation. Encouraging nations within the WFP to take this action, or even setting a policy to do so, would act like a role model for the rest of the international community. When looking to humanitarian access and its implications in the World Food Programme, there are certain steps that we must take in order to see success. We must establish a universal policy across the nations of the WFP, encourage the same policy throughout uninvolved nations in the international community as well as take innovative steps to getting humanitarian access to those countries that could not access it otherwise.