WELCOME TO DUMUNC 2017
Position Paper Guide
Position Papers are generally considered one of the least interesting parts of Model UN, but they are in fact one of the most important parts. Over the past years, we have seen a significant correlation between quality of position paper and awards. Why? Delegates who invest a significant time into research can speak better with confidence and poise, avoid solutions they know don’t work, and be more creative with their resolutions. Finally, DUMUNC offers a research award for the best position paper across all committees, which as an excellent way to demonstrate your writing prowess!
To encourage research and critical thinking, we ask all delegates to submit position papers to committee chairs at the start of the conference. Position papers are a great opportunity for you to organize and present your policies and recommendations for each committee topic. For more information on position papers, please refer to the Position Paper Guide. All position papers will be read by our staff, and will have an impact on assessing individual delegate performances.
Position Papers are required for all committees unless explicitly specified otherwise by the chair. Delegates who fail to submit position papers will not be considered for awards. Position papers should be submitted at the beginning of the first committee session. They should be a maximum of one page per topic, or one page total for committees with general topics.
The position paper should be organized into three main parts, background/past UN action, country policy, and proposed solutions. While this may seem like a lot of information to research (and it is), the key to writing a successful position paper is not to write a 10 page thesis on the subject (you can wait until college to do that), but to succinctly summarize the most important points while still demonstrating insight.
This beginning section of the paper is meant to give a historical context of the problem. Try and keep this short, but be sure to be complete. Write about how the problem arose, who it affects, and why this issue is important. This is effectively your introduction. Keep it to less than half a page.
Past UN Action
Unless you want to have boring, repetitive discussions, you need to research and explain previous UN actions and how they relate to the topic at hand. Also be sure to mention other non-state actors and other relevant details towards previous attempts at solving the problem at hand. It will also be a good time to think about why these previous attempts didn’t work out so effectively.
Country and Policy Solutions
This section should be the biggest, this is where your original research and insight (that won’t always be gleaned off the background guides) will shine. Figure out how your country is affected (if directly or indirectly), what previous stances your delegation has taken, and what the delegation hopes to see happen in committee. This part is often the hardest because Madagascar may not have a specific position on deforestation in Brazil, so this is where your knowledge of international affairs, related topics, and relationships between countries will help you out.
- Don’t write in the first person. Just like in committee, delegates are expected to represent their countries and speak on behalf of them. “The delegation of ____ feels...” instead of “I think...”
- Be creative, but stay realistic. The difficulties of the United Nations lie in the limited resources the world has. Be wary of such limitations.
- Be positive. No one wants to read about the grim reaper. You want to have solutions, not just problems.