POSITION PAPER GUIDE

Introduction

Writing a position paper is a task that you, as a delegate, will have to complete at nearly any Model United Nations conference. The purpose of a position paper is to outline a delegation’s past action and current stance on its committee’s topics. At IAMUN, position papers are only mandatory in a few cases but are required in order to be eligible for an award. Thus, this guide is designed to help you write a strong position paper. Position papers are usually submitted before the conference or on the Day-1 of the conference.

What is a Position Paper?

 Despite its simplicity, many delegates often struggle to grasp the concept of a position paper. A position paper is nothing more than a document that outlines a country’s stance on a topic. While there may be some variation in position paper policies between different MUN conferences, the papers always follow a similar format. A well-written position paper will positively impact your experience as a delegate. The process of writing a position paper will assist you in the research of your topics. As a result, you will be able to effectively engage in debate with your fellow peers.

The Writing

As representatives of a country, the position paper must be written in the third person. For example: instead of writing “I believe…” you must write “the country of (country name) believes…” Follow these six steps to effectively write a strong position paper:

  1. The name of the committee, the name of your country, the name of the topic, and your own name should always be at the top of your position paper document.

  2. 2. The first paragraph should broadly introduce the topic and state areas of concern that your country believes to be of significance.

  3. 3. The second paragraph is where you will expand on the concerns you have stated in the first paragraph. You will give details on the concerns and explain why your country believes that the concern is significant. This paragraph should detail your country’s position on the topic.

  4. 4. The third paragraph should state the previous actions your country has taken. Additionally, the third paragraph should discuss other possible solutions and analyze the pros and cons.

    • Depending on the amount of research you did, you may want to create two different paragraphs: one for discussing your country’s actions and the other discussing the possible solutions.

  5. The fourth (or fifth) paragraph is the conclusion. Sum up everything you have written in your position paper. The steps have been color-coded to match the example position paper below. Please note that the topic and data are fictional. When you finished writing a position paper on both topics, email your paper to your committee dais. As your subject header, indicate that the email contains a position paper and indicate the country that you represent, for example: “China’s Position Paper”.