How to Write a Position Paper
What is a Position Paper?
A position paper is a document that must be submitted by all participating delegates in the SIMUN simulations. The paper is designed to make delegates become completely familiar with the internal workings of their country, their country s position in their region and in the world, and the position of their country in relation to the topics their committee will be discussing. A position paper should be about two to four pages single spaced and well researched.
A position paper should begin with background information on the country that the delegate is representing. For this part of the paper, it is acceptable for delegates representing the same country to share research. The background information should include basic facts about the economy such as GDP, unemployment, natural resources, trade balances, exports vs imports, and other factors related to the economy. Once basic economic analysis has been completed, the delegate should look into domestic political structures and trends. Important factors to consider are: type of political system, domestic pressures affecting policy (religion, ideology, ethnic tensions, location, economic relations), and policy goals of the government.
Knowledge of the Topic
Once the delegate has completed background research, he/she must look into the topics that they will be discussing in committee (Security Council delegates only need to choose one topic of importance). This investigation should be a general type of research into the topics. This research should be in addition to what is provided in the topic papers. The delegate should discuss the history of the topic in the United Nations, some of the technical aspects of the topic, and any other general information that would help demonstrate proficiency on the topic.
Proposed Course of Action
This section should include the history of what the delegate s country has said and done in the past in relation to their topics. It is a place for the delegate to explain their country s point of view on the topics, and the solution that they propose. One way to prove your country s goals is by examining past action or inaction, and sponsorship of resolutions in the past. Another useful resource for proposing solutions is looking into the experience of the delegate s country to find answers to the issues. This section essentially ties your country s perspectives to the topics, and demonstrates the delegate s ability to propose solutions from the point of view of their country.
Important Note: Position papers are due at least twenty school days before a conference. There is usually at least one award per committee given to the best researched and most accurate position paper. This is an important part of delegate preparation and should not be taken lightly. A well written position paper is essential to the quality of a model UN simulation as it requires delegates to do the careful and complete research that makes role playing realistic.
Arizona Model United Nations