WHAT IS A POSITION PAPER?
A position paper is a brief statement of the perspective of the country you are representing in regards to the topic(s) in your committee. The purpose of the position paper is two-fold. Not only does it allow the delegates an opportunity to clearly organize their research and define their country’s policies, but it also permits other delegates to quickly determine their fellow committee members’ stance on a topic. The position papers of all the delegates in a committee will be collated and sent round to the other delegates prior to the conference, and this collated document will also be available on the website. So if you are wondering if you can ally with a certain country or if what another said was really in line with their nation’s foreign policy, you can check with the position paper!
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A POSITION PAPER?
The main purpose of the position paper is to establish a country’s foreign policy on a certain topic. Therefore, the bulk of the paper should be based on the research that each delegate will have done on that topic. There are, however, a few essential technical parts of a position paper. Before each topic, there should be four lines of information formatted in the following manner:
Delegate Name (and delegation, if applicable):
The rest of the text will be the information on your country’s foreign policy; that being said, the task of condensing a nation’s official position on any topic into a brief document can be quite daunting. For that reason, delegates must be concise and careful when selecting information to include. Be sure to take into consideration the second purpose of the position paper: allowing other delegates to quickly gain an understanding on your country’s position in order to look for allies or predict your actions within the committee. Thus, try not to bog down the paper with mundane detail. Instead, focus what you feel your country believes to be the most important information. Here are a few suggestions of what might be included:
- The names of any international agreements relevant to the topic signed by your nation. Conversely, if your nation has not signed an important agreement for specific reasons, the rationale for this might also be included. • This will immediately allow countries to determine if your foreign policies are congruent based on their status in regards to the agreement.
- The details of any topic-oriented international organizations of which your country is a member– another easy way to determine alliances. • A brief description of how the problem addressed within the topic has affected your nation. • A brief description of any programmes or actions taken by your nation’s government and/or government-approved NGOs and IGOs in regards to the problem. • How your country would like to see the questions posed by the topic (especially those found within the committee guide) addressed in a resolution. The most important thing to remember is to be concise and accurate – there’s nothing worse than another delegate questioning the accuracy of your own foreign policy!
HOW LONG SHOULD A POSITION PAPER BE? The recommended length for each topic’s position paper is one page (size 12 font, Garamond), so for most committees the entire document, including both topics, should be about two pages long (not including the non-substantive requirements). The reasoning behind the brevity of the paper is that although the EAIMUN staff hopes that you will take this as an opportunity to clarify and process the information you have obtained through research, we also do not want you to neglect other, more general, research into the topic.
WHEN SHOULD IT BE SUBMITTED? The deadline for submitting the position papers will be the 12th OCTOBER 2018. If a delegate fails to meet the deadline, their position paper will not be included in the respective committee position paper document. If a delegate fails to submit a position paper altogether, the chances of a delegate award will be affected. Each delegate should email a copy of their position paper to their Committee Directors by the deadline (whose email addresses can be found below). NB: Owing to the nature of the committees, Crisis Committee and ICJ delegates will not be required to submit a formal position paper. However, they may have separate requirements that their directors will inform them about in due course. Please see the following page for a Sample Position Paper, in acceptable format.
SAMPLE POSITION PAPER:
This is an example of what a position paper might look like. This is in no way a required format or style, but rather a suggested model for the document. The only requirement is the information before each topic. Please note that most committees have two topics, and thus delegates will need to submit two position papers, one for each topic.
Committee: World Health Organization
Topic: Eradication of Polio
Country: The Democratic Republic of the Congo Delegate Name (and delegation, if applicable): John Smith (Oxford University)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as a nation still dealing with the detrimental effects of the Poliovirus (PV), believes that the eradication of polio is not only an essential step towards reaching the Millennium goals established in 2000, but also an attainable goal in and of itself. Globally, there are only two regions in which PV is still considered endemic: The Central African and Central Asian regions. The DRC strongly holds the belief that with concrete, realistic pledges of aid by all member states and the cooperation of affected- nations’ governments with WHO and other UN initiated programmes, the disease can be eliminated within this generation.
With the WHO as a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the DRC believes it is essential that all member states of the WHO keep their promises made at the GPEI’s establishment in 1988. Specifically, the DRC laments the increasing funding gap for the programme, and calls upon all nations, especially the developed nations, to increase their monetary support of the programme. The DRC also believes that an obstacle to the goal of eradication is the lack of developed infrastructure. Therefore, the DRC also pleads to developing nations to continue and augment their development aid to affected nations so as to eliminate this hindrance. The DRC feels this is an essential aspect to any resolution passed by the committee.
The DRC would also like to offer itself as a model for a successful implementation of an eradication programme. No longer endemic within the DRC’s borders, PV has decreased due to the use of National Immunization Days (NIDs) – an effort that has begun in other African nations, such as Nigeria – and a social mobilization programme. The promotion of these two elements is also necessary within a resolution. The major obstacle to the success of these programmes in the DRC was the Second Congo War (1998-2003), during which 5 of the 11 DRC districts were occupied by invading forces and much infrastructure was lost. Due to this, the DRC feels that any resolution passed must contain some sort of reprimand for a nation who prevents the continuation of any eradication programme.