Position Papers Guidelines
A position paper is a three paragraph statement in which the delegate explains the history or basic facts of the debated topic, states their country's opinion about it, and explains the country's proposed solutions.
The paper’s purpose is to organize a delegate position in order to quickly present the country’s stand to the forum. In a simulation, each delegation presents their position paper and can answer
questions about it. A position paper is required for each of the topics in your committee.
It must be written from the country’s point of view rather than a delegate’s own
A position paper should contain three paragraphs and the correct headings:
1. First of all, the correct headings for a position paper should be left aligned, underlined and bold. These headings should include; committee, topic, country, delegate and school, and should be in this order.
2. Background information- In essence, the first paragraph of a position paper presents the topic that will be debated. It delineates the basic history of the topic with facts and statistics. This paragraph should refer to the topic and not focus on the delegation; it should be neutral, and present no opinions.
3. The country's opinion about the topic- Now that the topic has been described, the second paragraph now focuses on the delegate’s country.
This paragraph must clearly state and explain the position of the country in respect to the topic, how this topic affects the country, and how it has attempted to solve it.
4. Solutions- Finally, once the country’s position is understood, the delegate
proposes solutions for the topic on behalf of their country. The union of the tentative solutions from various delegates will hopefully stir the essence for the committee’s resolution.
Position papers should be roughly three fourths of a page, single spaced, size 12, with one inch margins. Its ultimate purpose is to make reference when proposing solutions in the committee. Remember to support your statements with statistics, facts, and quotes. Delegates are the representatives of a country and thus they must write the position paper using words such as we, us, my country, the country's name, and they should not include words such as I, me, etc. The correct headings for a position paper should be bold and underlined and in order like the example below.
Sample Position Paper
Committee: United Nations Environment Programme
Topic: Overpopulation and the Environment
Delegate: John Smith
School: Xiamen International School
A. With more than 6 billion people in the world today many are left to wonder how long it will be before the world's natural resources are used up. Tropical forests are cut down for economic reasons. In order to make more space for the population, forestlands need to be cleared. The main method for clearing land is burning, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Roads have been built across the rainforest to expedite this migration from the cities. The most severe threat in this issue happens in every country, which continues to increase. The resulting global annual damage from Deforestation alone is immense and is estimated at about 45 billion dollars. B. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), as known as the Earth Summit, was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992. Here, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was produced. The Rio Declaration is a statement of 27 principles upon which the nations have agreed to base their actions upon in dealing with environmental and developmental issues. Another major document resulting from UNCED was Agenda 21, a 40-chapter outline on specific issues relating to sustainable development. In addition, the assistance from the United Nations Developmental Program (UNDP) and UN Commission on Sustainable Development has also impacted developing nations. With the assistance from these organizations, the developing nations were able to setup proper frameworks to help them develop with the proper supervision from the UN.
C. Brazil is the world's largest consumer of tropical wood products and consumes about 86 percent of its own production. Brazil has been one of the World Bank's largest borrowers, with loans totaling $9.3 billion between 1992 and 1999. Brazil's rich forest is far more threatened than the Amazon, with as little as 7 percent of the original forest remaining, and Brazil realized it is in urgent need of attention and conservation efforts. Brazil had begun making policy changes since agreeing to host the high-profile 1992 Earth Summit. Brazil signed and ratified Agenda 21 to the fullest extent. The Brazilian Bioinformatics Resource Center and the Brazilian Molecular Biology and Technology Network were created in order to implement chapter 16 of Agenda 21 which discussed about environmentally safe management of biotechnology. Brazilian President Cardoso also signed into force an environmental crime bill which for the first time defines pollution and deforestation as crimes punishable by stiff fines and jail sentences. On September 4, 2001, Brazilian government created a bill deeming that 80% of the Brazil's remaining Amazon to be set aside for protection. Brazil, being ththe 5 most populated country, believes that there can be no lasting solution to any other global environmental issue until the problem of overpopulation is successfully confronted. Solving the problem of overpopulation will involve more widespread acceptance of the importance of reproduction education, particularly cheap and available contraception. People must be able to space their pregnancies to avoid related health risks. The implementation of a family planning program would help limit the number of children per family, making the population growth rate more consistent as well as lower. Education regarding social values is also needed. An improved education system where people learn to think for themselves and recognize themselves as part of nature is highly encouraged. Brazil strongly asserts the idea that if we want to be part of the ecological system, we have the duty to save that system from ourselves.