Also referred to as a policy paper, a MUN position paper is essentially a strategic document that provides an overview of a delegate country’s position. It can also be defined as a document that describes a topic, a delegate country’s position as well as the possible solutions. It is typically 3 pages long and contains four main sections. These include the topic background, past international action, the delegate country’s policy, and the possible solutions.
Since a position paper is an expression of a country’s viewpoint, it is important it reflects the country’s perspective. Given that it is the delegate’s guideline for action during the conference; it is in the delegate’s best interests that the document accurately states their country’s position on the matter in question. Due to its importance to the MUN experience, writing an excellent position paper requires one to have good research skills and the ability to analyze information critically. There are five main steps to follow when writing a MUN position paper.
One of the most important things to do before beginning to write the position paper is first going through the questions set out in the background research packet. The ultimate objective of your write-up is to give suggestions on possible solutions or course of actions that would best answer the questions. As such, you should not only conduct in-depth research on the questions but also the main sections or elements of the position paper. If you do not conduct thorough research on the issue at hand, you run the risk of misrepresenting your country’s position or fail to provide a comprehensive course of action.
Outline the Topic in General
This step involves providing a brief summary or insight into the issue at hand and the current perception towards the issue or problem. Defining the topic you are addressing is important and should form the basis of your research. After defining the topic, you should then gather as much information on the issue as possible. Reading background guides, reports, articles, and other credible sources will help you to get a clearer view of the issue.
It is also at this stage where you identify the key terms and provide the answers to the key questions. By identifying and analyzing the key questions and terms, it is easier to develop sub-topics that will help you to narrow down your topic which will, in turn, make your background topic much easier to write.
Identify and Describe How Your Country Has Been Affected
This step entails identifying and describing your country. Besides stating how your country relates to the issues at hand or topic of discussion, you should also explain how your nation has been impacted. Be sure to emphasize the changes and the extent to which these changes have occurred. However, normative judgments should be avoided at this stage since the purpose of this section is to discuss how domestic dynamics have been altered and not to analyze the developments in reference to your nation.
Your Nation’s Policies and Proposed Solutions
This purpose of this section is to clearly outline your nation’s policies and the factors that necessitated the formulation of those policies. The detriments as well as relative benefits of the changes are addressed at this point. It is also in this section that the actions that your country has taken to minimize the effects or maximize the relative benefits of the development are discussed. You should offer an explanation of your country’s actions and why such a course of action will continue to be followed.
It is also at this section where your country’s interest in the topic of discussed is outlined. You can also explain what you feel should be changed regarding how the situation is currently being interpreted. Further, the areas that need to be reformed should be stated. Also, suggest how the revision process should be conducted. The focus should be on one area that is of particular interest or concern to your state.
To show the chair as well as the delegates that you can identify and critically analyze issues that are of great concern to your nation, you should approach the issues with an open-minded and attention to detail. You should be careful in choosing the issue as you will be required to explain its significance during committee sessions. Choose an area that would stimulate debate for long periods or one that would possibly provide a basis for resolution.
Tie the Loose Ends
Write a conclusion that restates your nation’s position on the issue. You should also write what you intend to achieve during the conference. Since it is your position paper that will determine the first impression that the chair of the committee will have of your delegation, you should ensure that the first impression is a good one. Being able to present well-researched, concise and concise paper is more likely to impress the committee which looks for critically thought and original position papers.