POSITION PAPER GUIDELINES
A paper that explains the position of the country regarding to the specific issue that will be discussed in council. An effective position paper can be broken into five simple parts:
- Topic Background
The topic background typically defines any key terms and buzz words related to the issue at hand and provides a brief summary of the history of the issue and potential consequences of ignoring the issue.
- Past International Actions
This portion of the essay addresses efforts the UN has previously made and endeavours your country specifically has taken on to combat the issue at hand. Consider what UN programs, events, resolutions, and agreements your country has participated in. Take note of the other participants in these efforts, too—they could serve as important allies in committee.
- Country Policy
This section ought to summarize your country’s own unique stance on the issue and what they believe the international community should do to resolve the issue. Here, delegates must remember that this area consists of their country’s policy, rather than their own opinion on an issue. If your country does not completely condemn human trafficking, for example, because of their own stakes in the practice, then your policy must reflect that, in spite of your disagreement. Finding speeches from your country’s leaders, scoping out their government’s website, and evaluating their actions in the UN are some ways to develop an understanding of your country’s policy.
- Possible Solutions
What proposed solutions do you have for the topic being discussed? What results does your country expect by the end of the conference?
Throughout your research, ensuring that your information comes from reliable sources is paramount. Having solid, UN-based sources increases your credibility and again can help develop a thorough understanding of your issue. Consider using credible websites like un.org and seeking university studies. Government and NGO websites can be credible but possess a bias, and similarly, news websites and blogs can provide information not as credible as un.org.
The formats for the position paper are:
- Written in English Only
- Titled in the following format: [Country]_[Council Name]_Position Paper
- Times New Roman Font, Justified text, Size 12 with 1.15 Line Spacing
- No longer than 2 pages (including the bibliography)
- Footnote format or insert the bibliography at the end are allowed
- Should be submitted in PDF format
SAMPLE OF POSITION PAPER
Topic : The “Brain Drain” of Health Care Workers
Committee : General Assembly for the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
Country : Central African Republic
The Central African Republic has been burdened with wars and dictatorships since the 1960s, and despite being endowed with internationally coveted resources such as expansive diamond minds, 73% of its population lives on less than US$1 a day. During the past 15 years, life expectancy has declined from 45 to 35 years of age due to poor health care and the HIV/AIDS epidemic which plagues 35% of the CAR’s population. Moreover, the lack of essential drugs and vaccinations has contributed to the recent outbreaks of other diseases such as Malaria, tuberculosis, polio and water-borne viruses. The World Health Organization’s resident representative in the Central African Republic stated in a recent interview that the CAR’s health system is “very precarious”, adding that most health workers in rural areas have abandoned their posts because of the region’s insecurity and unpaid wages.
Like Zimbabwe and other African nations, the “Brain Drain” migration of health care workers and other trained professionals to the more developed world is significantly contributing to the Central African Republic’s current health situation. The CAR recognizes that although we have a need for vaccinations and other salutary goods, our health care system will never be able to reach the thousands of people in need without the physical manpower provided by doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.
At the centre of our nation’s policy is the belief that without an international effort, there is no way of solving an international problem. The Central African Republic proposes a resolution which mandates that the subsidy paid by governments to train a doctor or nurse should be calculated, and repaid in an exact amount to the government if that person chooses to migrate. The cost would be paid by the country to which the person is migrating, as it is benefiting from the transfer of “human capital” trained at great cost by the country of origin. However, we also recognize that income alone will not be sufficient recompense for the lost immigrants and we, therefore, propose that in developing countries, (with a population of migrating workers over a certain percentage), the trained individuals would have to serve a short number of years in their country of origin before being allowed to migrate to practice in a different country.
The CAR also recommends that the UN channels funds through organizations like UNESCO, OECD and the World Bank to help improve the wages and living conditions of healthcare workers in third world countries, (like the CAR), who have no other means of financially motivating their citizens to remain and practice in their own nation. We also plan on advocating for a higher percentage of the national GDP to be devoted to research, development, and the promotion of the sciences. Additionally, as an African nation, we encourage our whole continent to forge a partnership with the diaspora community of Africans worldwide. An effective partnership implies building capacity and exploiting existing capacity within the existing network of highly skilled and expertise African expatriates. Finally, the Central African Republic proposes a resolution that includes the created of a database on brain drain and capacity building, thus creating knowledge blocks to complement national efforts in addressing deficiencies in education and training capacities as well as trying to maintain and effectively utilize them.