MMUN Position Papers
The position papers are the collective building blocks of an overall, national position for the conference. It will be the foundation for all negotiation and debate at the MMUN conference. Delegates are asked to write a position paper on each topic on the committee’s agenda. If they are working with a partner, they may each work individually on a single issue, but must be sure that their positions do not contradict each other in principle.
The delegation as a whole is responsible for both committee topics. (No matter the authorship of the position papers).
MMUN suggests that the delegates work together on creating the position papers, since delegates must be familiar with both topics and be involved throughout the negotiation process.
MMUN does not control the amount time of spent on each topic, therefore both delegates need to be equally invested in both topics.
A position paper is one to two pages long and contains:
- Background of the Problem
- Introduction of the country and its history, with a focus on the committee topics
- Relevance of the issue in the country.
- Country policies (and justification for these policies) with respect to the topics
- Quotes from the country’s leaders about the issue.
- Past International Action:
- Conventions and resolutions signed or ratified by the country.
- UN actions that the country has supported or has opposed.
- Actions taken by the government with regard to the issue.
- Statistics to back up the country’s position on the issue.
- Possible Solutions:
- What the country believes should be done to address the issue.
- What the country would like to accomplish in the committee’s resolution.
Understanding Issues & Developing Proposals
To help organize student thoughts before beginning the actual development of the position paper, we suggest using Problem and Solution Graphic Organizers which help students identify what issues face their country (politics) and how proposals can be made to end or solve the conflict (negotiations).
While students conduct their research, they can jot down the main and supporting ideas to be used when they begin writing their first drafts of their position papers. Then, the students identify the problem(s) that are facing their country based upon their research.
After identifying and explaining the problem (Who, What, Why), the students should list two attempted solutions and their results (based upon their sources).
Sample Graphic Organizer (based on the sample position paper – linked below)
Committee: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Click on the links below to download the following:
Position Paper Policy
Position papers are the way MMUN knows whether a delegate is prepared for the conference. Once a delegate is at a conference, there is no time or place for additional research. If a delegate is not prepared, then they will not be able to participate fully in negotiations, the heart of the committee session.
Thus, MMUN has implemented two policies to ensure the quality of the committee sessions:
- Bureau advanced review of position papers to ascertain whether additional research is required and to provide eventual feedback in a timely manner for the delegate to implement the improvements needed.
- Removal of any delegates which have failed to provide acceptable position papers by the relevant deadline from participation in committee sessions. These students will be demoted to Observer status and will not have voting rights in any committee sessions.
Position Paper Timeline
|8 weeks before the conference||MMUN starts receiving Position Papers|
|7 weeks before the conference||MMUN will contact Coordinators about missing position papers|
|6 weeks before the conference||Position papers are no longer accepted online|
|4-6 weeks before the conference||Coordinators will be notified by email of incomplete or incorrect papers|
|2 weeks before the conference||If delegations fail to submit their revised position paper(s they will be moved from delegate to observer status|
Submission Deadlines By Conference
Due Dates for submission of Position Papers is the same for both Middle School and Upper Elementary Students. The dates only vary by conference:
|NYC February Conference (February 19th-22nd, 2020)||Midnight Eastern Time on December 10th, 2019|
|NYC March Conference (March 4th-7th, 2020)||Midnight Eastern Time on January 20th, 2020|
|Chicago Conference (May 14th-17th, 2020)||Midnight Eastern Time on March 13th, 2020|
|Rome Conference (May 26th-29th, 2020)||Midnight Eastern Time on March 27th, 2020|
Committee in the Classroom
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