Gearing Up for Conference

BACKGROUND GUIDES AND UPDATE PAPERS

Background guides and update papers are available on your committee page. We strongly recommend reading these documents before conference in order to get a sense of what your committee’s topics are all about.

RULES OF PROCEDURE

The Rules of Procedure are the protocols that each committee will follow, to structure debate and keep discussion productive and orderly. Download a copy of MUNUC’s Rules of Procedure for your reference.

POSITION PAPERS

A position paper summarizes the problem at hand from the perspective of your assigned country or delegation and proposes solutions that your country would support. Each delegation should write one paper per topic. Position papers are due January 13, 2017. More help on writing a position paper can be found below.

Position Papers

Position Papers are the published work of a delegation outlining country-specific information related to the topic area at hand and an official position and plan toward resolving the problem, reflecting the priorities and perspective of your country or delegation. In terms of content, delegates have considerable freedom in deciding what to include, although papers are typically organized in a fashion similar to that outlined below:

  • First section: Background on the topic (what is your country’s outlook on or history with the problem?)
  • Second section: Official position (what has your country done or said about this topic, both domestically and internationally?)
  • Third section: Amenable solutions (what does your country propose doing to resolve this issue?)

Because you are representing an entire country or other delegation and not yourself, take care to refer to what your country believes and hopes to achieve, and not you personally. For instance, “Her Majesty’s Government desires…” or “The Kingdom of Spain believes…” would be appropriate instead of “I want…”

You’ll be expected to use the same third-person tone throughout conference!

Guidelines

A position paper does not need to be lengthy to be well-written; one single-spaced page in a standard font and size is usually enough. (Press Corps papers work differently; see below for details.) Please do cite your sources; you can use any citation style, like MLA, APA, or Chicago, as long as you remain consistent. Include the committee name and topic area, as well as your school, country, and name, at the top of the page.

Press Corps Members

Journalists should submit a 500- to 700-word editorial piece, in lieu of a traditional position paper. The editorial should be written from the perspective of your assigned publication and discuss a topic being simulated in any of the other committees at MUNUC this year. Your work should reflect research on and knowledge of the views of the specific publication you’re representing, as well as a basic familiarity of the topic discussed.

Sample Position Paper

Committee: Security Council
Topic Area A: Former Yugoslavia
Country: Ghana
Delegate: Mr. Kofi Annan

Ghana strongly believes that U.N. policy regarding the situation in the Balkans has been flawed from the start. First, Ghana would like to remind the Security Council of Article 51 in the United Nations Charter.

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individuals or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

This article of our Charter clearly establishes the right of any sovereign nation to defend itself from an external attack. However, the U.N.-imposed arms embargo over the regions of the former Yugoslavia clearly takes this right away from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The amply supplied Serbs have taken advantage of this and used the armaments left behind by the Yugoslavian Federal Government to beat the poorly armed Bosnians into submission. As such, Ghana believes that the U.N. is doing a tremendous injustice to the nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thus, unless this body acts immediately to halt Serbian aggression in Bosnia, we are obliged to lift our blanket arms embargo to allow the Bosnians to defend themselves.

However, Ghana would like to stress that it strives for a peaceful solution to the conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia, and to the tensions in Macedonia and Kosovo, and thus would not simply endorse an escalation of warfare. As the greatest number of human lives are being lost in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ghana believes that the Security Council should deal with this nation first. Although Ghana does not like the fact that the Bosnian-Croat federation would hold only 51% of the land of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we believe that if the Bosnian-Muslim and Croat leaders can agree to this type of reduction in land, then it should be acceptable to the world community.

Ghana believes that the U.N. should force the Federal Serbs to allow U.N. monitors between the internationally recognized borders of Serbia and Bosnia. If Serbia does not allow this, Ghana urges the Security Council to tighten the embargo against Serbia, not even allowing humanitarian aid through. This may seem unnecessarily harsh, but we believe that more direct pressure on the Serbian people and leaders will force them to quickly change their stance, saving more lives in the long-term.

Ghana believes that a continued U.N. presence in Croatia and Macedonia will be the best way to defuse tensions. As the preemptive peacekeepers in Macedonia seem to be working, Ghana fully supports them and requests the Security Council to reevaluate the situation and perhaps send more troops there to safeguard the peace.

Model UN 101

Model UN can come with a steep learning curve, with all of its jargon and complexities. To help you make the most of your conference experience, experienced MUNUC members have put together a series of introductory resources, and we encourage you to browse through them if you’re looking for an orientation to MUN or a refresher about how a committee works. If you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your committee executives via email!