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Position Papers

To attend HAMUN, all delegates must write one Position Paper on one of the two topics on their committee's agenda. To be eligible for the "Best Position Paper" award, a delegate must write two Position Papers, one for each of the topics. The submission of a second position paper for the remaining awards is not mandatory; however, it is heavily weighted in determining a delegate's likelihood of receiving an award.

Due dates for HAMUN 50 position papers are:
Position Paper Deadline 1 - TBD
Position Paper Deadline 2 - TBD

How do I write a Position Paper?

What is a Position Paper?

As a delegate at HAMUN, you are required to research, write, and submit a Position Paper prior to the conference. Also called Policy Statements, these papers are required at most conferences -both high school and collegiate- around the world. The guidelines for these papers relatively consistent across the board, giving delegates at HAMUN the chance to write at a higher, more technical level - the style of which is reflected in international studies programs and careers in diplomacy. An exceptional delegate will take these papers seriously as they are an opportunity to practice your research, writing, and -ultimately at conference- speaking, skills. In addition to practicing these skills, Delegates will receive constructive feedback from the Secretariat to help build on them.

Why are Position Papers important?

Fundamentally, these papers are an exercise that help you think your country's policy more thoroughly. These papers allow you the opportunity to use your research to craft a concise statement about your country's position. The questions provided on the Research page on this website are helpful in preparing your for conference and getting you started on your paper, but your paper does not necessarily have to include all of that information. Instead, the guidelines on what a successful Position Paper should include (below) are more specific and focused. Writing Position Papers also serves the greater need of his delegation, as having documents that contain the country's policy on all issues at the conference will promote consistency in policy among the various members of the delegation. Ideally, each delegate should have some familiarity with all the issues - in his committee as well as others - so that he will feel comfortable in representing his country's view, when asked, even if he or she is not specifically prepared on that particular issue. Position Papers are the launching point of conference. A good paper will give more background on the issue and propose solutions, and as such will help get the conversation started in the opening sessions. Throughout conference, in addition to your other research, these papers will be a handy reference for your country's position to use when working on speeches and Resolutions. The solutions proposed in your Position Paper are the preliminary ideas that, during committee sessions, you should work to have ultimately included in a Resolution.

Getting Started

Before getting started on your Position Paper, you will need to know your country, your committee, and the topic that you are writing about. After you choose your topic, make sure you have read the Background Guide provided by your committee. Each Committee, with the except of GA Plenary and the Crisis Committees, will select two Topics to be debated at conference. To attend conference, all delegates must write one Position Paper on one of the two topics on their committee's agenda. To be eligible for an award, a delegate must write two Position Papers, one for each of the topics. Crisis committees, GA Plenary, Security Council, and select specialized committees with one topic or with a unique format such as NGO Forum and Press Corps are only required to submit one position paper by the second deadline.


Position Papers should be 12pt font, Times New Roman, single spaced, and 1 - 1.5 pages in length. There are three parts to a Position Paper: the heading, the content, and the works cited.


Papers should have a heading that includes the following:








A good position paper will include:

    1. An introduction of the issue, describing the problem and explaining why it is an issue of international concern, with specific examples and data.

    2. A description of recent international action related to the issue at hand, with specific examples and making special note of any UN action, as well as evaluating the success or failure of these efforts and whether your country supports them or not.

    3. An explanation of the country's position on the issue that illustrates its history with the issue and how the issue affects the country, with specific examples.

    4. An account of actions and steps that the country and its government have taken in regard to the issue

    5. A recommendation for specific UN actions that should be taken in the future

Your Positions Paper should not include information that is irrelevant to the topic at hand. Do not spend time introducing your country, just introduce the topic and include about your country that is needed to understand how it has dealt with the issue. Many papers being with an introductory paragraph about the country that is simply a list of facts copied from the CIA World Factbook. While it is necessary for a delegate to research his/her country, a general report on that country is inappropriate for the policy statement. All information included in a policy statement must directly relate to the topic at hand.

Works Cited

The Works Cited should reference at least three key documents (not included in the Background Guide for that topic) related to the topic at hand, cited in Modern Language Association (MLA) format. If sources are not cited correctly, you risk committing plagiarism. This format is the standard for citing sources in research papers. Your Works Cited page should be the last page in your policy statement with each source in alphabetical order. For any further questions about how to cite your particular sources, see the MLA Handbook. It can be found at any local library, bookstore, as well as with your school/teachers and any number of sources online.

Finishing Up

In order to write a successful policy statement and come to conference prepared, you must be able to complete the following checklist. Read policy statements of your delegation before submitting them to the Secretariat. This exercise give you a chance to proofread each other's work and help you become familiar with the issues your peers will be discussing in other committees. The checklist below is the rubric for grading. Each Position Paper must include these 8 criteria. When you have completed your paper, review the items below to make sure that you have met all the requirements.

    1. Header includes Committee, Country, Topic, School, Sponsors, and Delegate Names.

    2. An explanation and definition of the issue.

    3. A short summary of recent international action related to the question.

    4. A statement of the country's position on the issue.

    5. Specific suggestions for the solution.

    6. Reference to at least three key documents relation to the issue that are NOT cited in the committee's Background Guide (cited in MLA format).

    7. Policy statement is 1 - 1.5 pages long, singled spaced in 12 pt font, Times New Roman, with Works Cited is on the following page.

    8. Policy statement file is in.doc (Microsoft Word), .pdf, or .rtf format.

More Useful Resources

Sample Position Paper

Sample Crisis Position Paper

How to write a Position Paper

Position Paper Award Guidelines

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