Writing A Position Paper

Position Papers are documents delegates prepare prior to the beginning of the conference and after their research outlining their nation’s history with the topics at hand and how they believe the issues should be resolved. There are normally one-page and three paragraphs in length, but different conferences may have different styles and requirements for their positions papers.

Position papers are extremely important because they are the dais’ first impression of you. In certain conferences, delegates also have access to others’ position papers, making them an even more important document, as they can be used to spot like-minded allies and to prepare counter arguments to ideas presented by opposing nations. Position papers are best drafted after conducting thorough research since they serve as a basis for your position in conference and are also a foundation for proposals in future resolutions.

The format of a position paper is as follows:

Heading:

The heading of a position paper includes the name of the committee, the issue at hand, the delegation being represented, and the school representing this delegation. Depending on the conference, delegates’ names might also be part of the header.

General Overview of Topic:

In this first paragraph, you should summarize your research. Write about what has happened in the past, such as wars or resolutions passed. Don’t cite your delegation unless it is directly related to the topic at hand. For example, if the topic is something pertaining to the Falkland Islands and you are representing the United Kingdom, you will likely have to cite your country. Although you may be citing facts and providing historical context, keep in mind you are still representing your country and, as such, it is important to be biased! Choose what you want to include and what you want to omit so that the situation looks favorable for your delegation.

You Country’s Relationship to the Topic:

In the following paragraph you should discuss how your delegation is related to the topic being discussed. Write about how your delegation has been affected by the issue and what it has done to solve the problems in the past. If you can, try to find your delegation’s voting history on similar topics. Again, being biased is great; it helps to establish your position and shows that you are prepared enough to manipulate facts so that they are favorable to your country.

Solutions to the Topic:

Provide examples of what you will propose in your resolution, but don’t be too specific. Giving away all your arguments will make it easy for others to prepare counterarguments or worse, steal your ideas. This should be a significant portion of your position paper, as it can be used to show your creativity and that you have thoughtfully considered various ways to approach the topic at hand.


Sample Position Paper:

Disarmament and International Security Committee

Topic A: The Future of Cybersecurity Position Paper

Republic of Singapore

American School of Brasilia

In this globalized world, there is no denying the importance of the Internet. Due to its prominence in society, persons with malicious intent have, since its creation, attempted to acquire information they are not entitled to. To protect society from these nefarious individuals, nations have implemented internal, regional, and international prevention methods. In fact, it is estimated that governments and businesses spend one trillion dollars a year on cybersecurity. Most of the efforts are either national, regional or between a select number of nations, such as the European Union Cyber Security Strategy or the United States of America’s (USA) and Russia’s bilateral agreement. However, there have been some significant United Nations efforts, such as the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats, which serves as a neutral global platform that unites governments of the world to enhance the international community’s capabilities in dealing with cyber threats. Since cyber breaches are normally an international crime, global effort and compromise are necessary in the creation of a universal method of dealing with these security infringements.

The Republic of Singapore’s position can be summarize in the worlds of Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of the National Infocomm Security Committee: “The cyber security landscape is rapidly evolving and we must sustain and step up our efforts to meet the challenges posed by the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.” As one of the major centers for trade in the world, Singapore recognizes the importance of a secure Internet and is actively involved in the development of superior cybersecurity measures. As a long-term project, the delegation has launched a five-year plan that provides an overarching strategic direction to help government and organizations in strengthening resilience against cyber threats in order to secure Singapore’s cyber environment. In addition, the delegation’s National Research Foundation has selected seven projects in such areas as mobile security, digital forensics, and cloud data protection for further research to boost Singapore’s cybersecurity. Finally, the delegation’s government has also passed the Singapore Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, which outlines the punishment for specific cyber crimes, establishing a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000. However, like all other nations, this delegation suffers from a slight shortage of skill and lack of awareness among companies in the necessity of protection against cyber attacks. On November 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien’s website was hacked. For these reasons, the delegation is fully committed in finding a solution to the topic at hand.

The delegation of Singapore believes that raising awareness is imperative in the prevention of cyber crimes. Programs such as the “Stop.Think.Connect”, in the USA help increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower citizens to be safer online. Another possibility would be the creation of a Cyber Security Awareness Day, similar to the one this delegation has in order to remind everyone of the need for personal and workplace responsibility by adopting simple practices which yield greater security. Singapore also firmly believes in investing in education to develop citizens capable of improving all nations’ infrastructure. Finally, this delegation calls on all nations to collaborate in the formulation of a universal approach of dealing with cyber security infringements and strongly discourages other nations or companies from supporting cyber terrorists seeing as doing so is a violation of trust and another nation’s sovereignty.

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