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Working and Position Papers Guidelines

Guide to Writing Working Papers


Working papers are often the precursors to resolutions in that they can outline the issues of a topic area or propose solutions without a particular format. A working paper may not be voted upon and may only contain signatories. Some chairs, however, may request that working papers be submitted in resolution format.


Sample Working Paper:


Committee         : United Nations Security Council

Topic                      : Situation in Haiti

Signatories          : (1/5 of the committee)


The following elements must be implemented by the Security Council to achieve a successful solution to the situation in Haiti.


1.            Peacekeeping Forces must be involved in all of the following, particularly in coordinating resources and efforts with the Provisional Government (PG)


2.         Security and support for elections must be given


a)            Ensure all citizens have an opportunity to participate in election

i)             Security must be present at polling places

ii)            Elections and voter information must be publicized


b)            International monitors, including UN, must be present to:

i)             Ensure fair process

ii)            Report back to MINUSTAH and UN


c)            Pressure for fair democratic elections

i)             Ensure that political parties are fair and legitimate

ii)            Restore faith in democracy










·         Forces to enter the region and document the extent of the Human Right violations, so that they can determine the real perpetrators

·         Provision of basic amenities including clean water and food, clothing, sanitation, medical aid, etc.

·         Monetary aid –

ü  recommend to set up a fund (under ECOFIN, with help and advice from the World Bank, and the IMF, if and when necessary)

ü  this fund can be accessed only by the group of people hand picked by the Secretary General and who will send regular reports of the flow of income and outcome to the United Nations body concerned –

ü  funds from willing and able countries for various purposes, including but not limited to: any training, education or victims who have lost their homes, refugees, etc.

·         Urge the international community to revive the mandate and the working of the UNSMIS (United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria) and to assist and help coordinate humanitarian aid and rescue operations

·         Recognize that the people need to be made aware of their Human Rights before they are able to fight for them and thus providing the right assistance in the form of social workers and teachers

·         Assisting organisations already working for the betterment of the people residing in Syria, like,

ü  WFP (World Food Program – to obey reports based on ‘Humanitarian Assistance in Conflict and Complex Emergencies)

ü   UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Association)

ü   SHARP (Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan)

ü   Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations, etc.

·         Recommend setting up a body overseen by the Secretary General of the United Nations, that can provide the appropriate training to:

ü  medical professionals for better health care facilities

ü   social workers to help facilitate the standard of refugee camps

ü   self-defense trainers to provide basic self defense to women and children

ü   doctors to provide the appropriate medical care

ü  psychologists/psychiatrists to provide psychological care to the victims of sexual abuse, mental torture, and victims of the war as a whole

This should be funded by the monetary fund created upon the recommendation of this body

·         Recommend to the Security Council to send further assistance to the peacekeeping forces in the region to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all forms, and thus try and bring about stability to ensure that all implemented solutions are permanent

·         Creation of a capacity strengthening program – to spread awareness – in protection for the people which includes training on humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law, assessments, a code of conduct for humanitarian workers and protection in emergencies

·         Recommendation to the Security Council (under Chapter 7 of the Charter) to condemn USA’s air strikes and ground attacks that infringe Syrian sovereignty and cause civilian causalities in the crossfire


Guide to Writing Position Papers



After you have completed your research, you should write position papers explaining your country’s stance on each topic addressed in your background guide. The purpose of position papers is to help you understand your nation’s views and interests on the various issues that you will discuss during the conference. In addition to combining all of your research into a concise document, position papers will also help you remember your country’s views throughout the course of the debate. Papers should be organised into three sections that respectively address your nation’s stance: on the background of the topic, the various measures that your nation has taken to address the topic and how you plan to discuss this topic during the conference.



Each conference has slightly different requirements, but the format used at the VHMUN Conference is as follows:


A.         Write the name of your committee, topic, country, and school (in this order) on the top left hand corner of the page


B.         The paper is divided into three sections. Each section should be in a separate paragraph, as follows:

a)         History of the topic: The first section of your paper should discuss the background of the topic. This section should NOT merely be a restatement of your background guide. Instead, it should elaborate the issue as your country sees it. According to your nation, what are the fundamental issues at hand? What are the major problems that need to be discussed? Why have these problems arisen?


b)         History of your country’s position on the topic: The next section should explain your nation’s specific history with the topic, explaining and assessing the various solutions that your country has explored. What actions have your country taken to address this problem? How has your country voted on previous UN resolutions on this topic? What general positions have you taken in the past? Which actions have been successful for your nation and in what areas is further improvement needed?


c)         Proposed solutions to the topic: The final section of your paper should discuss the various solutions that your nation would like the UN to consider. How do you feel the UN should address this issue? What specific actions would you like to see taken? What solutions would you support in a resolution? What remedies does your country oppose? Furthermore, how will your nation’s specific stance on this issue match up with other countries’ positions? Make sure to reference the questions a resolution must answer’ section of your background guide for this section of your paper.


C.         Position papers should be no more than one typed, single spaced page for each topic.


Notes on Writing Position Papers


Do not write them until you are nearly, if not totally, done researching. Before you draft a position paper, outline your facts and ideas so that the paper flows logically.


Think of a position paper as essentially an outline of your ideas and goals as a country. Therefore, the last section of the paper does not need to contain goals that you could realistically achieve after negotiations and compromise – but they should be goals that your nation is willing and prepared to pursue. Remember:

By the time you have finished the position paper, you should be ready to defend and explain all  your ideas in committee.


Your ideas should reflect your nation’s position – only start researching or creating possible solutions once you have fully researched your nations position on the issue.


The solutions you propose should be as original as possible. Solutions already enacted in previous documents or initiatives should not be included unless there is a valid reason to repeat them.


To give credit to your position and solutions, make sure to give sufficient specific evidence. Include dates, historical background, titles, names, and any other relevant details.


When explaining ideas, strike a balance between being concise and thorough. Include specifics in your plans but make sure your descriptions are brief and easily understood.




COMMITTEE: Human Rights Commission

TOPIC: Human Right Violations in Sri Lanka

COUNTRY: Ukraine

SCHOOL: VIBGYOR High School, Mumbai

Human Rights are the rights you have, simply because you are a human.

 In the past ages there were no human rights. Then the idea emerged that people should have certain freedoms. This resulted in the document called the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, in the wake of World War II. There are thirty rights to which all people are entitled.

Human rights advocates agree that, sixty years after its issue, the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ is still more a dream than a reality. Violations exist in every part of the world. For example, Amnesty International’s 2009 World Report and other sources show that individuals are tortured or abused in at least 81 countries, face unfair trials in at least 54 countries and are restricted in their freedom of expression in at least 77 countries.

Ukraine gained independence in 1991 and following the establishment of diplomatic relations, there has been closer cooperation between Sri Lanka and Ukraine on bilateral and multi lateral levels. A number of agreements are currently under negotiation, covering education, defence, science and technology, ports and shipping, air services and trade. Ukraine has become the latest country to expand its diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka after the end of a brutal three decade war in 2009. 

The conflict in Sri Lanka has been one of the greatest offenders in Human Rights violations. In accordance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is stated that ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood’. Nevertheless, brotherhood is not a word one would associate with the tensions in Sri Lanka.

Thus, the following points cover what can be possibly done to prevent Human Right violations in Sri Lanka:

·         Provide more assistance to help willing countries prevent such violations.

·         Give greater recognition to the few nations that have very good Human Right records.

·         Accept more refugees without applying political bias based upon their origin.

There is no simple solution to stop Human Right violations. As long as countries are condemned, punished or excused on a political basis and certain nations promote a constant atmosphere of war, the situation remains unlikely to improve.







Committee: International Labor Organization
Topic: Globalization and Development
Country: Romania

*This sample position paper was submitted by the delegation of Romania at the 2007 UNA-USA Model UN Conference in New York City.


In the past two decades the rapidly growing world trend has been toward globalization. With the emergence of the internet as a means of communication and the increasing accessibility of international trade physical barriers are not the only barriers withering away. Protective tariffs are plummeting and free trade agreements are becoming more prevalent. Romania appreciates that globalization creates favorable situations for expansion of commercial as well as economic assets. In the past year Romania has seen a foreign direct investment (FDI) increase of 199%. Inward FDI increased from EURO 234 million in 2005 to EURO 699 million in 2006. However, Romania realizes that increased globalization does not automatically produce more equality.

Globalization and Development can contribute to the advancement of the overall international human condition; however, the delegation of Romania recognizes that without proper regulation the potential for advancement will remain limited to an elite few individuals, businesses, and nations. Unless checked and aimed toward the common good, globalization cannot effectively serve the global community. Crucial in dealing with the complexities of globalization, good governance must act with solidarity and responsibility. Romania believes that in involving people in globalization we must promote moral values, democratic principles, inclusive global political culture, institutions that safeguard both individual civil rights and inherent freedoms, and the common good. In addition, coping with the influx of information from globalization governments must act with solidarity and insight. Access to digital education will undoubtedly result in the confidence of citizens in their respective administrations and allow for a greater degree of transparency, and therefore a lesser degree of corruption.

Romania believes the multinational business community has the ability and the obligation to support pertinent values in human rights, labor standards, and environmental preservation. As stated by the president, Mr. Traion Basescu, Romania feels a “heartfelt attachment to multilateralism, as an effective instrument designed to identify the adequate answers to the challenges brought by globalization.”

Romania is party to the majority of multilateral treaties and conventions identified as such by the Secretary General in the context of the Millennium Summit in 2001. Romania has always supported innovative and effective ways of establishing cooperation within and between regional organizations. As one of the newest members of the European Union, Romania is an active member of the World Trade Organization, and looks forward to offering its support to the redirection of globalization to best benefit the global community.