Many Model UN conferences require delegates to submit “Position Papers” on their topics before a conference starts to demonstrate their research and knowledge. Position Papers are normally 1-2 pages per topic, and should have 3-4 paragraphs. They should be written from the perspective of the government of your country, include a header, and answering the following questions.
Committee: [Your Committee Title] Topic: [Your Topic]
Country: [Your Country] School: [Your School]
What is the definition of the topic?
Where does the topic take place? Who is involved?
How many people does it affect? Where, and in what ways? Why is this topic important?
Past International Action
Have there been any interesting statements by UN officials on this topic? Try to find a quote. What are the most important UN resolutions and treaties on this topic?
Do any major Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) work on this topic?
How has this topic impacted your country?
What has your country tried to do about this topic?
What types of policies would your country want the UN to adopt (or not adopt) on this topic?
What specific plans would your country like the UN to undertake to address this issue?
What specific plans would your country like Members States to undertake in their own countries? Why would your ideas work? Give specific plans.
Position Paper Example
Committee: General Assembly Third Committee Topic: Gender Equality
Country: Russian Federation School: Best Delegate High School
According to UN Women, gender equality refers to “the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys.” Gender inequality is a global issue: many women lack adequate access to healthcare, are underrepresented in political arenas (women hold only 22% of parliamentary seats worldwide), are victims of gender-based violence (approximately one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence), face discrimination in the workplace and in wages, and lack equal access to education (two-thirds of illiterate adults are women).
These issues have myriad causes, including cultural beliefs about gender and marital roles, and legal regulation. These detrimental inequalities are cyclical and complex: a female’s educational career, for example, is affected by pregnancy, household work, access to sanitation facilities at school, and the danger of physical and sexual assault.
The creation of United Nations Women in 2010 through resolution A/64/588 was a “historic step” in achieving gender equality, by “bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact”. In addition to UN Women, the main mechanism to promote gender equality worldwide is the legally- binding Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 with nearly universal participation. The UN General Assembly has also recently adopted A/RES/69/149 on combatting trafficking of women and girls, A/RES/69/147 to eliminate violence against women, and A/RES/69/236 to emphasize the role of women in development.
Through these resolutions, organisms, and NGO partners, the UN and Member States work to invest in women, provide legal protections, and educate women to accomplish these goals and achieve gender equality.
Given the integral role of women’s economic equality and independence in achieving gender equality, the Russian Federation strives to ensure that women had equal access to education and employment in order to achieve their potential, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated to the UN General Assembly. Russia encourages cooperation between UN Women and Developing Countries, not just Developed Countries. Because of the importance of economic development in empowering women, Russia would like cooperation between UN Women and the International Labor Organization as well as other UN bodies to craft plans for equality based in each nation’s traditional values and norms. Russia also feels it is critical that the United States ratifies CEDAW, as it is the largest nation not to do so.
The Russian Federation feels that important subtopics that must be addressed are gender-based violence, women’s lack of access to education and jobs, and women’s lack of representation in politics and political decision-making. To address women’s lack of representation in politics, countries can be encouraged to ensure inclusion of women candidates and create recruitment and training programs to introduce young women to politics. In order to combat and prevent gender based violence, countries can develop crisis centers and hotlines for women and develop rehabilitation programs for victims of violence. Also, Russia believes countries should ensure the safe transport of girls and women to and from schools, invest in hiring female teachers, provide adequate sanitation facilities at schools, and emphasize skill-based hiring programs in all industries, including those normally reserved for men.