Saturday, October 07, 2006

Position Papers

The main idea behind position papers is to just give a brief summary of what your country's view is on your set agenda topics. You won't have to present these at conference or anything to that effect - they are for reference for other countries and can serve as your personal "cheat sheet".

Here are two examples from the New York conference (we were Croatia):

Example 1:

General Assembly First Committee

I. Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East

Dangerous entities unto themselves, nuclear proliferation within the volatile Middle East significantly increases the risk for destruction the likes of which mankind has never witnessed. Seeking a nuclear balance of power between Israel and the surrounding Arab states will only serve to heighten tensions; therefore, the international community should encourage non-proliferation and strict regulation and verification for nuclear powers. Multilateralism is the only feasible solution to this incalculable threat to international peace and security. Croatia has actively participated in several international agreements concerning proliferation, namely the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As a non-nuclear sate, we request that all nuclear powers sign the NPT and ratify the early enforcement of the CTBT. While we advocate the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Croatia supports the decision to refer Iran to the Security Council. It is our hope that this matter can be resolved diplomatically.

II. Regulating Conventional Arms

As a country that has seen the effects of civil warfare within its border recognized the threat posed by conventional arms. Croatia hosts the Regional Arms Control and Verification Implementation Assistance Center with the goal of regulating arms within the Balkan region. Only through transparency and international cooperation does Croatia believe that any arms reduction can be successful. Therefore, Croatia supports the United Nations’ register on conventional weapons. As a signatory of the Ottawa Convention, Croatia is also very involved in the threat posed by land mines. Croatia anticipates being fully de-mined by the year 2009. Another important dimension of regulating arms is to eliminate unnecessary stockpiles of conventional arms. Croatia not only agrees with the United Nations opinion on this issue; Croatia has also undertaken several initiatives to reduce the surplus of post-war arms. To resolve the problems resulted in a high percentage of armed citizens, Croatia implemented a very successful buy-back program which has greatly reduced the number of conventional arms in civilian control. Arms and ammunition that are not being used for military purposes nor are not for sale on the legal market are destroyed and then reported to the UN. A detailed inventory is taken of the existing weapons to prevent them from appearing on the black market. Croatia understands the problem of controlling the exports of conventional arms, both legally and illegally. As a result, Croatia fully supports the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime as well as the Firearms Protocol. To further combat the dangerous problem of conventional arms exports, Croatia strongly supports international border control in order to fully ensure that conventional arms are not illegally traded.

III. Non-State Actors and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors poses a unique threat to the international community because of the very nature of their desire for such weapons. While traditional states seek nuclear weapons in order to bolster their status and ability to wield power, terrorist groups fully intend to use the weapons they acquire to wreak havoc. Furthermore, globalization has made it easier than ever before for non-state actors to acquire weapons of mass destruction often through untraceable means. State-sponsored terror is on the decline making it harder for members of the international community to hold perpetrators accountable. Croatia, along with members of the EU, is working to enhance cross-border cooperation to “prevent and combat acts of terrorism and their financing.” We seek the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1373 and we encourage the sharing of intelligence regarding terrorist groups and their activities. Transnational terror makes such sharing imperative in order to maximize the ability of various intelligence agencies to put fragmented bits of information into a coherent whole. Besides signing the Proliferation Security Initiative, Croatia has taken an active role in patrolling the Adriatic Sea as well as signing a 2005 bilateral agreement with the U.S. regarding weapons delivery on the open sea. In 2002, Croatian forces seized an illegal shipment of “suspicious cargo” destined for Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, in violation of U.N. sanctions.

Example 2:

Delegation from Represented by

Republic of Croatia University of Kansas

Position Paper for the General Assembly Third Committee

The Republic of Croatia commits itself to the pursuit and protection of inherent freedoms and rights for the world’s citizens. As a proud member of the United Nations, the Republic of Croatia dedicates itself to the promotion of social development within individual member states. As a member of the General Assembly Third Committee, the Republic of Croatia examines the broad scope of humanitarian issues more specifically through three target areas: Alternative Approaches for Improving Human Rights, Crime Prevention in Developing States, and the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination.

I. Alternative Approaches for Improving Human Rights

In the quest to improve human rights, Croatia firmly believes the effort must consider a solution for global development and the establishment of systems of justice for victims of human rights abuses. In respect to human rights, the United Nations must dedicate itself to alleviating the underlying causes of human rights, namely poverty. Croatia suggests the United Nations seek all means necessary to provide aid to all of the world’s citizens living without fundamental necessities: food, potable water, access to health care, and access to educational systems. The United Nations should not only provide direct assistance, but should also seek to implement programs that promote the development of countries from a sovereign prospective. Croatia supports all actions that seek to develop internally nations in a cooperative action with the United Nations initiated by individual governments. This is a further step to complement the sentiment with which the Third Committee adopted resolution A/C.3/60/L.32 “Establishment of a United Nations Human Rights training and documentation center for South-West Asia and the Arab Region” and the adoption of resolution A/C.3/60/L.33 “National institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.” These suggested additional development programs should include comprehensive long-term plans and detailed short-term plans to achieve individually established goals of the member states. This individualistic approach helps ensure the promotion of equal rights for many different religious, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups, as their interests are represented within individual governments and at a world level, the United Nations. Of the utmost importance, however, in the improvement of human rights is to ensure that there are established systems of justice should human rights abuses occur. The ICTY is a successful example of providing peace for the victims of the Yugoslavian governments reprehensible actions. These safety nets are critical to the protection and legitimacy of all recommendations which the United Nations offers. Systems of justice provide a deterrent to gross abuses of human rights and a system of reparation should that deterrent not work fully.

II. Crime Prevention in Developing States

As the definition of “crime” continues to expand, including terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling of people, money laundering and the illegal trade of weapons, Croatia urges the United Nations to prevent crime in developing states by offering economic incentives to countries that prevent or stop criminals within their own nations. This system of justice respects the sovereignty of all nations while offering a tangible form that may help to curb national crime from becoming transnational. It is important that developing states acquire some incentive to establish appropriate justice systems as they continue to grow. The financial incentives should not burden the United Nations; however, they should provide needed capital to the developing states as the assist in the policing of the world against crime.

III. The Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

Croatia, as a member of the United Nations, fully supports the fundamental rights guaranteed by The United Nations Charter to the world's citizens. This is inclusive of rights for internally displaced peoples and refugees. In addition, Croatia supports the right of succession from extremely repressive and abusive governments in violation of these human rights agreements for these peoples. This support should extend through the United Nations in a manner similar to the approval of Draft Resolution A/C.3/60/L.62 “The right of the Palestinian people to Self-Determination.” The United Nations, in the light of abusive and torturous actions, should protect these peoples from their governments. The right of peoples to self-determination is fundamental in and of itself, and the United Nations, should move, with the support of Croatia, to assist these peoples as they seek human rights. Should these people suffer extensive damage from a government, they should be entitled to seek justice through trials or reparations for the loss of human rights.

As always, if you have any questions on position papers or anything MUN, please e-mail


ps. Meeting reminders - Namibia will be having their meeting at 9pm at Free State, Yemen will not be having a meeting this week.