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In some conferences, you may be asked to make a Policy Statement. This could be in the form of a document or could be a small speech. This should be about a minute in length and gives you the opportunity to tell those in the committee what you and your country plan to do at the conference and the outcomes you would like to see. Policy Statements have many useful purposes:
- They also give a chance for other delegates to decide whether or not your aims line up with theirs. They can use this information later if they plan to work with you.
- Writing a policy statement generally allows the delegate the opportunity to think out their policy more thoroughly.
- It is in the interest of every delegation to have a document that contains that country’s policy on all issues at the conference so that there will be consistency among the various members of the delegation on all policy lines. Ideally, all delegates should have some familiarity with all the issues so that they will feel comfortable in representing their country’s view, when asked, even if they are not specifically prepared on a particular issue.
- Statements can serve as an outline for the preliminary draft resolution.
- Conferences also use Policy Statements as a way to "break the ice" and ask each Delegate to speak.
Writing a Policy StatementEdit
In order to formulate a policy statement, both in writing and in speaking, students must prepare by doing thorough research. It is important for all delegates to be informed about their country, to have specific knowledge of the issues on the agenda, and to be aware of the opinions of the experts.
These are the different components which could be in a policy statement:
- An explanation and definition of the question and its key terms exactly as they appear on the committee agenda. In a discussion of the creation of a nuclear free zone (NFZ) in Central Europe, for example, it is essential for a delegate to define terms such as NFZ, what would or would not be part of an NFZ, and the limits of what constitutes “Central” Europe.
- A summary of recent international events related to action on the question.
- Some reference to key documents relating to the issue (these should be underlined).
- A general statement of the country’s position on the issue.
- Specific suggestions for a solution to the question (to serve as the first draft for the operative clauses of a resolution).
Delegates should share their policy statements only with those directly concerned in the lobbying and negotiation process. These policy statements are not meant for general distribution. In many ways, a Policy Statement should be very similar (in terms of content) to a Resolution's Preambulatory Clauses
An Example Policy StatementEdit
This is an example of a written Policy Statement
Delegation: Russian Federation
Committee: Security Council
Question of: Situation in Iraq
Russia strongly reaffirms the absolute necessity of Iraq’s compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. In many cases, however, Iraq has actually fulfilled many of the requests and this fact must be acknowledged, too. UNSCOM reported “significant” and “important” progress. All facilities and components of the manufacturing of chemical weapons have been eliminated. Russia believes that this action alone already shows not only Iraq’s willingness to cooperate but also the strong degree to which it is willing to do so.
Numerous IAEA inspection teams have confirmed the absence of activity relating to nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, Russia is willing to acknowledge that there may have been some drawbacks in this cooperation. Such isolated instances, however, in no way justify the adoption of additional sanctions. (This was provided for in Resolution 1115.)
The situation continues to deserve serious attention. We cannot, however, continue to punish Iraq for the reason that they are not complying with respective resolution when, in fact, they are doing so at this moment. We must note the progress UNSCOM has made in the Iraqi program of products of mass destruction and draw our consequences from this, which should not be additional sanctions.
According to the reports by the IAEA, there has been significant progress in the nuclear sphere so that we can now view this part of the UN mission as accomplished. The Russian Federation fails to comprehend why these valuable reports made by the IAEA are so often brushed aside by many of our fellow delegates. We also do not understand the problems that to our knowledge are being created about the composition of the investigative groups that draw up these reports.