Representing Your Issue at Conferences and Meetings

A youth delegate speaking in front of delegates
Getrude Clement, a 16-year-old radio reporter from Tanzania and climate advocate speaks at the opening ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

You can write a position paper to help structure your thoughts and possibly prepare for a stakeholder meeting or conference.

A position paper is a short summary statement about your issue or cause. It is a way to synthesise and summarise your fact-finding and policy engagement notes and is organised like a research paper or essay.

A position paper is most effective when it uses brief and concise language, and where you use your research to support your position and make inform suggestions.


The basic structure of a position paper consists of three parts:


1. Introduction

General information on your issue or cause and its history related to your meeting or conference.  


2. Background

An overview of the policy affecting your issue or cause.

Specific actions taken by relevant officials or government departments that relate to your issue or cause.

International conventions, agreements, resolutions, and other UN, AU, and regional actions that support or connect to your issue or cause.

Quotes from officials and statistical data to back up your position.


3. Conclusion

The possible challenges or issues to be addressed by those attending the meeting or conference given your issue or cause.

Your personal recommendations to those attending the meeting or conference.


Interested in doing advocacy? Read more about how you can champion change through advocacy here! And make sure to check out our full Youth Advocacy Guide.