Memos

Memos

Deadlines 

  • Deadlines will be announced after background guides are posted this fall.
  • File extensions and the subject line of the email should be according to the following format: Committee_DelegatePosition_DelegateName_School_MemoType
  •       ex: ECOSOC_Mongolia_JohnSmith_BostonCollege_External Memo
  • Memos should NOT be directed to your Committee Chair’s personal email. These personal emails are provided in the background guide so that delegates can contact their Chair should they have any questions or concerns regarding committee procedure or their position, not for submission of memos.

Format

  • In general, memos should be 1-page, double-spaced, Times New Roman, and may include citations according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Each memo may address topics detailed in each background guide. Delegates will not be penalized if they choose to address only some topics, so long as they provide quality analysis of the topics addressed within the memo.

Description & Examples

  • Summary:  Delegates in committee distinguish themselves by thinking strategically, writing articulately, and displaying a well-informed point of view. As such, these memos are not meant to be academically rigid, but are intended to identify delegates with sharp minds, strategic thought processes and clear objectives. Delegates identified as such will be rewarded with detailed attention throughout the 40-Hour Simulation. Additionally, these memos allow our crisis team to weave the delegates' plans and objectives into crisis paths.
  • External Memos: External Memos should resemble the traditional position paper format. Each delegate should express a general knowledge of the historical background relevant to the committee/topic, a clear position on the topic, and a set of actionable objectives or solutions for addressing the current situation. A number of committees will deal with five or more topics and, in these cases, delegates should choose the topic(s) most relevant to their position as the topic of discussion in their paper. These memos are REQUIRED for all committees and delegates will be ineligible for awards if they are not submitted.
  • Internal Memos: Internal Memos are optional, but recommended for all crisis committees. While external memos may be considered a “public statement” of opinions, positions, and objectives, internal memos contain the confidential viewpoint and strategy of a delegation or person.  These documents will be kept confidential between the delegate and the committee/crisis staff.  Internal memos are intended to assist crisis staff in understanding how a delegate intends to use means, resources, contacts, and strategies within reason to achieve covert ends. The best internal memo describes "strategic means to strategic ends" and shows the staff how to assist delegates in achieving these goals. Internal memos are not required for our General Assembly committees (UNHCR, UN Women, CoP 21, British Parliament) but recommended for all other committees.
  • Examples: see the following examples from previous conferences to help solidify your understanding of how the types of memos differ.

 

Example 1: External Memo

U.S. Constitutional Convention

James Madison, Jr.

Delegates of the Convention,

We are currently faced with the task of reforming the government of our young nation and shaping it for a bright and prosperous future. To adequately reach this goal, I propose the adoption of the plan created by myself and proposed by the governor of Virginia, Mr. Edmund Randolph. This plan details the necessary creation of a stronger federal government, which I feel a large majority of us agree is needed. To start, I propose a federal government divided into three different branches. These three branches will be an executive branch, which will contain a national leader, a judiciary branch containing the court system, and a bicameral national legislature.

Each branch of government will be held in check by a system of balances, stemming from the other two branches as well as the thirteen states, and a ‘Council of Revision’ containing selected judges from the judiciary combined with the national executive. This Council of Revision has the right to veto decisions made by the legislative branch, although this veto can be overturned by a two-thirds majority of the legislature. In addition to veto power, these three branches of government are further connected in other regards, for example, the legislative branch appoints the lower federal judiciary, while the Council of Revision selects the higher federal courts.

For those with well-founded concerns about the power of states and individual citizens in this new government, this issue is addressed by my plan as well. The first branch of the bicameral legislature is selected by the states, and the second branch of the legislature is selected by a combination of the first branch and state legislatures. The executive is chosen by the legislature, so the people are essentially selecting representatives to select the national leader, in addition to their other duties. Regarding the membership of both branches of the legislature, this will be determined by the population size of each state. States with larger populations will have a higher amount of representation, while smaller states will have a smaller group of representatives. This is the best way to ensure that the people of America are fairly and proportionally represented in our new government.

I would like to personally extend my plea for the approval of each and every delegate attending this conference in regards to the plan I just outlined. Most of us can agree that our current system of government is failing, and that more authority is required at the federal level to ensure that the nation we fought to govern can prosper. My plan carefully ensures that despite an increase in power and responsibilities, our national government will remain carefully controlled, and unable to abuse the rights of the people. The upcoming Philadelphia Convention presents us all with an incredible opportunity to change the future of our nation in a positive way, as long as we make the proper choices. Join me in supporting my idea, dubbed the “Virginia Plan”, and we will ensure a bright future for generations beyond our time.

Regards,

James Madison Jr.

 

 

 

Example 2: UNGA External Memo

Holy See- Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)

The Holy See is looking forward to participating in constructive discussion at the upcoming session of the Disarmament and International Security committee, as we feel that both of the issues that will be covered must be urgently resolved to ensure a more peaceful world for all. As the Vatican has stressed many times in the past, we strongly urge restraint from all parties involved in the issues of maritime piracy and cyber security, by respecting the national sovereignty of all other states, and by taking every measure possible to avoid violent conflict of any sort.

Specifically regarding the topic of maritime piracy, the Holy See is deeply concerned about the recent trends of violence seen around the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, and other regions in which noncombatant vessels have been frequently attacked by pirates. However, the violence in these regions is not the only concern the Holy See would like to see resolved in these upcoming DISEC talks. As our Pope and leader, Francis has stated on numerous occasions, poverty is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and is something that each and every one of us must devote time to solving. We would like to stress that much of the piracy taking place in the world today is caused by unstable countries, with high poverty rates and few opportunities for their people. Thus, the Holy See strongly recommends a solution to the issue of maritime piracy that does not involve violence of any sort, but rather peaceful means of empowerment for those around the world who resort to piracy out of sheer necessity to make a living. We hereby call on the Disarmament and International Security Council to push for a resolution to the issue of piracy through increased aid and assistance to countries in which piracy is an issue, so their citizens can resort to peaceful means of obtaining income in the future.

Regarding the issue of cyber security, the Holy See views the internet and related technologies as a blessing upon humanity and an incredible innovation, given that it is used properly. As Pope Francis once stated, the internet “is something truly good, a gift from God.”[1] Any form of cyber terrorism or warfare takes away the beneficial qualities of the World Wide Web for humans, and we oppose any sort of confrontation through the web between entities or states. The potential results of cyber-attacks on infrastructure in an increasingly technologically dependent world are disastrous, and can cause serious harm to innocent people around the globe. We encourage DISEC to create strong measures opposing any sort of conflict through the internet, and endorse the use of the World Wide Web for free, peaceful, and productive means only.

 

 

 

Example 3: Internal Memo

Alexander Hamilton

Philadelphia Convention Committee

Beginning May 25th 1787

Dear Honorable Chair,

Alexander Hamilton will rid this great country of our Articles of Confederation based government. It is clear that an absolute ruler is necessary for this country. Taxes have failed to be collected and the governance of states has proven inept. In order to do this we must overcome the strong influence of antifederalists Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson who seek to keep power with the states. They have tremendous influence at this convention, but we may only need a majority of the colonies to commit to the new constitution, in order for it to pass.

To begin we must target the moderate states and get them on the federalists side. Virginia is a potent area of anti-federalism as it is a powerful state. I would seek to exert pressure on Virginia by engineering smaller scale Shay’s Rebellions amongst the southern states. I will send a letter as Daniel Shay encouraging them to take up my example as a way to get the government to act. With this increased panic it will allow my proposals for a greater more centralized government to gain support. I am specifically pursuing a parliament structure. There should be a long-term leader of the government with a first house of representatives chosen by an electorate. The lower house can be elected by the people but may only propose legislature. The long-term leader, known as the Head of Government, should have absolute veto power over all legislatures and be ultimate leader of this nation.

I will begin as being very radical and insisting life terms for all upper house and heads of government. I will allow myself to come down on these points in order to appear as though I am compromising. It is important to damage the antifederalist’s reputations as champions of states and the people. I will falsify their financial statements saying that their antifederalist state governments have favorable trade deals with the British that would hurt other states economies. I’ll have key antifederalists like Thomas Jefferson sign menial agreements in committee in order to have their signatures for the forged trade agreements. I will show the only reason they want states rights is so their states may benefit, while other states are left in the dark. I will also leak small parts of these false agreements outside of the convention to generate public outrage against the antifederalists.

Once this is done the more moderate of the convention members will see that a strong federal government may actually protect the people from tyranny of the states. Their attention will be diverted from the tyranny of the majority objection. I also want to create a large standing army. I will send messages to several neighboring Native American chieftains saying that the convention is planning to attack their tribes. At minimum they should gather along our border in war garb to defend themselves. This move alone may be enough to scare the convention for a need of a standing army. I will do whatever is in my power to ensure a stronger centralized government. Otherwise, I fear the birthing of this great nation will be overshadowed by its fiery demise.

Regards,

Alexander Hamilton


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