Rules of Procedure
Rule 1 - General Authority of the Secretary-General
(1) The Secretary-General may, at any time, make either written or oral statements to the Committee.
(2) Interpretation of the rules shall be reserved exclusively to the Secretary-General. The Secretary- General shall rule on matters not specified by the Rules of Procedure. Any deviation from the provisional agenda is at the approval of the Secretary-General.
(3) The Secretary-General has ultimate authority over any decisions and rulings made in regard to the Conference and his or her decision are final and not subject to appeal.
(4) The Secretary-General may delegate members of the Secretariat to exercise his or her authority under this rule or any duties or prerogatives specified elsewhere in the Rules of Procedure.
Rule 2 - General Authority of the Committee Directorate
(1) In addition to exercising the duties and authority described elsewhere in these rules, the Committee Directors shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the committee, direct the discussions towards consensus, and ensure observance of the Rules.
(2) The Director may rule motions judged not to be constructive to the course of debate as dilatory with the exception of motions to appeal the decision of the Director.
(3) The Director may temporarily transfer duties to assistants at his or her discretion. The Director is required to hand over the duties to a designated member of the Secretariat upon the request of the Secretary-General. In case of repeated breach of the rules the Secretary-General may remove the Director or Assistant Director and appoint Acting Director or Acting Assistant Director.
(4) The Director may propose an alteration from the provisional agenda with the approval of the Secretary-General.
(5) In exercising these functions, the Director will at all times be subject to the Rules of Procedure and responsible to the Secretary-General.
Rule 3 - Appeal
A delegate may appeal any decision of the Director unless otherwise stated in the rules in the form of a motion to appeal the decision of the Director. This motion requires a second. The Director may make an oral statement to the Committee in defense of the ruling. The committee will then move directly to vote on the motion. A two-thirds majority is required to overrule the Director’s decision. Any decision of the Secretary-General or members of the Secretariat acting with his or her authority cannot be appealed.
Rule 4 - Languages of the conference and courtesy
English will be the official and working language of the Conference. No representative may address any forum or submit a document in a language other than English with the exception of the non-English language committees, which will use the specified language in all addresses and written documents.
Rule 5 - Participation of Non-members
(1) Representatives of accredited observers will have the same rights as those of full members, except that they may not sponsor or vote on resolutions. They may distribute working papers.
(2) Delegates shall show courtesy to other delegates, the Secretariat, Committee Directors and the professional staff of the venue and shall at all times present themselves in formal business attire.
(3) The Committee Director will immediately call to order any delegate who fails to comply with this rule. The Secretary-General may expel any delegate for failing to adhere to this rule.
Rule 6 - Attendance and Quorum
(1) The Director may declare a session open and permit debate when at least one-third of the committee is present. The presence of a majority of those Member States in attendance at the opening session shall be required for any decision on the substantive question to be taken. A quorum will be assumed to be present unless specifically challenged by a roll call, triggered by a point of order.
(2) At the beginning of the opening session, and other sessions at the discretion of the Director, the Director will call on the Member States and Non-Members in English alphabetical order to state their attendance. Members of all committees, unless otherwise specified, will reply ‘present’ or ‘present and voting’, where ‘present and voting’ means the Member State declares not to abstain on substantive votes.
Rule 7 - Setting the Agenda
A motion to set the agenda is in order as the first motion during the opening session of the committee or once debate on other items is concluded. The delegate making the motion will state the agenda item to be debated first. This motion requires a second.
Rule 8 - Debate and the Speakers’ list
After the agenda has been determined, one continuously open speakers’ list will be established for the purpose of the general debate of the agenda item under consideration. Speaker’s time will be set at the discretion of the Director. The motion to change the speaker’s time requires a second, and a simple majority of present and present and voting to pass. The speakers’ list will be followed for all debate on the agenda item, except when superseded by procedural motions or debate on amendments.
Delegates may speak generally on the agenda item being considered and may discuss any resolution or working paper currently on the floor. Separate speakers’ lists will be established as needed for procedural motions and debate on amendments. Any Member State or Non-Member may add its name to the speakers’ list by submitting a request in writing to the Director or, at the discretion of the Director, by raising their placards when asked. Once the end of a speakers’ list has been reached, debate is considered automatically closed.
If there are no objections, the motion shall be considered as automatically adopted by the committee. If there are seconds and objections, a speakers’ list will be established to discuss the motion, with an equal number of speakers for and against the motion. A motion to close debate (in accordance with Rule 10) will be in order after the Committee has heard at least two speakers for the motion and two against, or the speakers list is exhausted.
On closure of debate, the committee will move directly to a voting procedure. A simple majority is required to set the agenda. If the motion fails, the Committee will automatically move to debate the second agenda item. After the Committee has adopted, rejected or tabled a resolution on the first agenda item, the Committee will automatically proceed to discuss the second agenda item.
All motions for caucus shall be ruled dilatory during the consideration of the agenda. The delegates will not be allowed to yield their time before the agenda is set.
Rule 9 - Unmoderated and Moderated Caucus
A motion to enter either unmoderated or moderated caucus is in order at any time when the floor is open. The delegate proposing the motion must briefly explain its purpose and specify a time limit for the caucus, not to exceed thirty minutes. A motion to enter moderated caucus additionally requires a specified topic and a speaker’s time limit.
These motions require a second. A majority of members present and present and voting is required for passage. Once the time limit for the caucus has elapsed, a further motion to enter caucus may be proposed by the delegates and requires a second and simple majority of members present and present and voting to pass. An absolute maximum of two extensions may be granted for any single caucus and time for any of the extensions may not exceed the time limit for the original caucus. The Director’s decision not to allow a motion for an extension of a debate is not subject to appeal.
Rule 10 - Closure of Debate
A delegate may propose a motion to close debate on the item currently under discussion at any time when the floor is open. This motion requires a second. Permission to speak may only be granted up to two delegates opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be put to a vote. Closure of debate requires a two-thirds majority.
Rule 11 - Postponement of Debate
Whenever the floor is open, a delegate may motion to postpone debate on a resolution or amendment currently on the floor. The motion, otherwise known as tabling, requires a second, a two-thirds majority to pass and will be debatable to the extent of one speaker in favor and one against the motion. No debate or further votes will be allowed on any resolution or amendment on which debate has been postponed unless the debate is resumed. A motion to resume debate on a resolution or amendment that has been postponed will require a second, a simple majority to pass and will be debatable to the extent of one speaker in favor and one opposed.
Rule 12 - Suspension or Adjournment of the Meeting
(1) Whenever the floor is open, a delegate may move to suspend the meeting of the Committee until its next scheduled meeting. This motion will usually be in order only in situations specified in the schedule of the Conference. The Director may rule such motion dilatory and this decision is not subject to appeal. Such motion will not be debated and will require a simple majority to pass.
(2) Whenever the floor is open a delegate may move to adjourn the meeting of the Committee for the duration of the Conference. This motion will not be in order until three-quarters of the time scheduled for the last session of the Committee have elapsed. The Director may rule such motion dilatory and this decision is not subject to appeal. Such motion will not be debated and will require a simple majority to pass.
(3) The Secretary-General may suspend or adjourn the meeting at any time at his or her discretion.
Rule 13 - Speeches
No delegate may address a session without having previously obtained the permission of the Director. The Director may call a speaker to order if his or her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion, do not follow the correct parliamentary convention or are otherwise discourteous. The Director may limit the time allotted to each speaker. When a delegate exceeds the time limit, the Director may call the speaker to order. Delegates who commit a serious breach of rules can be permanently removed from the Committee by the Secretary-General or a designated Secretariat member.
Rule 14 - Yields
(1) A delegate granted the right to speak in general debate shall, upon completing his or her speech, yield the remaining time to points of information. The Director, who has the right to call to order any delegate whose question is rhetorical, leading and/or not designed to elicit information, may select questioners. Follow-up questions will be allowed only at the discretion of the Director. Only answers to questions will be deducted from the speaker’s remaining time. The delegate may refuse to answer the question.
(2) Once there are no more points of information, the delegate may yield the remaining time in one of two ways:
a. Yield to another delegate. His or her remaining time will be given to that delegate, who may not make any
b. Yield to the Director. Such a yield should be made if the delegate does not wish to yield to another delegate. The Director will then move to the next speaker on the speakers’ list.
(3) Yields are not in order if the delegate has exhausted the time limit for the speech or during the moderated caucus. If the Director deems that there is not enough time left for points of information, she or he shall ask the delegate to yield the remaining time back to the Director.
Rule 15 - Right of Reply
A delegation which national honour or integrity has been insulted by another delegate may request a right of reply. The request must be made in writing and submitted to the Director without delay. The decision to grant the right of reply is at the discretion of the Director and is not open to appeal. A right of reply will not be granted solely in order to correct a perceived inaccuracy in a speech. The Director shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply, not exceeding 1 minute. A right of reply to a right of reply is out of order.
Rule 16 - Point of Personal Privilege
Whenever a delegate experiences personal discomfort, which impairs his or her ability to participate, he or she may rise to a point of personal privilege. While a point of personal privilege may interrupt a speaker, delegates should only do so with the utmost discretion and only with reference to the audibility of the speaker unless in exceptional circumstances.
Rule 17 - Point of Order
A delegate may rise to a point of order to indicate an instance of improper parliamentary procedure. A delegate shall, in rising to a point of order, clarify the substance of the point. The Director, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, will immediately rule upon the point of order. The Director may rule out those points that are dilatory or improper; such a decision is not subject to appeal. Points of order may not interrupt the speech of a delegate or Director.
Rule 18 - Point of Parliamentary Procedure
A delegate may rise to a point of parliamentary procedure to request clarification from the Director regarding the Rules. A point of parliamentary procedure shall not relate to a substantial issue under discussion and it may not interrupt a speaker.
Rule 19 - Draft Resolutions
A draft resolution may be introduced when it receives the approval of the Director and is signed by ten percent of Member States present and present and voting. Signing a resolution need not indicate support of the resolution and the signatory has no further obligations or ownership of the resolution.
A draft resolution may have up to four sponsors, and a delegate may count as a sponsor only if the delegate has authored, or helped to write, the draft resolution. The role of a sponsor indicates support of the draft resolution and the number of sponsors counts towards the final number of the signatories.
Once a resolution has been approved, it has been copied and distributed and a motion to introduce the draft resolution entertained, a delegate may read out loud the operative closes, yields are out of order. The motion to introduce a draft resolution requires a second and a simple majority to pass. More than one resolution may be on the floor at any one time, but no more than one resolution may be passed per agenda item.
Rule 20 - Amendments
An amendment is a proposal that adds to, deletes from or revises part of a draft resolution. Delegates may amend any draft resolution that has been introduced. Amendments shall normally be submitted in writing, have only one sponsor, are subject to the approval of the Director and require signatories of not less than one eighth of Member States present and present and voting.
Amendments to amendments are out of order; however, an amended part of a resolution may be further amended. Perambulatory phrases may not be amended, unless at the discretion of the Director. A delegate may motion to introduce an amendment when the floor is open, which requires a simple majority to pass. Upon successful introduction of an amendment, the general speakers’ list will be temporarily suspended and a new speakers’ list established for and against the amendment.
A motion to close debate (Rule 10) will be in order once the committee has heard at least two speakers against, unless there are fewer delegates wishing to speak against. Once debate is closed on the amendment, the committee will move to an immediate vote. A passed amendment shall be treated as an integral part of the draft resolution under debate. Amendments that do not alter the substance of a draft resolution and are proposed in order to rectify spelling errors or other minor errors can be incorporated into the resolution without a vote at the discretion of the Director.
Rule 21 - Competence
A motion to question the competence of the committee to discuss a resolution or an amendment is in order only immediately after the resolution or amendment has been introduced. The motion requires a two-thirds majority to pass and is debatable to the extent of up to two speakers for and two against.
Rule 23 - General Voting Procedure
(1) All members of the committee, including observers, shall have one vote on procedural motions including votes on amendments. No abstentions are permitted on procedural matters.
(2) The only substantive question concerns the adoption of resolutions, where only full Member States may vote. Each vote may be a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘abstain’. Voting with ‘rights’ is not permitted. Members present and voting will be defined as members casting an affirmative or negative vote only. Voting shall normally be by a show of placards, except when the Director has authorized a roll call vote or where a motion for a roll call vote has been passed by a simple majority of the committee. A roll call vote shall be taken in English alphabetical order of the names of the Members. Members will respond ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘abstain’ or ‘pass’, where Member States who respond ‘pass’ must respond either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when asked a second time by the Director once the roll call has finished.
(3) Only a point of order or a point of personal privilege may interrupt voting procedures and must be made in connection to the actual voting.
(4) Unless specified otherwise in the Rules, decisions of the Committee shall be made by a simple majority of the members present and present and voting. In special circumstances, a vote may be considered by the Secretary General and on the recommendation of the Committee Director an ‘important question’ under Article 18 of the Charter. Votes identified as such require a two-thirds majority for passage.
(5) If two or more proposals relate to the same question, they shall, unless the committee decides otherwise through a motion to postpone debate, be voted on in the order in which they were submitted. A longer motion of one type does not supersede the shorter version of the same motion.
(6) The General Voting Procedure may be altered by the specific rules relating to committees provided elsewhere in the Rules.
Rule 23 - Motion To Reorder Draft Resolutions
A motion to reorder draft resolutions will be in order immediately after closure of debate on an agenda item, but prior to entering voting procedures. The motion requires a second, and a simple majority to pass. If the motion to reorder draft resolutions passes, the Director then will subsequently accept motions specifying the order in which the draft resolutions should be voted on.
Once this is done, the committee will vote on the motions in the order they were submitted, until all fail or one of them passes. The motion specifying the reordering of draft resolutions requires a simple majority for passage.
Rule 24 – Division of the Question
After the debate on an agenda item has been closed, but before a substantive voting, a delegate may move that the operative clauses be voted on separately. Perambulatory clauses and sub- operative clauses may not be separated in a division of the question. If there are calls for multiple divisions, those shall be voted upon in an order to be set by the Director where the most radical division will be voted upon first.
A motion to divide the question requires a second and shall be voted upon, requiring a simple majority to pass Permission to speak on the motion shall be given only to two speakers in favour and two against. If the motion passes, the resolution will be divided accordingly, and a separate procedural vote will be taken on each divided part to determine whether or not it is included in the final draft.
Parts of the resolution that are subsequently passed will be recombined into a final document and then put to a substantive vote.
Rule 25 - Order of Precedence, Special Voting Procedures and Annexes
The order of precedence regarding points and motions listed in the Rules of Procedure shall constitute part of the Rules and be applied to proceedings in all committees of the Conference as outlined in Annex (1). However, unless otherwise specified in the Rules, motions that require a vote shall be considered by the Committee in order of their disturbance to the proceedings, with the most disturbing motions being voted on first.
The following annexes to the Rules of Procedure shall be regarded as constituent parts of the Rules and shall be applicable only to the respective committees:
Annex (2): Security Council and Historical Security Council - Special Rules and Voting Procedures
Annex (3): European Council - Special Rules and Voting Procedures
Annex (4): International Monetary Fund Executive Board - Special Rules and Voting Procedures Annex (5): League of Arab States - Special Rules and Voting Procedures
Annex (6): International Court of Justice - Special Rules and Voting Procedures
Annex (1): Order of Precedence
Points and motions shall be considered in the following, descending order of preference:
I. Parliamentary points:
a. Points that may interrupt a speaker
1. Point of personal privilege. Points that are in order only when the floor is open 1. Point of order
2. Point of parliamentary inquiry.
II. Parliamentary motions:
1. Motion to adjourn the meeting
2. Motion to suspend the meeting
3. Motion to close the debate
4. Motion to postpone the debate (tabling)
5. Motion to introduce a draft resolution
6. Motion to introduce an amendment
7. Motion to question the competence of the committee
8. Motion to introduce a working paper
9. Motion to extend a moderated or an unmoderated caucus
10. Motion for an unmoderated caucus
11. Motion for a moderated caucus
12. Motion to appeal the decision of the Director
III. Motions after the debate has been closed:
1. Motion to reorder draft resolutions
2. Motion to divide the question
3. Motion for a roll call vote
The Model UN Conference will acknowledge delegations that do a superb job of representing their country.
Awards will be based on the following criteria:
1. Represents assigned country, realistically conveying a thorough understanding of the country’s policy;
2. Conducts oneself in a diplomatic manner during formal and informal debate;
3. Shows a willingness to negotiate through topics for the benefit of the committee;
4. Conveys knowledge of United Nations structure and function;
5. Understands and follows the Model UN Conference rules of procedure;
6. Displays the ability to verbally present policy, ideas and questions during committee;
7. Shows notable improvement over the course of the conference in regards to performance.
The following awards will be given:
• Best Position Paper Award per committee: Given to delegates in each committee who have submitted outstanding Position Papers before the settled deadline.
• Best Delegate Award per committee: Given to delegates in each committee who have been recognized as outstanding delegates for their performance based on the previously mentioned criteria.
• Honourable Mention per committee: Given to delegates in each committee who deserve honourable mention for their performance based on the previously mentioned criteria.
• Unofficial / Fun Awards will be given out within committees if there is time at the end of committee sessions.