Opening a Committee Session
- At the beginning of the first committee session, the dais staff will take a roll call of the member states. If a quorum of delegates is present, the chair will entertain motions to open debate.
- The Chair will go through the member states alphabetically with each state present responding with either “present” or “present and voting.”
- A delegation answering ‘present and voting’ may only vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and not abstain on any further procedural voting.
- Once debate is opened, the committee will move into agenda setting.
- A motion should be made to set an order of the topics being discussed by the committee in the order that they want them to be addressed during the conference. This motion requires a second.
- A speakers’ list will be established ‘for’ and ‘against’ the motion. Speakers ‘for’ will speak in support of the topic area suggested; speakers ‘against’ will speak in favor of setting the topics in a different order. Each speaker will be given twenty seconds.
- A vote is then taken on the first motion. A simple majority is required for passage. If the motion fails, another motion is made for the order of the topics on the agenda.
- The same procedure follows until the delegates agree on an order for the agenda topics by passing a motion.
- All motions for caucuses shall be ruled dilatory during the consideration of the Agenda. Also, delegates will not be allowed to yield their time.
- After the Agenda has been determined, one continuously opened speakers’ list will be established for the purpose of general debate. This speakers’ list will be followed for all debate on the topic area, except when superseded by procedural motions, amendments, or the introduction of draft resolutions.
- Debate will automatically close on a topic when the speakers’ list is exhausted.
- Opening a speakers’ list requires a motion and a majority vote.
- Say, “the Russian Federation would like to make a motion to open up a speakers’ list for topic #1.”
- When setting a speakers’ list, a speaker’s time must also be set. A motion will be made to set the speaker’s time to normally somewhere between 1-2 minutes. The time limit also includes any questions that other delegates may want to ask after the speech.
- Say, “the Russian Federation would like to set the speaker’s time to 1:30.” The motion must have a second. If there is no opposition, the motion passes. If there is opposition, it requires one delegate to speak ‘for’ the motion and one delegate to speak ‘against’ it. Each delegate will be given 20 seconds to speak.
- After the 20/20, a vote will be taken on the motion. The motion passes with a simple majority, but if it does not pass, the motion fails. Another motion will have to be asked for to set the time limit. This process continues until a majority votes in favor of a speaker’s time.
- Once an agenda has been set, a speaker’s list opened, and a time limit for speeches set, the chair will ask for member states who would like to be placed on the speakers’ list.
- The names of the member states who would like to speak about the first topic on the agenda will be placed on a list by the dais. They will come up to the podium in the order on the list and be given one minute and thirty seconds.
- A country may add or remove its name to the Speakers’ List by submitting a request in writing to the chair or dias. Chairs will sometimes allow the raising of placards to do this in between speeches.
- The new speakers’ list for the second topic will not be opened until the Committee has proceeded to that topic.
Position Paper Reading and Speeches
After a delegate is finished speaking, he or she must yield the remainder of the speaker’s time to one of three places:
“I yield the remainder of my time to the chair.”
- The remaining time is unused and the chair will move to the next speaker.
“I yield the remainder of my time to questions (points of information).”
- The chair will call on delegates that raise their placards in order to ask questions from the speaker.
- Questioners will be limited to only one question. The chair will have the right to call to order any delegate whose question is rhetorical and leading and not designed to elicit information.
- The speaker may only respond to questions for the amount of time that is unused. When time expires, the chair will end the speaker’s time and the delegate will be seated.
- A speaker may, at any time, cease acceptance of points of information, but must then give up the floor.
- No back-and-forth dialogue will be allowed between delegates during this time.
“I yield the remainder of my time to [insert country’s name here]”- another delegate.
- The speaker can allow another country to speak for the remainder of the 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- The country being yielded to must accept the yield.
- The country yielded to cannot make another yield (no double yields).
- Turning the floor over to a co-delegate of the same member state is not considered to be a yield.
- Parliamentary Points are non-debatable, and the Chair shall decide their outcome.
- Points should be short, concise statements. They may not provide debate or rebuttal on any substantive matter.
- The Chair will normally ask for any new points or motions when delegates do not have the floor to keep the session moving.
Point of Order
- During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may rise to a Point of Order to indicate an instance of improper parliamentary procedure.
- The Point of Order will be immediately decided by the Chair. He or she may rule it out of order and not allow it, or accept it.
- A representative rising to a Point of Order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.
- A Point of Order may only interrupt a speaker if the speech is not following proper parliamentary procedure.
- Ex. “Point of Order?” – The delegate is discussing resolution #2 and we have only presented resolution #1.
Point of Personal Privilege
- Whenever a delegate experiences personal discomfort which impairs his or her ability to participate in the proceedings, he or she may rise to a ‘Point of Personal Privilege’ to request that the discomfort be corrected.
- While a Point of Personal Privilege in extreme case may interrupt a speaker, delegates should use this power with the utmost discretion.
Point of Inquiry
- When the floor is open, a delegate may rise to a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry to ask the Chair a question regarding the rules of procedure.
- A Point of Inquiry may never interrupt a speaker.
- Delegates with substantive questions should not rise to this Point, but should rather approach the dais during caucus or send a note.
Point of Information
- Immediately after a speaker has finished a speech, a member may rise to a point of information directed to the Presiding Officer for the previous speaker relating to the substance of the previous speech.
- If the speaker yields to the point of information, then the member may ask his question.
- If the speaker refuses to answer one question, he is not accorded the privilege to answer any further questions.
- Both the speaker’s delivery as well as the point of information must occur within the time allowed by the Presiding Officer.
Procedural Motions, non-debatable
- All motions require a second to be considered by the committee.
- The Chair reserves the right to rule any motion out of order at any given time.
Changes in the Agenda
- Motions to change the agenda will require a two-thirds vote in both the General Assembly and in the other organs of the United Nations.
- There will be one speaker for and one speaker against the motion, after which the motion will be put immediately to a vote.
- At any time, except while another member has the floor a member may move to table the motion being discussed, which effectively postpones consideration of the motion indefinitely.
- This motion must be immediately seconded.
- If there are any objections, there will be one speaker for and one speaker against the motion, after which the body will immediately vote.
- A two-thirds vote is required to pass the motion to the table.
Taking Off the Table
- Any time, except while another issue is on the floor, a member may move to take off the table any motion which has been properly tabled.
- There must be a second to the motion.
- If there are any objections, there will be one speaker for and one speaker against after which the body will vote.
- A two-thirds vote is required to bring the tabled motion back into consideration.
Right of Reply
- A delegate whose personal or national integrity has been violated by another delegate may submit a “Right of Reply” in writing to the committee staff.
- The Chair may grant the ‘Right of Reply’ at his or her discretion.
- The delegate may speak to defend his or her country.
- A member may move for adjournment of the Model United Nations in the General Assembly only if there is no speaker on the floor.
- There must be a second.
- The Presiding Officer may rule the motion to adjourn out of order if they it is deemed to be in the best interest of the conference to do so. This ruling by the chair is not subject to appeal.
Recess of the Meeting
- This motion temporarily suspends the meeting until the next committee session. The motion requires a simple majority to pass.
- If the Chair rules this motion out of order, his or her decision is not appealable.
Suspension of Rules of Procedure
- This motion is rarely used, as it moves the committee out of formal debate.
- When raising this motion, a Delegate must delineate the purpose of the suspension along with limitations, if any.
Closure of Debate
- At any time after a committee enters into formal debate on a topic, a delegate may make a motion for ‘closure of debate.’
- This motion empties the speaker’s list and moves the committee directly into voting procedure regarding all resolutions currently on the floor.
- If the Chair disagrees with the motion, he or she may rule it out of order.
- The motion allows two speakers ‘for’ and ‘against’ it. It also requires a two-thirds vote to pass.
Withdraw a Motion
- A delegate that has proposed a motion may move to withdraw it anytime before a vote is taken on it.
- The delegate raises his or her placard, is recognized by the chair, and asks, “Russia would like to withdraw the previous motion.”
Close the Speaker’s List
- This motion will halt any further delegates from requesting a place on the speaker’s list, unless a motion to reopen the speaker’s list is passed.
- Debate will automatically close after all delegates on the current list have given their speeches.
Motion to Enter Unmoderated Caucus
- This motion temporarily suspends the meeting for a specified amount of time.
- Use it to create resolutions, talk to other delegates, or anything else you may need to do.
- It requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
Motion to Enter Moderated Caucus
- This motion brings the body into a moderated debate on the issue on the floor for a specified amount of time.
- The moderating officer will then recognize speakers for a specified amount of time, who cannot yield to anyone but the Chair at the end of their speech.
- This motion requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
- This motion may not be made once debate has been closed.
- Speakers are normally given 20-30 seconds each to talk.
- Speakers do not have to just ask questions or address any particular delegates.
- Along with the motion to enter a moderated caucus, a time limit is also included.