As Model U.N. conferences have lengthy agendas and many students are interested in speaking it is essential that order is maintained by deciding who speaks, on what, and when. Therefore, rules of procedure are utilized by most Model U.N. conferences.

Conference procedures are divided into two types of discussions: formal and informal debate.

Formal Debate: During formal debate, the staff maintains a speakers list and delegates speak in the order they are listed. At this time, delegates have an opportunity to share their views with the entire committee. Delegates make speeches, answer questions, and introduce and debate resolutions and amendments. Formal debate is important to the committee’s work. By not knowing the rules of procedure, delegates slow down the debate and hold back their committee’s progress.

Moderated Caucus: During a caucus, which is a temporary recess, the rules of procedure are suspended. To go to a moderated caucus, a delegate makes a motion to suspend debate and the committee votes. Caucusing helps to facilitate discussion, especially when there is a long speakers list. A moderated caucus is a mixture of both formal and informal debate. Anyone may speak if they raise their placard and are called on by the Chair.

Unmoderated Caucus: In an unmoderated caucus, delegates meet informally with one another and the committee staff to discuss and negotiate draft resolutions, amendments and other issues.

Chart of Basic Model U.N. Procedural Rules (Points and Motions)

Motion

Description

To pass, the vote required

Motion to Set Speakers Time

 

This is a motion to set or change the speaker’s time. It is a procedural motion, which requires two (2) delegates speaking for the amount of time motioned for, and two (2) delegates speaking against.

Simple Majority

Motion to Open and Close the speakers list.

At some Model U.N. conferences, once the speakers list is closed it is closed for the remainder of the session or topic. However, at most Model U.N. conferences the speakers list can be opened and closed multiple times. Once the speakers list is exhausted, it means no one else wishes to speak, debate is over, and the committee then moves into voting procedure. This motion requires an immediate vote.

Simple Majority

Motion to Suspend meeting

This motion is made to suspend the meeting for the purpose of a regular caucus or a moderated caucus, but its use also depends upon the conference you are attending. When moving to suspend the meeting, the delegate should specify a certain amount of time and the purpose. This motion requires an immediate vote.

Simple Majority

Motion to Adjourn meeting

This motion is made to end the committee session until the next session, which at times is until next year. This motion is most commonly made to end committee session for the purpose of lunch or dinner. This motion requires an immediate vote.

Simple Majority

Motion to Adjourn debate

This motion must not be confused with the motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion to adjourn debate is a tactic to put all of the work that the committee has completed on the topic in which they are discussing on hold and to table it. At some Model U.N. conferences you could table the topic by adjourning debate, move on to another topic and then return to the first topic at later time. However, at most Model U.N. conferences, once you adjourn debate on a topic, the topic is considered tabled and cannot be discussed any more. This motion requires two (2) delegates speaking for the adjournment of debate and two (2) delegates speaking against the adjournment of debate.

2/3 Majority

Motion to Close debate

This motion is made in order for the committee to move into voting procedure. Once a delegate feels as

if they have made their country’s position clear, there are enough draft resolutions on the floor, and everyone is ready, a delegate makes a motion to move into voting procedure by moving for the closure of debate. This motion requires only two (2) delegates speaking against the closure of debate and zero (0) delegates for the closure of debate.

2/3 Majority

Point of Order

During the discussion of any matter, a representative may rise to a point of order, and the chairperson in accordance with the rules of procedure shall immediately decide the point of order. A delegate may appeal against the ruling of the chairperson (noted below). The appeal shall be put to a vote, and the chairperson’s ruling shall stand unless overruled by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. A delegate rising to a point of order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.

 

Point of Inquiry

When the floor is open, a delegate may move for a point of inquiry, in order to ask the chairperson question regarding the rules of procedure.

 

Point of Personal Privilege

A delegate may raise a point of personal privilege in order to inform the chairperson of a physical discomfort s/he is experiencing, such as inability to hear another delegates speech.

 

Point of Information

After a delegate has given a speech in formal debate, s/he may choose to yield his or her time to a point of information, a question another delegate raises concerning the speech.

 

Appeal to the Chair’s Decision

 

This motion is made when a delegate feels as if the chairperson has made an incorrect decision. The delegate wishes to challenge the chairperson and does so by formally making a motion to appeal the chairperson’s decision. This motion may be made verbally or in writing. The opposing delegate speaks and the chairperson defends his or herself before the vote.

2/3 Majority

Click here to download Rules of Procedure (Long Form)

Click here to download Rules of Procedure (Short Form)

 (Source:http://www.unausa.org.)