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Rules of Procedure

RULES OF PROCEDURE

Chart of Rules of Procedure

Cheat Sheet for Committee Rules 

Overview

1.    The following rules take precedence over any other procedural rules. 

2.    The official language for all sessions is English.  Business may be conducted in other languages only if the speaker provides translation.

3.    All Member States belong to the General Assembly and have at least one delegate in each of the three committees.

4.    The seating of delegations in committees of the Model U.N. and in the General Assembly shall be alphabetical according each country’s name.

5.    Other subsidiary bodies may be established with the approval of the General Assembly.

 

The Chair

6.    In addition to those powers specified elsewhere, the Chair of a Committee or the General Assembly shall: interpret these rules; rule on points of order; assure parliamentary order; accord speaking rights; put the question; announce decisions; limit the number of times a delegate may speak on any question; open and close the speakers list; and close debate.

 

General Procedural Rules of Debate

7.    No one may speak without first being recognized by the Chair; he or she should raise his/her placard in order to be recognized.

8.    Any change to a draft resolution must be initiated with a motion to amend. An amendment which is counter to an amendment already adopted shall be ruled dilatory by the Chair.

9.    In order to question the Chair on any matter, delegates will raise their placards (without interrupting a speaker) to be recognized and call a Point of Information.

10.   At any time, a delegate may complain of improper procedure by raising a Point of Order.  The Chair shall immediately rule upon the Point and his/her decision is final, unless a two-thirds majority votes to appeal (and thereby reverse) his/her decision.  A Point of Order is the only action that may interrupt a speaker.

11.    To suspend the session for a specified period of time, a motion to suspend the session will be required; such a motion is not debatable and is decided by a simple majority. The same applies to a motion to adjourn, which is necessary when a Committee or the General Assembly has dispensed with all its business and wishes to end its deliberations for the year.  Both motions may be ruled dilatory by the Chair, whose decision is subject to appeal.

 

General Voting Rules

12.    Each Member State shall have one vote and only one voting representative on each Committee and in the General Assembly.

13.     Actions taken on resolutions in the Committees require a simple majority.   Actions by the General Assembly require a two-thirds majority.

14.    In determining a majority, whether simple or two-thirds, votes of “yes,” “no” and “abstain” shall be counted in determining the total number of votes.

15.    Unless otherwise specified, all voting will be by show of placards.  Before voting commences, any delegation may request a roll-call vote.  The Chair shall rule on the request, and his/her ruling is subject to Appeal.  The roll call shall be in alphabetical order, starting at a random point determined by the Chair for each vote.  The voting may not be interrupted except by a Point of Order concerning voting procedure.

16.    When taking a vote by show of placards, the Chair will ask for “those in favor,” “those opposed,” and “abstentions.”  When named in a roll call, a delegate shall answer “yes,” “no,” “abstain,” or “Pass.”  If he/she responds with the latter, the delegate has indicated his/her desire to pass at this time.  The Chair will run through the entire roll once, and will then call those who have “Passed.”  Upon being called a second time, a delegate will respond “yes,” “no,” or “abstain” (only).

17.    Once all votes have been tabulated, the chair, only on roll-call votes, will ask for “changes in vote.”  After any changes have been noted, the result of the vote is announced. If a motion to reconsider (prohibited in the General Assembly) is not forthcoming, the body moves on to consider the next amendment or, if no amendments remain, the Chair will entertain a motion to vote on the main motion (the resolution).

18.  After debate on an amendment has been closed, but before voting commences, a delegate may move to divide the question.  He/she would do so if he/she desires to vote on the amendment in several parts.  Such a motion must specify the intended division, is not debatable, and is put to an immediate vote, a simple majority being required.  If all of the operative parts of a proposal are rejected, then the proposal itself is rejected.

19.  After the decision has been announced, the Chair will ask for any explanations of votes.  Any delegate, after raising his/her placard and being recognized, may explain his/her vote, with the Chair limiting time. 

 

Procedure for Committee Resolutions and Amendments

20.   Each committee shall consider and act on the draft resolution of the committee.  The resolution can be altered by “amendments.”  Motions to introduce amendments (or any other motion, for that matter) may be made either in a speech or after being recognized by the Chair.

21.    Once the decision on an amendment has been announced, any delegate that voted with the majority may move for its reconsideration.  A two-thirds majority is required for reconsideration.  If such a majority is forthcoming, a re-vote will be taken.  The Chair may rule such motions dilatory.  This ruling is subject to appeal.

22.    Once a Committee decides to open discussion on a topic, the Chair will establish a speakers’ list of no more than fifteen. The Chair may open sub-sequential speaker lists at their discretion. Those wishing to speak will raise their placards and will be assigned a position on the list.  The Chair will call upon delegates to speak in the order they appear on the speakers’ list.  Delegates may request to be added to the list any number of times until the Chair limits the number of times a delegate may speak, closes the speakers’ list, or debate is closed by a motion.  Debate will continue until it is suspended or closed, the meeting is suspended or adjourned, or the speakers’ list is exhausted (once exhausted, the Chair will announce closure of debate and bring the amendment to an immediate vote).

23.    In the case of a speakers’ list on an amendment, the main sponsor will be the first person listed.  The main sponsor will respond to procedurally correct points of inquiry.

24.    In Committees only, the main sponsor of each amendment will be given two minutes to speak.  All other speakers on the speakers’ list shall be given one and one-half minutes.  The Chair will call speakers to order if they exceed their time.  The Chair shall ensure that all delegates have equal opportunity to participate in debate.

25.    Prior to beginning his/her speech, a delegate may request that all or part of his/her time be yielded to another.  Once yielded, time may not be yielded a second time.

26.    A delegate may speak to the amendment only while on a particular speakers’ list.

27.    A maximum of five Points of Inquiry addressed to the main sponsor of a draft amendment will be allowed.  The Chair will ask for such points of inquiry immediately after the sponsor has spoken.  The maximum time for making points of inquiry and responding to them will be one and one-half minutes each.

28.   A Point of Inquiry may be used to question the sponsor after he/she has finished his/her remarks: a questioner will address the Point to the Chair, who will then ask the speaker if he/she “wishes to yield.”  In order to ask a second question, a second Point of Inquiry will have to be raised, and the speaker again asked to yield.  The Chair will ensure that Points of Inquiry are only used to raise questions of clarification or for additional information.

29.   At any time prior to the exhaustion of the speakers list, a delegate may move closure of debate on a proposal or topic.  The Chair will allow two speakers against closure (only), and will limit time and ensure that the remarks are germane to the closure.  A vote will immediately follow the speeches, with a two-thirds majority necessary.  Once debate is closed on an amendment, it will come to an immediate vote.

30.  After the debate is closed, either through exhaustion of the speaker list or a successful closure motion, the proposed amendment will come to an immediate vote.  Once all amendments have been voted on, the resolution as amended will be debated and come to a vote.

31.   Committees shall deliberate and act upon individual amendments until the time for the meeting has ended or the agenda is exhausted.  The passing of a number of amendments en bloc is prohibited.

32.    Resolutions passed by Committees shall be transmitted to the Secretariat for processing and presentation to the General Assembly.                           

 

Procedures for Resolutions in the General Assembly

33.    Each committee’s report will be under consideration by the General Assembly for a maximum of sixty (60) minutes.  No extension of the time for consideration is allowed.

34.    Resolutions passed by Committees are automatically moved and seconded at the General Assembly.

35.   As each resolution is moved at the Assembly, the Chair will ask “Is there any unreadiness to act on this resolution?”  A delegation is unready to act if it wishes to move an amendment and will indicate this by raising its placard.

36.    If no delegation indicates unreadiness, the Chair will move to an immediate vote, a majority being necessary for passage.

37.    Each proposed amendment must be moved and be seconded by two additional delegations.  Moved and seconded draft amendments shall be debated and voted upon in the order they are moved and seconded.

38.    Once an amendment has been moved and seconded the Chair will open a Speakers’ List consisting of three speakers for and three against the amendment.  Each speaker is limited to two minutes.  By a motion from the floor and a majority vote, the Chair may open one additional Speaker’s List only.  Following this debate an immediate vote will be taken, a two-thirds majority being necessary for passage.  Re-opening or extending the speakers’ list and extending the time to speak are prohibited.

39.    Once all amendments have been moved, debated and voted upon, the main motion (as amended) will be considered.  The Chair will open a speakers’ list composed of five speakers for and five speakers against the motion only, each of which may speak for one minute.  Following this debate an immediate vote will be taken, a two-thirds majority being necessary for passage.  Re-opening or extending the speakers’ list and extending the time to speak are prohibited.

40.   Motions for reconsideration are not allowed in the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

41.    The Assembly of Heads of State and Government shall consider one resolution in turn from each Committee in the order A, B, and C

42.    Delegates may not yield their time during debate in the Assembly.

43.      Motions to suspend or close debate are not allowed in the Assembly.

 

Parliamentary Authority

44.  Robert’s Rule of Order, Revised will be the parliamentary authority for all rules of procedure not covered above.