Rules of procedure

Puszkin Model United Nations 2015

The Rules of procedures

1. PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

During the debate you will be to feel into a role of a delegate from a chosen country. This means keeping many rights and rules, that are established to ensure each and every delegation a chance to rise points, have the floor or simply stay a motion.

These points are to help you to understand the order of the debate and the parliamentary procedure, which you will be expected to abide by.

 

  • Definitions

Chair – The Chairperson’s role is to conduct the debate and maintain order while remaining totally impartial. The decisions of the Chair are final. A delegate may have a floor only if is called by the Chair.

The House – All members of the General Assembly except for the chair.

Submitter – The person who has created the draft resolution or amendment for debate.

Motion – The proposal for debate that will eventually be voted upon. In order to be debated, the motion must receive a ‘second’ from a delegation, other than the delegation that has the floor. To second the motion a delegate must simply call ‘second’ right after a motion has been proposed. The unseconded motion cannot be debated.

 

  • Committees

 

At PuszMUN 2015 there are 3 committees.

Human Rights Committee (HRC) – in this committee delegates are talking about the ways of stopping violations of rights of each and every human. The participants of this committee are expected to have wisdom about present situation of human beings in whole over the world, especially in places, where breaking human rights is ordinary. The topics include the situation of national and religious conflicts, minorities, the most dangerous diseases, poverty, problems connected with children’ and women’ trafficking, etc.

Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) – this committee debates on financial questions. A delegate willing to participate in it, has to be ready to talk about problems of war destructions, restorations, abusing crimes, questions of countries of 3rd world and also the internal United Nations financial spendings.

Political Committee (PC) – in this committee delegates are talking about political questions. Every delegate participating in this committee has to be ready to talk about political problems, the way of democracy, solving the political problems in a peaceful manner.

 

  • Right to the floor

 

If you wish to address the assembly to give your opinion on the topic of debate, you should raise your placard after the Chair calls for rights to the floor and ask to be given a „Right to the Floor”. Usually raising the placard is enough to be recognized by the Chair.

 

  • Rising to points

 

When a delegate wishes to speak, he or she must rise to a point. All points are made in the same way. When the current speaker finishes, one should raise their placard. The Chair will then call on the delegate who has the raised placard. The chair will tend to ask: „To what point do you rise?”. The delegate must then answer with one of the following points:

Poinf of Personal Privilege – This point is about the comfort or well-being of the delegate. If for any reason during the debate a delegate cannot hear the speaker, feels uncomfortably cold or hot, etc., he must raise his placard and say „Point of Personal Privilege”. This point must not refer to the content of any speech and is the only one which may interrupt a speaker.

Point of order – A Point of Order refers to procedure. A delegate should make a Point of Order when he feels that a delegate is not behaving according to Parliamentary Procedure, the United Nations Charter or minimum politeness (if the delegate feels that he’s been insulted or another delegate has been rude). A response should start in a form similar to: „Is it in order that . . .”

Point of order of the Day – If, for some reason, a delegate wishes that the order of debate was changed, he should raise this point. However, in order to be accepted by the Chair, it must be well-grounded and risen as soon as the debate has started.

Point of Parliamentary Inquiry – This is a point directed to the Chair about the rules of procedure. A delegate should make this point when he does not know a rule or has any question about parliamentary procedure.

Point of Information – This point offers delegates who do not have the floor a chance to ask a question to a delegate that presently has the floor. A Point of Information may be directed to the Chair OR to the speaker who has the floor if he has declared willingness to yield to points of information. It must relate to the content of the debate and be phrased as a question. (E.g., „Does the speaker realize that . . . „). Please remember, that Point of Information have to contain only one question. After it the delegate, who rised the point of information does not have right to speak. In order of the debate, there is no dialog between delegates – just one simply stayed question and answer.

Point of caucus – The caucus is a short break during sessions which provides a chance to informally meet with other delegations to negotiate agreements or ask questions. Any delegate may request of a Point of caucus. The request requires support from another delegation (a „second”) and the Chair will decide how long the caucus will be.

Right of reply – It is a special type of a point, which can be raised when a delegate’s speech offended another delegation or contained untruthful or inappropriate information about that country. The delegate requesting a Right of Reply has to rise the placard immediately after the abusive address and wait for the permission of the Chair. The Chair may interrupt the speaker executing his Right od Reply when the delegate does not refer to the offensive words of another delegate. There are no Right of Reply to Rights of Reply.

 

  • Motions

 

Motions cannot interrupt the speaker. To be considered, every motion must be seconded by at least one delegate. If the motion is seconded, it is voted. Abstentions are not allowed.

Motion to Move to Voting Procedures – this motion is in order when the delegate wishes to end the current debate and move directly to the voting procedures. It requires a majority of two-thirds to carry.

Motion to Change the Speaking Time – this motion is in order when the delegate wants to change the time allotted to speakers by the Chair. When putting this motion forward, the delegate must propose another time limit. This motion requires a simple majority to carry.

Motion to Call for the Division of the House – this motion is in order when the resolution was voted and there is very little difference in the number of votes in favour and against. If it passes, each delegate will declare his/her vote aloud. It requires a simple majority to carry.

Motion to Split the House – this motion is in order when the delegates wishes there is no abstentions during the final  voting procedure. It requires a simple majority to carry.

Motion for Unmoderated Caucus – this motion is in order when the delegate wishes to suspend the typical rules of debate and communicate with other delegates freely moving around the room. When putting this motion forward, the delegate must specify the purpose and propose the time limit. It requires a simple majority to carry.

Motion to Retake Vote – this motion is in order when the result of the voting procedure ends with the difference of one vote. This motion must be only seconded to carry. If it carries, there is a period of 5 minutes of unmoderated caucus in order to talk freely about the resolution.

 

  • Amendments

 

Amendments are simply changes to resolutions. There are two types of amendments: friendly and unfriendly.

A friendly amendment is one on which all the submitters agree; it is not debatable and does not require a vote. Friendly amendments will be incorporated automatically into the draft resolution before the final vote is taken.

An unfriendly amendment is one to which the submitters have NOT agreed. Such an amendment will be open for debate and must be voted upon by the General Assembly. Unfriendly amendments require simple majority to pass.

Amendments can only be submitted by a speaker who has the floor. A written copy of all amendments must be turned into the Chair on an Amendment Sheet before the amendment is proposed to the Assembly. Amendments should normally improve the resolution and be constructive rather than destructive. They may be moved (acted upon) either in debate time for the resolution or in debate time against the resolution. However, an amendment moved in debate time for the resolution must be an attempt to improve the resolution and should not change the general idea. Amendments will be debated and voted upon separately from the voting of the resolution.

 

  • Voting

 

Unless otherwise stated by the Chair during the meeting, all votes require a simple majority to pass (50% plus one vote). The votes to accept or reject a resolution will follow a roll-call procedure. During this process the Chair will read the list of countries and one delegate from each country will call out their vote.

There are four possible responses:

  1. AYE” – vote to accept the resolution.
  1. NAY” – vote to reject the resolution. A „nay” vote from a permanent member of the Security Council (USA, UK, France, Russia or China) represents a veto and the resolution automatically fails. However, there is no veto power accessible in the committees.
  1. PASS” – the Chair will skip the delegation and return to it at the end. This may only be used once during each vote.
  1. ABSTAIN” – a delegation chooses not to vote on this topic. Abstentions do not count as vetoes for the five permanent members of the Security Council and will not count either for or against a resolution. i.e., a resolution will pass if the number for is more than the number against, no matter how many abstentions there are.

The second type of vote does not follow a roll-call procedure, but is conducted by the delegations raising their placards. The Chairs will then count the placards and count the votes so that a decision can be made. This procedure concerns mostly voting on amendments or any other motions but the resolutions. If the vote is close, a delegation may request a roll-call vote.

Conduct during voting – After the Chair has announced the start of voting procedures, no interruptions will be allowed except for points of order connected with the actual conduct of the voting.

Explanation of the vote – After the end of voting, one speaker of each side will be allowed ONE minute to explain his/her vote.

 

2. LOBBYING AND DEBATE

 

  • Opening Speech

 

Each delegation has an opportunity to have the floor during the opening session of the General Assembly. At this time a member of each delegation addresses the Assembly. Although the delegation’s opening speech can be of either a general or a specific nature, it must be representative of that nation’s primary concerns about the state of the world. Speakers should not attempt to state their country’s position on as many agenda issues as possible in the allotted speaking time and, under no circumstances, may they abuse the privilege by insulting other members of the United Nations.

A delegation might come to a conclusion about what it considers to be the single most important theme in the current atmosphere of relations within the world community. This might concern problems of war and peace, or human rights, ecology, development or disarmament. Another delegation might be able to emphasize the interrelatedness of the areas of concern, such as the effects of „development” on the „environment”. Yet another delegation might prefer to concentrate on a single item of contention, affecting many of the UN members, such as the Question of Iraq.

Every speech should, of course, be preceded by a formal greeting e.g. „Honored Chairs, Distinguished Delegates…” and should finish with a phrase such as „Thank you honored Chairs!”

 

Finally, the design of the speech should be content-based as well as dramatic in tone. The participants at the conference will respond to a speech that is both informative and emphatic. A primary purpose of the opening speech is to allow a delegation to communicate what it perceives to be an important message for the world community.

 

 

  • Work in committees

At the beginning of the committee sessions informal lobbying is held. It is an opportunity for the delegates to discuss and compare their draft resolutions with other delegates. During Informal lobbying they search for co-submitters. The main aim of Informal Lobbying is to combine several resolutions into a common one.

The discussion on chosen topics will go in three committees. Each delegation should bring a written resolution on each topic to the agenda. Each resolution should be copied at least 30 times. If you have written your own resolution you will try to convince other countries to support it. However, you should be open to suggestions and ready to negotiate. Several proposals can be merged, amended and integrated into one, single document. Only draft resolutions that have been signed by 12 countries can be brought up for discussing and voting in committees.

 

 

  • Order of debate

 

  1. The chair invites delegate to read operative clauses of the resolution.
  2. If amendments have been suggested they are treated as subsidiary motions, debated and voted before the whole resolution.
  3. The chair opens the list of speakers in favor of the resolution.
  4. The chair opens list of speakers against the resolution.
  5. The resolution is voted – the chair calls out the name of countries in alphabetical order, delegate replies Aye/Nay/Abstain or Pass.
  6. The chair informs the Assembly of the result.
  7. The chair invites delegates to explain their vote.

 

This booklet (rules of procedure) is based on PuszMUN 2008 Booklet written by Błażej Antosz and Warsaw Model United Nations 2013 Instructions Booklet and edited by Wojciech Kuciński.


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