Rules of Procedure

South Australian Model United Nations Conference- Rules of Procedure

SAMUNC 2015 – #SAMUNC2015

GENERAL RULES

  1. Scope

These rules of procedure shall apply throughout all sessions to all committees. They shall also apply to press delegates interacting with these committees.

  1. Language

English will be the official and working language of the conference.

  1. Statements by the secretariat

Secretariat members reserve the right to enter a committee and make a statement at any time.

  1. Directors

The director(s) of the committee will have complete control of the proceedings at all times. The director(s) is responsible for facilitating debate amongst delegates, implementing and enforcing the rules of procedure, and communicating information to and from the Secretariat. They will direct the flow of debate, grant the right to speak, announce decisions and rule on points of order. The director(s) also has the right to interrupt the flow of debate in order to show a presentation, or to bring in a guest speaker or an expert witness.

  1. Manner

Delegates must be respectful and professional at all times. Delegates should use diplomatic language, eg. “Honourable Chair/Honourable Delegates”. Delegates should avoid using personal pronouns when addressing the chair or other delegates, eg. “You/He/She/I”.

  1. Arriving late to committee

The penalty for arriving late to committee session will be at the discretion of the director(s).  Delegates who do arrive late should send a note to the director, so as not to disrupt debate.

  1. Leaving the committee

Delegates, where appropriate, may leave committee at any time, without disrupting the session, eg. for bathroom breaks. If delegates are leaving the session permanently, the must notify the director(s). Lodging of proxy votes must be done prior to leaving the committee room.

  1. Note passing

Notes may only be passed during periods of formal debate, questions and moderated caucus. Notes shall not be frivolous or irrelevant. It must be clearly identifiable who the sender and recipient of the note are. No delegate may intercept and read a note that is not addressed to them. The director(s) has the right to read and confiscate any note.

  1. Press delegates

Press delegates do not have the same rights as delegates in committee as they cannot vote. Press delegates may observe committee sessions and interact with delegates during unmoderated caucus. Press delegates have the right to ask delegates to clarify their position or statement if the delegate is open to points of information.

RULES GOVERNING DEBATE

  1. Quorum

Quorum denotes the minimum number of delegates who need to be present in order to open debate. Quorum is met when at least half of the members of the committee (as declared at the beginning of the first South Australian Model United Nations Conference- Rules of Procedure session) are present. Quorum will be assumed unless specifically challenged, but if needed will be verified by a roll call.

  1. Roll Call

Roll call shall be taken at the beginning of each committee session. When a delegate is called, they shall respond ‘present’ or ‘present and voting’.

  1. Minute of prayer or meditation

At the beginning of each session, delegates may request a minute of prayer or meditation. The delegate shall be asked to specify a particular topic to be considered. This is subject to the discretion of the director(s).

  1. Position Statements

Discussion shall begin with position statements, allowing each delegate to introduce their country’s stance on the issue. The time limit is at the discretion of the director(s). The director(s) shall recognise each country in alphabetical order. The director(s) shall then call on any press or observers present to make a short statement on the topic if they wish. Position statements will only be made at the beginning of the first committee session.

  1. Debate

At the completion of position statements or the opening of a committee session, the director shall announce the commencement of debate. If the speakers’ list was not exhausted at the completion of the previous session, it shall be resumed.

  1. Speakers’ list

Speakers’ lists shall determine the speaking order throughout formal debate and shall be drawn up by the director. The reading of position statements is followed by the opening of a new, continuous speakers’ list which is used to begin general debate.

There are three types of speakers’ lists:

  1. General speaker’s list
  2. Draft resolution speakers’ list
  3. Amendment speaker’s list

During formal debate (speakers’ list), only speakers on a speaker’s list may give speeches, although others may raise points and motions from the floor, or speak if yielded to. When in a speakers’ list, the delegates may speak generally on the topic area being considered or may address any draft resolution currently on the floor. When speaking from the draft resolution or amendment speakers’ list, delegates may not refer to any other draft resolution or amendment other than the one currently under debate. When a speakers’ list is opened, delegates may be added to the list by raising their placard if requested to do so by the director(s), or by sending a note to the director(s). A delegate who is currently on the speakers’ list may not be added again until they have spoken. Delegates who wish to remove themselves from the speakers’ list can do so by sending a note to the director(s).

  1. Yields

Yields only need to be made when in a speakers’ list. There are no yields allowed if speaking on a procedural matter. After a delegate has spoken, they may yield in one of three ways.

a) Yield to another delegate. If the delegate who has just spoken has any remaining time (and has not yielded to points of information) that time will be offered to the delegate that they yield to. If the delegate accepts the yield, the director(s) will recognise them for the remainder of the speaking time. The second delegate speaking may not yield.

b) Yield to the chair. Such a yield should be made if there is no remaining time, or if the delegate does not want to be subject to questions. The director(s) will then move to the next delegate on the speakers’ list.

c) Yield to points of information. If a delegate is open to points of information, the director(s) will call upon delegates who have their placard raised at their discretion. The director(s) has the right to call to order any delegate whose question is, in their opinion, rhetorical, leading and/or not designed to elicit information.

  1. Moderated caucus

A moderated caucus is a focused form of debate. In a moderated caucus, the director(s) will temporarily depart from the speakers’ list and call upon delegates at their discretion.

A moderated caucus must be initiated by a motion. A motion for a moderated caucus is in order at any time when the floor is open, prior to the closure of debate. The delegate making the motion must specify the topic, duration and individual speaking times of the moderated caucus. Once raised, the motion will be voted on, with a simple majority of members required for passage. In the case of multiple moderated caucuses, the director(s) will rank the motions in descending order of length and the committee members will vote accordingly. The director(s) may rule a motion out of order and their decision is not subject to appeal.

No motions are in order between speeches during a moderated caucus apart from a motion to return to formal debate and a motion to extend moderated caucus. A delegate can and will be rule out of order if the delegate’s speech does not address the topic of the moderated caucus. If no delegate wishes to speak during a moderated caucus, the caucus shall immediately end. A moderated caucus may only be extended once. There is no yielding time in moderated caucus.

Delegates wishing to speak should raise their placard and wait to be called upon. If the moderated caucus was initiated by a motion from the floor, its proposer shall speak first.

  1. Unmoderated caucus

An unmoderated caucus is an informal way for delegates to discuss the topic. A delegate may motion for an unmoderated caucus at any time when the floor is open, prior to the closure of debate. The delegate making the motion must specify a time limit for the caucus. The motion will immediately be put to a vote and will pass given a simple majority.

In the case of multiple unmoderated caucuses, the director(s) will rank the motions in descending order of length and the committee members will vote accordingly. The director(s) may rule the motion out of order and their decision is not subject to appeal. An unmoderated caucus may only be extended once.

  1. National right of reply

If a delegate feels that their nation has been abused by a speaker, or that grossly false statements have been made, they may stand and await the completionof the speech. At the completion of the speech, the director(s) will recognise the standing delegate. The delegate will have no more than 30 seconds in which to respond directly to the perceived abuse or falsehood. The directors may then request that the abusive delegate apologise.

  1. Appeals

Exercises of the director(s)’s discretion may be appealed. To appeal a decision, a delegate should call a point of order and then request an appeal. The director whose decision is under appeal shall step down from chairing duties for the duration of the appeal. The other director or a member of the secretariat shall then oversee the committee. The delegate shall then speak to his or her appeal for no more than one minute. The director may then reply in defence of his or her ruling. The appeal shall be put to a vote. If a two-thirds majority is attained, the decision of the director shall be over-ruled; however the secretariat retains the right to make the final decision.

  1. Procedural debate

A delegate may motion for procedural debate after any procedural motion has been proposed. If this is allowed by the director(s) (a motion for procedural debate does not go to a vote), one delegate for and one speaker against the motion may speak before the vote is taken. Delegates may only debate the proposal, and must not refer to substantive matters. Procedural debate must always occur before voting on a motion to close debate. In these circumstances, up to three speakers may speak for and against the motion.

  1. Closure or adjournment of committee session

Debate may be ended by a motion to close debate or adjourn. The director(s) may close debate at their discretion, with due consideration applied to scheduled closing times and the facilitation of debate.When debate is adjourned, the director(s) will make note of the time that the committee will reconvene.

WORKING PAPERS, DRAFT RESOLUTIONS AND AMENDMENTS

  1. Working paper

A working paper is a temporary document, loosely following the format of a resolution, which is designed to give delegates a template to work on during debate. These documents are nonbinding, and can be amended or referred to at any time. They are usually prominent in the early stages of debate. A working paper may be submitted to the directors by any delegate. To be distributed to the committee, a working paper must have a proposer and at least one sponsor. The working paper must clearly state the committee and topic and should be typed and free from errors of spelling and grammar. Working papers must be emailed to the director(s) with the words ‘working paper’ and the proposer’s country as the subject of the email. They are considered as introduced when the director has put the working paper up on screen and distributed the working paper (via email) to all delegates.

Multiple working papers may be discussed simultaneously and do not generate speakers’ lists. The director shall notify all delegates of the introduction of a working paper.

  1. Draft resolutions

A draft resolution is the draft of the final document delegates will vote into a resolution. It may be amended during debate. This document must follow the proper UN resolution format  (including use of appropriate operative and perambulatory clauses, language and structure). A draft resolution may be submitted to the directors by any voting member state. To be distributed to the committee, a working paper must have a proposer, seconder and be sponsored by one quarter of the committee. The draft resolution must clearly state the committee and topic and should be typed and free from errors of spelling and grammar. To introduce a draft resolution, the proposer of the draft resolution must motion to introduce the document.

Draft resolutions must be emailed to the director(s) with the words ‘draft resolution’ and the proposer’s country as the subject of the email. The director will put the draft resolution up on screen and distribute the draft resolution (via email) to all delegates. The committee will then vote to introduce the draft resolution. As this is a procedural vote it needs a simple majority to pass.

If a draft resolution is successfully introduced:

a) The director shall suspend the current speakers’ list;

b) The proposer shall read the operative clauses;

c) Questions of clarifications shall be entertained;

d) The proposer shall speak to the draft resolution;

e) The director(s) shall open the draft resolution

speakers’ list;

f) The seconder shall speak to the draft resolution; then

g) The draft resolution speakers’ list shall commence with the first speaker against.

  1. Amendments

Amendments to draft resolutions should be handled in two ways. If it is a syntactic or semantic amendment, it should be made by the director(s). Notification of any spelling, punctuation and grammar corrections should be made by passing a note to the director(s). Any other amendments must be introduced and voted on.

To be distributed to the committee, a working paper must have a proposer, seconder and at least one sponsor. As with draft resolutions, these should be emailed to the director(s). The subject of the email must state the proposer’s country and the draft resolution it applies to.

The proposer of the amendment must motion to introduce the amendment. The director will put the draft resolution up on screen and distribute the draft resolution (via email) to all delegates. The committee will then vote to introduce the draft resolution. As this is a procedural vote it needs a simple majority to pass.

An amendment must clearly state the committee and topic and follow the correct UN resolution format. If an amendment is successfully introduced:

a) The director shall suspend the draft resolution speakers’ list;

b) The proposer shall read the amendment;

c) Questions of clarification shall be entertained;

d) The committee shall carry out a vote to determine whether or not to debate the amendment;

Then:

i. If the vote to debate the amendment passes, the committee shall commence a moderated

caucus with speakers for and against the amendment;

Or:

ii. If the vote to debate fails, the amendment shall move directly to a vote.

 

  1. Questions of clarification

Questions of clarification may be asked of the proposer from the floor. Questions of clarification may include questions about the definition of terms or the meaning of potentially ambiguous terms and phrases.

Questions of clarification may not be asked so as to induce debate on the recommendation, or to question the proposer’s position on an agenda item.

  1. Proposers, seconders and sponsors

A proposer is the country that has written the working paper, draft resolution or amendment. They must be the ones to motion to introduce a draft resolution or amendment.

A seconder is a country that supports the draft resolution or amendment. They usually contribute to the writing of the draft resolution or amendment.

A sponsor is a country that doesn’t necessarily support the draft resolution or amendment, but would like to see it debated in committee session. Sponsoring a draft resolution or amendment does not indicate support for the document.

POINTS AND MOTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

When a delegate wishes to raise a point or motion from the floor they should raise their placard and wait to be called upon. Procedural matters must not interrupt speakers however a point of order may interrupt speakers.

  1. Points of order

A delegate may call a point of order if another delegate or the director is in breach of these rules of procedure. A point of order may interrupt the debate at any time, although it is suggested that delegates refrain from doing so unless they are quite sure of a serious breach of the rules that has the capacity to affect the outcome of debate. When a point of order is recognised, the delegate shall explain, in less than 30 seconds, how procedure has not been followed. The director shall then rule as to whether the point is in or out of order.

  1. Points of personal privilege

Points of personal privilege may be raised if a speaker is inaudible or any matter of the committee environment is unsatisfactory. When a point of personal privilege is recognised, the delegate raising the point is to explain his or her concern in less than 30 seconds. Unless urgent, points of personal privilege should be made in writing.

  1. Points of procedural enquiry

A point of procedural enquiry allows a delegate to clarify matters of procedure. Points of procedural enquiry may not interrupt speakers. When a point of procedu ral enquiry is recognised, the delegate raising the point is to outline, in less than thirty seconds, what element of procedure on which he or she wishes clarification. Unless urgent, points of procedural enquiry should be made in writing. Whether or not the point is made orally, the director shall respond with an oral declaration to all delegates.

 

  1. Points of information

Points of information are brief, relevant questions offered to other delegates. They may be raised at the end of any speech arising from a speakers’ list discussing substantive matters (not a procedural debate). Delegates can yield to points of information at the end of their speech or the director(s) may ask if the speaker wishes to accept or refuse points of information.  If a speaker elects to take points of information, the director will invite delegates wishing to make such points to raise their placards and await recognition. The director or delegate may limit the number of points of information at his or her discretion. Delegates may be entitled to ask more than one point of information, if there are no other points being raised, and at the discretion of the director. Press delegates have the right to ask points of information.

  1. Motion for a moderated caucus

A motion for a moderated caucus may be proposed throughout formal debate. Delegates proposing such a motion may wish to specify the proposed topic and duration. If a motion passes, the committee shall move directly to a moderated caucus.

  1. Motion to extend moderated caucus

A motion to extend the moderated caucus may be proposed during a moderated caucus. Delegates proposing such a motion may specify the duration of which they wish the moderated caucus be extended. If the motion passes, the caucus shall be extended.

  1. Motion to return to formal debate

A motion to return to formal debate may be proposed during a moderated caucus. If such a motion is passed, the committee shall return to formal debate.

  1. Motion for an unmoderated caucus

A motion for unmoderated caucus may be proposed throughout formal debate. Delegates proposing such a motion may wish to specify the proposed duration of the caucus. If the motion passes, the committee shall move directly to an unmoderated caucus.

  1. Motion to introduce a draft resolution

A motion to introduce draft resolution may be proposed during formal debate. Only the proposer of a draft resolution may raise this motion.

  1. Motion to introduce an amendment

A motion to introduce an amendment may be proposed during formal debate under a draft resolution speakersʼ list. Only the proposer of an amendment may raise this motion.

  1. Motion to suspend debate

A motion to suspend debate may be proposed during formal debate under a draft resolution speakersʼ list. If such a motion passes, the draft resolution currently being discussed is set aside, the draft resolution speakersʼ list is suspended, and the general speakersʼ list is resumed.

  1. Motion to resume debate

A motion to resume debate may be proposed under a general speakersʼ list where a draft resolution has previously been suspended. If the motion passes, debate on the draft resolution is resumed.

  1. Motion to close debate

A motion to close debate may be proposed during formal debate under a draft resolution or amendment speakersʼ list. If proposed for a draft resolution, this motion shall generate a procedural speakersʼ list. If this motion passes, the committee will move directly to a vote on the draft resolution or amendment.

 

  1. Motion to extend the speaking time

Can be made in formal debate or moderated caucus. The delegate should specify the new length of speaking time and the committee shall vote on this or the director(s) may rule it in.

  1. Motion to divide the question

A motion to divide the question must be proposed immediately before any vote on a draft resolution or amendment. If the motion passes, each operative clause shall be voted on individually. The question may not be divided into sub-clauses.

a) In the case of an amendment, each clause passed is included in the draft resolution.

b) In the case of a draft resolution, the operative clauses that remain shall be considered as the final draft resolution, which will then be voted on (in its entirety) following normal procedure.

  1. Motion for a roll call vote

A motion for a roll call vote may be proposed immediately prior to a vote. The director shall retain broad discretion over such motions. If the motion is passed, the vote shall occur by roll call.

  1. Motion for a recount

A motion for recount may be proposed immediately after the announcement of the results of a vote. Such a motion shall not go to a vote, and shall be ruled upon at the discretion of the director. If the motion is approved by the director, the vote shall be repeated.

45. Motion for procedural debate.

A motion for procedural debate may be requested after any procedural motion has been proposed. It may be raised if a delegate disagrees with a procedural motion being put forward from the floor, with the wish that the committee debate the idea before making a decision. Motions for procedural debate shall be at the discretion of the director.

  1. Motion to adjourn session

A motion to adjourn debate may be requested towards the end of committee session. Should such a motion pass the session shall come to a close, with the director making note of the time that the committee will reconvene.

  1. Precedence of motions and points

Motions and points shall be addressed in the following order:

  1. Point of personal privilege
  2. Point of order
  3. Point of procedural enquiry
  4. National right of reply
  5. Point of information
  6. Motion for procedural debate
  7. Motion to suspend debate
  8. Motion to close debate
  9. Motion to resume debate
  10. Motion for a moderated caucus
  11. Motion to extend the speaking time
  12. Motion to extend moderated caucus
  13. Motion to return to formal debate
  14. Motion for an unmoderated caucus
  15. Motion to introduce a draft resolution
  16. Motion to introduce an amendment
  17. Motion to adjourn session

 

  1. Motions in order during voting procedure

Motions and points shall be accorded the following order:

  1. Point of personal privilege
  2. Point of order
  3. Point of procedural enquiry
  4. Motion for procedural debate
  5. Motion to divide the question
  6. Motion for a roll call vote
  7. Motion for recount

VOTING

  1. Classes of vote

There shall be two classes of vote: procedural and

substantive.

a) All votes on motions, amendments, and any other

matter, shall be procedural. All votes on draft

resolutions shall be substantive.

b) All substantive votes shall be by roll call. Procedural votes shall be by placard, unless a delegate requests a roll call vote.

  1. Voting rights

Each Member State in the committee shall have one vote. Observers and press delegates do not have voting rights.

  1. Passing of procedural votes

All procedural votes require a simple majority of present and voting members to pass. Delegates may not abstain in procedural votes.

  1. Passing of substantive votes

Substantive votes shall be passed by simple majority of members present and voting. Members present and voting are those who vote either for or against, but not those who abstain. Members who are present may abstain from voting in substantive matters.

  1. Voting in the Security Council

In the United Nations Security Council, votes require nine affirmative votes to pass. Substantive votes shall automatically fail if a vote “against” is cast by any of the permanent members:

Peopleʼs Republic of China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. The use of veto power by permanent members in the Security Council may only be used on substantive matters.

  1. Proposerʼs right of reply

At the exhaustion of a speakersʼ list dealing with a draft resolution, or otherwise immediately prior to voting on a draft resolution, the proposing delegate may deliver a short address summarising the advantages of the draft resolution. In the case the proposer is unwilling to speak in favour, the seconder may be offered the opportunity to speak. This address will be no longer than two minutes. This does not apply to amendments, and there is no oppositionʼs right of reply.

  1. Procedure of placard votes

In a placard vote, delegates vote by raising their placard only. Delegates may vote “for” or “against” but cannot abstain.

  1. Procedure of roll call votes

The directors shall read out the voting countries in alphabetical order. When a delegateʼs Member State is read out, he or she shall reply with “for”, “against”, or “abstain”.

  1. Conduct during voting

Note passing will be closed. No points of procedure or motions from the floor will be entertained during voting. A point of order may only be called if the director has failed to oversee the vote in accordance with these rules.

  1. Proxy voting

When a delegate is, for whatever reason, unable to remain in the committee chamber for a vote, he or she may submit a proxy vote in writing to the directors. Proxy votes may entrust the delegateʼs voting power to another delegate with voting rights, or may direct how the absent delegate will vote on a specific draft resolution, motion, or amendment.

  1. Right or responsibility to deliver explanation of voting

During any substantive vote, a delegate may request or be requested to explain his or her vote. Such requests may be made by the director or a delegate at the completion of the vote, but before the count of votes is announced. No delegate shall be required to explain an abstention. Explanation may only be requested by another delegate if the vote goes against the known policy of the delegateʼs country or is at odds with his or her statements during debate. If the directors consider such an explanation inadequate, they may warn the delegate and invite a motion for recount. A delegate may, on voting, request the opportunity to explain by making a vote “yes, with rights” or “no, with rights”. Such explanation shall take place before the announcement of results, and shall be made in no more than 30 seconds.

  1. Equally divided votes

If a vote is equally divided and a simple majority is required, a recount shall be called. If the recount is equally divided:

a) Procedural votes shall be taken as failed;

b) Substantive votes shall be suspended and debate resumed until the directors or a delegate move to return to the vote. If this subsequent vote is also equally divided, the proposal shall be taken as failed.

 

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