Rule 1. Official and working languages
Official and working languages English shall be the official and working language of all committees during formal and informal debate.
Rule 2. Decorum
Decorum Delegates are to obey instruction given by SAIMUN staff including being late, unruly or belligerent. Those who do not obey directions will be dismissed from the conference.
Rule 3. Statements by the Secritariat
The Secretary-General or his representative may make oral as well as written statements to any committee concerning any issue of relevance.
Rule 4. General Functions of the Dias
The Chairperson shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting and may propose the adoption of any procedural motions to which there is no significant objection.
The Chair, subject to these rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings at any committee meetings and shall moderate discussion, announce decisions, rule on points or motions, and ensure and enforce the observance of these rules.
The Chair may temporarily transfer his or her duties to another member of the dais staff. All procedural matters in committee are subject to the discretion of the Chair.
The Chair may undertake any action that is not covered in the Rules of Procedure to facilitate the flow of debate at the conference.
A badge “clipping” refers to the physical cutting of a corner of the official MUN name badge that is issued to all participating delegates. It is the most common response to minor infractions of the rules and it serves as a permanent indicator that the student has already once failed to comply with regulations.
Badges may only be clipped by Secretariat members, Chief of Staff and Head of Protocol, and the Executive Assistant
Any delegate who has the official MUN name badge clipped for a 3rd time for any reason will be expelled from the conference.
Rule 5. Agenda
The Secretary-General or his/her representative shall communicate the committee agenda items to the delegates before the conference.
Rule 6. Revision of the Agenda
Additional items of an important and urgent nature may be placed on the agenda during a regular session by the Secretary-General or the USG Training and Chairing, who may add additional topics to the agenda at his/her discretion.
Rule 7. General Speaker’s List
A general Speaker’s list shall be opened at the beginning of every session, either a committee session or General Assembly session. Delegates may issue policy statements or make remarks on issues relevant to the theme of the conference.
The General Speaker’s list shall remain open always. Any delegate wishing to be added to the general speakers list shall indicate so when asked by the Chair or shall submit such a request in writing to the dais.
Rule 8. Adoption of Agenda
The first order of business for the committee shall be the adoption of the agenda item/topic for the committee to discuss.
The motion in order will be in the form of “[country name] moves that [topic x] be placed first on the agenda.”
A motion to proceed to the second topic area is in order only after the committee has adopted or rejected a resolution on the first topic area or debate has been adjourned;
In the event of a crisis or emergency, the Secretary-General or Director-General may call upon a committee to table debate on the current topic area so that the more urgent matter may be addressed. After a resolution, has been addressed and voted upon, the committee will return to debate the tabled topic.
Rule 9. Limitation of Speaking Time
The Chair may limit the time allotted to each speaker, default time is 90 seconds. However, delegates can motion to increase or decrease the speaking time, which will be voted upon by the committee or council. When a delegate exceeds his or her allotted time, the Chair may call the speaker to order without delay.
Rule 10. Speeches
No delegate may address the committee without the previously obtained permission of the Chair. The Chair may call a speaker to order if his/her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion. The Chair shall enforce the time limit as described by Rule 9.
Orders of the Day
- Orders of the Day is a call to return to the topic at hand during debate. It is used to call a speaker back to the present subject if they have significantly drifted from it, that is, if debate has veered off-topic.
- Can interrupt and does not need recognition.
- It is not a privilege point.
- A member of the assembly or the Chair may make the motion.
Rule 11. Yielding Time
The delegate, who has been recognized by the Chair to address the body on a substantive issue, may yield any time following their remarks after their speech. Yields may be made in three ways: to another delegate, to points of information (questions), or to the Chair.
- Yield to another delegate. His/her remaining time shall be given to another delegate.
- Yield to Points of Information (questions). Delegates shall be selected by the Chair to ask one question per speech. The Chair has the right to call order to any delegate whose question is, in the opinion of the Chair, not designed to elicit information. Answers to questions are limited to the time remaining in a delegate’s speech.
- Yield to the Chair. Such a yield should be made if the delegate does not wish his/her speech to be subject to comments. The Chair shall then move on to the next speaker. Once a delegate yields his/her time, the second delegate (the one who has been yielded to) may not yield any remaining time.
Once a delegate has finished his or her address to the assembly, he or she may do one of three things:
Yield to the Chair, saying, “I now yield the floor to the Chair.”
- The speaker will return to his or her seat, and the Chairperson will direct the debate from there.
- Yield to another delegation, saying, “I now yield the floor to delegation.” The speaker will return to his or her seat, and the delegate that has been yielded to will come up and take the floor to speak.
- The delegate to which the floor was yielded must support the same side of the issue that the original speaker did.
- The floor may be yielded to another delegation only once consecutively (i.e., a second yielding to another delegation would be out of order).
- The speaker will remain at the podium and take questions concerning his or her speech from the assembly. Delegates wanting to pose a Point of Information will raise their placards and the Chair will call on them.
- • A speaker may only be open to three Points of Information.
- Speakers in time against a Main Motion or an Amendment must be open to at least one Point of Information.
- Speakers may choose to decline to answer Points of Information (unless they have spoken against a Main Motion or Amendment).
Rule 12. Right of Reply
The Chair may recognize the Right of Reply only in instances of a grave personal insult.
Rights of Reply must be submitted in writing to the Chair, and may only be granted after a speech is completed upon the Chairs discretion.
Rule 13. Point of Personal Privilege
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may raise a Point of Personal Privilege, and the Chair shall immediately address the point.
A Point of Personal Privilege must refer to a matter of personal comfort, safety and/or well-being of the members of the committee. The Chair may refuse to recognize a Point of Personal Privilege if the delegate has not shown proper restraint and decorum, or if the point is dilatory in nature.
Rule 14. Point of Order
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may raise a Point of Order and the Chair shall consider the request but it may not interrupt speech.
A Point of Order must relate to the observance of the rules of procedure for the committee. A delegate raising a Point of Order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.
The Chair may refuse to recognize a Point of Order if the delegate has not shown proper restraint and decorum governing the use of such a right, or if the point is dilatory in nature.
Rule 15. Point of Information (question to other delegates or the Chair)
- A Point of Information is always a short question but may be prefaced by a short statement. It may be addressed to the Chair or the speaker:
- A Point of Information to the speaker must pertain to the points the speaker brought up during his or her speech. It is asked after the speaker has finished speaking and has opened to Points of Information.
- A Point of Information to the Chair must pertain to SAIMUN conference proceedings (e.g., “When do we break for lunch?”). It may not interrupt the Chair; it can only be called during debate times and never during voting procedures.
- The speaker may choose not to respond to a Point of Information if he or she so wishes.
Rule 16. Point of Parliamentary Inquiry
If there is no discussion on the floor, a delegate may raise a Point of Inquiry to request clarification of the present procedural status of a meeting.
A Point of Inquiry may never interrupt a speaker.
A Point of Parliamentary Inquiry is called when a delegate wishes to get information regarding parliamentary procedure (e.g., “Could the Chair please elaborate how to put forth motion for an unmoderated caucus”)
Rule 17. Suspend Debate (Motion to Caucus)
Upon the recommendation of the Chair or any delegate, the committee may consider a motion for the purpose of a moderated or un-moderated caucus. This motion requires a second and a majority vote.
The recommendation motion for a moderated caucus must include a time limit for delegate remarks and a time limit for the entire caucus (e.g. “[country name] moves for a 20 minutes moderated caucus with a 2minutes speaking time to discuss topic x.”).
During moderated caucus, the chair shall recognize delegates for remarks randomly or with the use of a special speakers list and yields shall be out of order.
The recommendation motion for an un-moderated caucus requires a time limit to be made (e.g. “[country name] moves for a 20-minutes un-moderated caucus to discuss topic x.”).
Unmoderated caucuses allow delegates to have informal discussions in their groups or blocs.
Rule 18. Motion to Table Debate
During the discussion of any matter, the committee may consider a motion to table debate on the item under discussion at the recommendation of the Chair or any delegate. If the motion is seconded, two representatives may speak in favor of and two against the motion. Then, the motion shall immediately be put to a vote. A two-thirds majority is required for passage.
If a motion to table debate is passed, the topic is considered tabled and no further actions or votes will be taken on it. A topic may be reintroduced to the committee so that debate can resume through the same process. The motion to resume debate on a tabled topic shall also require a two-thirds majority for passage.
Rule 19. Closure of Debate
A delegate may at any time move for the closure of debate on the item under discussion, after which debate will end and all draft resolutions and amendments will be put to an immediate vote. Permission to speak on the closure of debate shall be accorded only to two speakers opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be immediately put to a vote.
This motion requires a two-thirds majority decision. Upon passage of this motion the Chair shall declare the closure of debate and immediately move into voting procedure on the substantive proposals introduced and pending before the committee. The committee shall also close debate and move into voting procedure when the speakers list has been exhausted.
Rule 20. Adjournment of the Meeting
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move for the adjournment of the meeting. Such a motion shall not be debated but shall be immediately put to a vote. After adjournment, the committee shall reconvene at its next regularly scheduled meeting time; adjournment of the final meeting shall adjourn the session.
This motion solely is at the discretion of the chair, as they can call it out of order if the committee has not finished its business.
Rule 21. Submission of Working Papers, Draft Resolutions, and Amendments
Working papers, draft resolutions, and amendments shall be submitted to the Chair typed and in softcopy. The Chair may permit discussion and consideration of proposals and amendments once approved.
Rule 22. Introducing Draft Resolutions
Once a draft resolution has been approved by the Chair and has been copied and distributed, a delegate may raise a motion to introduce the draft resolution, which is automatically approved and does not require a vote.
The content of the introduction shall be limited to summarizing the operative clauses of the draft resolution. Such an introduction shall be considered procedural in nature, hence yields and comments are out of order.
Additional questions and comments regarding the resolution are encouraged to be raised through the speakers list and yields.
Rule 23. Amendments
Both friendly and unfriendly amendments require the approval of the Chair.
An amendment is considered friendly if all the sponsors of the initial draft or resolution agree to the amendment. Such an amendment is adopted automatically.
Unfriendly amendments are a decision of the Committee.
An unfriendly amendment must have the approval of the Director and the signatures by 20% of the committee.
Amendments to amendments are out of order.
Rule 24. Methods of Decision
All procedural decisions, except for the closure and adjournment of debate, shall be made by a simple majority of the delegation present.
Delegations physically present in the committee may not abstain on procedural motions. Decisions on draft resolutions and amendments shall require a simple majority in favor.
Rule 25. Voting Rights
Each present delegation or Country shall have one vote.
Observing nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) cannot vote on substantive matters.
Each vote may be a
- Yes, or Yes with rights to explain
- No, or No with rights to explain
Rule 26. Conduct While in Voting Procedure
After the Chair, has announced the beginning of voting, no representative may enter or leave the room, nor shall any representative interrupt the voting except on a Point of Personal Privilege, Point of Inquiry, or a Point of Order in connection with the actual conduct of the voting. Communication between delegates is strictly forbidden. A member of the staff shall secure the doors during voting procedure.
Rule 27. Method of Voting
Delegations may vote in favor of or against a proposal or may abstain from voting. The committee shall normally vote by show of placards, but any delegate may request a roll call vote on substantive matters.
The roll call vote shall be taken in alphabetical order of the English names of the countries present. During a roll call vote, delegations may answer with an affirmative vote, a negative vote, an abstention (when appropriate) or may pass.
Delegations passing in the first round of voting will be called upon alphabetically in a second round, at which time they may only answer with an affirmative or negative vote.
Delegations that appear to be voting out of policy, while casting an affirmative or negative vote, may reserve the right to explain their vote by Voting with Rights. Delegations must announce that they are Voting with Rights at the time they cast their vote.
The Chair may permit delegations Voting with Rights to explain their votes after voting has concluded but before the decision has been announced.
- A revote may only be called by the Chairperson of the assembly.
- A revote is necessary when the vote on a motion was too close to call and the Chairperson needs to count the votes for and against to correctly determine if the motion passes or fails.
- Alternatively, a revote may be called if the Chairperson feels that the assembly has not fully understood the voting procedures for the motion at hand.
Rule 28. Order of Draft Resolutions
If two or more draft resolutions relate to the same question, the committee shall vote on the resolutions in the order in which they have been submitted.
Rule 29. Voting on Unfriendly Amendments
During the voting procedure on a substantive proposal, unfriendly amendments to a resolution shall be voted on first.
When two or more amendments are proposed to a resolution concurrently, the committee shall first vote on the amendment that creates the greatest change to the draft resolution, as deemed by the Chair, and then the amendment that creates the second greatest change to the resolution. This process continues until all amendments are voted upon.
Where, however, the adoption of the amendment necessarily implies the rejection of another amendment (as decided by the Chair), the latter amendment shall not be put to a vote. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended proposal shall then be voted upon. Amendment voting is a substantive procedure and adoption requires the simple majority consent of the delegation present.
Division of the Question
Prior to the start of the voting process on a Draft Resolution, a Delegate may request through a Motion to Divide the Question to vote on individual or groups of operative clauses.
This Motion is out of order for pre-ambulatory clauses. A Delegate must specify how he/she wishes to divide the operative clauses during his/her Motion.
Should there be more than one Motion to divide the question on the floor, the committee shall vote on the Motions from the least to the most disruptive.
The Chair shall take two (2) Speakers in favor and two (2) Speakers against the first Motion to divide the question for a speaking time of (30) seconds each. A simple majority is required to pass the Motion. If the Motion passes, the subsequent Motions made will be ruled dilatory and the committee will proceed to vote on the Draft Resolution in the manner suggested in the Motion.
The divided section that fails during voting will be taken out of the final Draft Resolution; only those sections that have been passed will remain. The committee will then proceed to vote on the new final Draft Resolution as a whole after all the divisions have been voted on. Should all operative clauses fail, the Draft Resolution as whole will be considered failed.
Rule 30. Write a Resolution
Focusing on an Issue
As an intergovernmental organization, the United Nations is primarily concerned with problems that are international in scope—it is not a sort of massive charity that will donate funds to resolve the difficulties in any one country, especially if that country has the means of dealing with the issue on its own.
2. Preambulatory and Operative Clauses
Each resolution is composed of two types of clauses: preambulatory and operative.
The Preambulatory clauses open every resolution and their primary purpose is to provide contextual details on the issue at hand.
Preambulatory clauses may give information about:
- What caused the problem
- What, if anything, has been done in the past to resolve it (and why these efforts have been unsuccessful)
- Who is affected by the problem
- Why the problem is a matter worthy of the united nations’ consideration
- What could potentially happen if the problem goes unaddressed
Preambulatory clauses should begin with appropriate initiating phrases from the list below – Each initiating phrase should be italicized, should not be numbered and cannot have sub-clauses
A single-line space should separate each perambulatory clause and each clause should be followed by a comma
3. Operative clauses
Form the second part of every resolution and outline the actual solution that will be implemented by the resolution. Generally, they cover:
- What will be done to solve the problem
- Who will be involved in the process of solving the problem (the domestic government, NGOs)
- How much money is needed if any, where it will come from, and how it will be used.
- Operative clauses should begin with the appropriate initiating phrases from the list below
- Each initiating phrase should be underlined • Operative clauses should be numbered
- Sub-clauses should be labelled as shown in the sample resolution on the following page
- Only two sub-levels will be accepted for any operative clause (that is, to sub-level i.)
- Each clause should be followed by a semi-colon
- If an operative clause has sub-clauses, it should be followed by a colon instead
- A single-line space should separate each operative clause, as well as sub-clauses
- The last operative clause should end with a period
- It is not necessary that the last operative clause be an invitation for further suggestions or additions to the resolution
|Affirming||Having adopted||Having examined|
|Alarmed by||Having considered||Having received|
|Approving||Expecting||Keeping in mind|
|Bearing in mind||Emphasizing||Noting with deep concern|
|Believing||Expecting||Nothing with satisfaction|
|Confident||Expressing it’s appreciation||Noting further|
|Deeply conscious||Expressing it’s appreciation||Recognizing|
|Deeply Disturbed||Fully aware||Seeking|
|Deeply Regretting||Further deploring||Taking into consideration|
|Desiring||Further recalling||Taking note|
|Emphasizing||Guided by||Viewing with appreciation|
|Approves||Expresses its appreciation||Further resolves|
|Authorizes||Expresses its hope||Has resolved|
|Confirms||Draws the attention||Recommends|
|Deplores||Expresses its appreciation||Solemnly affirms|
|Designates||Expresses its hope||Strongly condemns|
|Draws the attention||Further invites||Supports|
|Emphasizes||Further proclaims||Takes note of|