Rules of Procedure for Students' Model United Nations Banja Luka
The rules are not subject to change and shall be considered adopted prior to the beginning of the conference.
English shall be the official working language of the conference. No representative may address the forum or submit a document in a language other than English.
All delegates must show courtesy and respect to the Secretary General, chairpersons, committee staff, advisors and fellow delegates. The chairperson will immediately call to order any delegate who fails to comply with this rule.
The credentials of the Secretariat and delegates have been accepted prior to the opening of the conference. Actions relating to the alteration of rights or credentials of any member may only be initiated at the consent of the Secretary General.
Secretary General and Secretariat
The Secretary General will provide and direct the staff required by all the committees. He/she will have the ultimate authority over all such committees and may at any time delegate authority to a member of the Secretariat. Furthermore, the Secretary General or a member of the Secretariat may at any time make written or oral statements to the committees.
The chairpersons/presidents and the rapporteur shall constitute the committee bureau. A chairperson shall declare the opening and closure of each meeting of the committee, shall direct its discussions, and ensure compliance with the Rules of Procedure. He/she shall compose the speaker’s list, accord the right to speak, propose the limitation of time for debate, and announce decisions. Furthermore, he/she shall have the right to advise delegates on the possible course of debate. The chairperson may also close or suspend the meeting and may temporarily transfer his/her duties to another member of the bureau. In exercise of these functions, the chairperson shall at all times follow the Rules of Procedure and report to the Secretary General. Bureau decisions may be overruled with a two-thirds majority.
Each member state of a committee will be represented by one delegate and will be granted one vote in the committee. Members of committees shall be permanent representatives to the United Nations, heads of state, ministers of foreign affairs or others of comparable rank or relevance to the issues at hand.
Participation of Observers
Representatives of accredited observers will have the same rights as those of full members except that they may not vote on resolutions or amendments and are not allowed to introduce amendments.
Meetings and Dates of Convening
Each committee shall meet at the time and place designated by the Secretariat under the recommendation of the Secretary General.
Delegates of all committees are required to attend all scheduled committee meetings. In the case of a delegate leaving the room during session under any circumstances, said delegate shall place their placard in such way that the country name is facing down. This is in order to signal absence from any vote. Should a delegate be absent for more than two half-day sessions and/or during the distribution of certificates, the delegate may be denied the right to receive the conference certificate. Attendance will be sampled at the beginning of every session by calling upon the member states, followed by the observers, in alphabetical order. When their country is called out, delegates shall declare themselves “present”, whereas accredited observers shall declare themselves “present and observing.” Members arriving late shall pass a written note to the chairperson stating that they are “present”, whereas accredited observers arriving late shall pass a written note stating that they are “present and observing”.
RULES GOVERNING DEBATE
At the beginning of the first session, each delegate to a committee will be expected to give a short opening speech no longer than one minute (a maximum of two minutes in the Security Council). Opening speeches should provide for positioning within the committee and should briefly outline a country’s or organization’s stance and objectives in relation to the topic.
After the delegates have presented their opening speeches, a continuously open speaker’s list is to be established for the purpose of formal debate. The formal debate is the default style of debate and its main feature is the speaker’s list. The speaker’s list shall be followed except where superseded by procedural or substantive motions or points. During formal debate, delegates may speak generally on the topic area being considered, may address any draft resolution currently on the floor or may raise procedural or substantive motions and points. The time limit for individual speeches will be determined by the chairperson but shall not exceed three minutes. At the opening of the committee session, delegates will be asked by the presiding chairperson whether they wish to be placed on the speaker’s list. Those holding their placards high will be placed on the speaker’s list. Thereafter, once debate commences, a member maybe added to the speaker’s list only by passing a written request to one of the chairpersons. After the delegate finished his/her speech, the delegate may add his/her country to the speaker’s list again by passing a written request to one of the chairpersons. The speaker’s list will be continuously open.
RULES GOVERNING SPEECH
No delegate or accredited observer may address a committee without having previously obtained the permission of the chairperson. The chairperson may call a speaker to order if his/her remarks do not follow the rules agreed upon, are not relevant to the subject under discussion, or are offensive to any delegate or staff member. The time limit for speeches is always subject to the chairperson’s approval. If a delegate exceeds the permitted time, the chairperson may call the speaker to order.
Right of Reply
A delegate whose national integrity has been impugned by another delegate may request the right to reply to the speaker after his/her time has elapsed. The chairperson’s decision to accord the right of reply may not be appealed. If granted, the delegate receiving the right may speak immediately for a maximum time period of one minute. No right of reply will be granted in response to a right of reply.
RULES GOVERNING VOTING
A Quorum is the number of members present necessary for any vote to be taken. The chairperson may declare a meeting open and permit the debate to proceed when at least one third of the expected number of members in the committee are present. The presence of two thirds of the members will be required for any substantive vote to be taken.
Each member of a committee will have one vote on both substantive and procedural matters. All matters will be voted upon by placards except in the case of a roll call vote. After the chairperson has announced the beginning of voting procedure, no delegate is allowed to leave the room or to interrupt the procedure except for a point of order in connection with the actual conduct of voting.
a.) Voting on Substantive Matters The only substantive voting at the simulation will be the final voting on draft resolutions, amendments and division of the questions. Passage requires affirmative votes from two-thirds of the total number of voting delegates. Abstentions do not affect the consensus quorum required for passage. In case of the Security Council, affirmative votes from nine members including the concurring or abstaining votes of the five permanent members are required.
b.) Voting on Procedural Matters Apart from the final voting on a draft resolution and amendments, all voting done at the simulation will be considered procedural voting. Procedural voting requires a simple majority for passage, and no abstentions are permitted.
c.) Roll Call Vote During a roll call vote delegates are called upon in alphabetical order. Each delegate then shall answer with either “In favor”, “Against” or - in the case of substantive votes- “Abstain”.
RULES GOVERNING SUBSTANTIVE MATTERS
Draft resolutions shall follow the official format of the United Nations. Members that are the principle authors of a draft resolution and are in support of it are regarded as sponsors of a draft resolution. Members wishing to add their support to a draft resolution may add their name and signature to the list of sponsors at any time during debate. More than one draft resolution may be on the floor at any given time and may be referred
to by any speaker.
a) Tabling Draft Resolutions One sponsor has to step forward to table a draft resolution to the committee. Once a draft resolution has been approved by the chairperson, copied and distributed to all delegates in the committee, debate will be suspended by the chairperson for an adequate period of time for the purpose of enabling the delegates to read the distributed document. Once the reading time has elapsed, discussion about the draft resolution may be started by the committee and the draft resolution is regarded as tabled.
Once a draft resolution is officially on the floor, its content may be changed by any member of the council with the exception of observers. Any change of the tabled draft resolution, which is not supported by all the sponsors of the draft resolution, is considered an amendment. A proposal is considered an amendment if it adds to, deletes from, or changes one or more clauses of a tabled draft resolution. Amendments of amendments are out of order. An amendment is considered to be out of order if it renders the resolution meaningless. After all amendments are collected in writing and a list of amendments has been established, the sponsors of the respective amendments will be asked by the chairperson to read out the amendments. After the sponsor has read out the amendment one speaker for and one against the incorporation of the amendment will be entertained and a time limit for these individual speeches will be set by the chairperson. After speeches in favor and against the incorporation of the amendment, the chairperson shall put the amendment to a vote. Once the last amendment is voted upon and speeches for and against the newly assembled draft resolution were held, the draft resolution is put to a vote as a whole. Delegates will only have a chance to introduce any number of amendments per draft resolution until a certain point in time that shall be decided by the chair. Other draft resolutions being concerned by the closure of debate follow the same procedure.
Any changes that have the approval of the draft resolution’s sponsors are not introduced as amendments but are incorporated into the draft resolution with immediate effect. If such changes are made, the sponsors have to inform the committee of said changes.
Division of the Question
After debate on any draft resolution has been closed, a delegate may move for division of the question, which means that operative parts of the draft resolution will be voted on separately. Pre-ambulatory clauses and sub-operative clauses may not be separated in a division of the question. A separate vote will be taken on each divided part to determine whether or not it will be included in the final draft. Parts of the draft resolution that are subsequently passed will be recombined into a final document and put to a substantive vote as a whole. This procedure may only be conducted if the sponsors of the draft resolution agree to it.
MOTIONS & POINTS
Motions may be raised at any time during discussions. A motion will be put to a vote if there is any opposition to the motion or if more than one motion is on the floor.
A motion for a moderated caucus is in order during formal debate at any time when the floor is open and prior to closure of debate. The sponsor of the motion must briefly specify the purpose and the topic for the Caucus. The general speaking time for speeches will be proposed by the delegate raising the motion but needs the approval of the chairperson and shall not exceed three minutes. During a caucus, delegates signify their wish to speak by raising their placards. If nobody else wants to take the floor, the style of debate will automatically resume to formal debate. Once a delegate believes that the content of the discussion is exhausted, he/she may propose a motion to go back to formal debate.
Suspension of the Meeting
During a moderated caucus or formal debate a delegate may raise a motion to suspend the meeting - and all committee functions for the proposed time - by stating the purpose of the suspension and specifying a time for reconvening, which is subject to the chair’s approval. This suspension of the meeting enables the delegates to discuss important matters such as draft resolutions in an informal manner and without the restrictions of formal debate or moderated caucus. Once the suspension of the meeting is over, the formal debate or moderated caucus continues as before
Roll Call Voting
During any voting procedure, delegates may raise a motion for a roll call vote. The chairperson may rule such a motion dilatory if it only leads to an unnecessary prolonging of the voting procedure. Furthermore, in case of a miss-vote on any matter, the chairperson may reserve the right to initiate a roll call vote. In a roll call vote, the chairperson will call all countries in English alphabetical order, and each representative should reply either “yes”, “in favor”, “no”, “against”, or “abstain”. Abstentions are only allowed in the case of substantive matters.
Closure of Debate
During a moderated caucus or formal debate a delegate may raise a motion to move to close the debate. The chairperson, however, may rule such a motion dilatory. If the motion passes, the chairperson shall declare the closure of debate, and immediately move to voting procedure on any tabled draft resolution or amendments.
Point of Order
Any delegate may raise a point of order to signal the committee about improper action or other issues that are important to the committee by raising his/her placard. The chairperson, in accordance with the rules of procedure, will immediately decide on the point of order. A point of order may not interrupt a speaker. Points of order that are dilatory or improper may be ruled out of order by the chairperson.
Point of Information
Any delegate may raise a point of information to pose questions regarding the proceedings of the committee or rules of procedure by raising his/her placard. Delegates are asked to use the point of information with discretion and should pose questions on rules of procedure during a break or suspension.
Precedence of Motions/Points
Motions and points will be considered in the following order of precedence:
a.) Points indicated below shall have precedence above all motions at all times in the following order:
- Point of Order
- Right of Reply
- Point of Information
b.) Motions indicated below shall have precedence in the following order:
- Motion to Suspend the Meeting
- Motion to Move to a Moderated Caucus
- Motion to Move back to Formal Debate
- Motion to Close the Debate
- Motion for a Roll Call Vote
These rules are a simplified version based on those used at meetings of the UN and its institutions. As these rules should be used for simulations of all UN governing bodies some items (eg. quorum) of course very much differ from reality.