RULES OF PROCEDURE IN FORMAL DEBATE
All delegates should be aware that the rules are intended to facilitate debate and to accord to all members their democratic right to voice an opinion. The Presidents and Chairs of the various assemblies will apply the rules to this end. They will not tolerate the misuse of the rules for obstructive or restrictive purposes.
(1) Duties of Delegates
Each delegate has the duty to:
– respect the decisions of the Chair at all times;
– obtain the floor before speaking;
– stand when speaking;
– yield the floor when required to do so by the Chair;
– be courteous at all times;
– avoid the use of insulting or abusive language.
(2) United Nations Charter
Delegations should, at all times, act in accordance with the articles and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
(3) Written communication between Delegations
All written communication transmitted through the Administrative Staff must be written on identifiable notepaper, with a distinctive heading. Messages must be clear FROM and TO designations at the top of the paper. Messages not fulfilling the above requirements will not be transmitted. Delegations are expected to provide their own notepaper.
(4) Opening Speeches in General Assembly
Opening policy statements given at the first session of the General Assembly shall not exceed ONE minute and are not to be interrupted. Only one speaker may address the General Assembly.
(5) Right of Reply to Opening Speeches
Two Rights of Reply will be entertained after each 7 opening speeches. Such replies may not exceed thirty seconds and must refer to one of the preceding 7 opening speeches.
(6) Amendments to Resolutions
Delegates may send an amendment to the chair on the appropriate paper (available from secretaries) at any stage of the debate. Amendments can then only be submitted by the delegate when the Chair has a copy and the delegate has the floor.
The intention of proposed amendments to resolutions should normally be to improve the resolution with the object of achieving a wider consensus and thus helping the resolution to pass.
In closed debate, amendments will normally be moved in debate time for amendments for the resolution. However, the intention should still be constructive not destructive.
Following the debate on the amendment and the vote, the floor is yielded to the Chair.
No Amendments to resolutions will be entertained in General Assembly.
(7) Power of the President/Chair in Limiting, Extending Debate
The President/Chair will propose the limitation of debate time for each motion. This will normally be:
Main motions: Closed debate of 10 minutes for and 10 minutes against and 15 minutes for amendments
Each Amendment: Closed debate of 3 minutes for and 3 minutes against
When debate time has been exhausted, the Chair will propose either the extension of debate time (eg 5 minutes for, 5 minutes against), or the closure of debate and subsequent vote on the question being considered (the Previous Question).
The President/Chair may, in the interests of debate, or in order to work towards consensus, call upon a particular delegation to speak if they have an amendment which in the opinion of the Chair adds to the quality of the resolution being debated. The President/Chair may also restrict the speaking time of an individual delegate to enable more delegates the opportunity to speak. Equally the Chair will encourage delegates to open to points of information.
The limitations of debate time will include the time taken for replies to points of information but will not include the time taken for questions to the speaker or for other interruptions.
(8) Yielding the Floor to other Delegations
Two consecutive yields from proposer, then one yield only; it then passes to the Chair. Where delegations consist of more than one member, delegates from the same delegation may not yield the floor to each other. Delegates cannot yield to other delegations from the same school.
(9) Interruption of Speeches and Rising to Points
A speech may only be interrupted by a point of personal privilege referring to audibility.
All other points, eg order, parliamentary enquiry, information to the Chair or speaker, will be dealt with only when the speaker yields the floor either to points of information to another delegate, or to the President/Chair.
A Point of Personal Privilege must refer to the comfort and well being of the delegate. It may not refer to the content of any speech and may only interrupt a speaker if the speech is inaudible.
A Point of Order may relate to procedural matters only.
A Point of Information may be directed to the Chair OR to the speaker who has the floor if he has indicated that he is willing to yield to points of information. A point of information must be formulated as a question, eg “Is the speaker aware that…..” or “Does the speaker (not) realise that …” etc. A short introductory statement of reference may precede the question eg “The speaker stated in his speech that … Is he not aware ….?” A series of questions from the same questioner will not be in order.
A Point of Parliamentary Enquiry is a point of information directed to the Chair concerning the rules of procedure.
A Call for the Orders of the Day is a call for the return to the main agenda of the committee, council or assembly. It may not interrupt a speech and must not refer to the content of a speech.
Amendments – When an amendment is moved to a proposal, the amendment shall be voted on first. Should a second amendment be moved to a proposal, this will be voted on before the vote is taken on the first amendment. Where, however, the adoption of one amendment necessarily implies the rejection of the other, the first amendment shall not be put to the vote.
Conduct during Voting – After the President/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.
Abstentions – The number of delegations actively abstaining (as opposed to simply failing to vote) will be recorded and the right to explain its vote may be accorded to a delegation which abstains. However, abstentions will not count either for or against the adoption of a motion ie a resolution will pass if the number for exceeds the number against regardless of the number of abstentions.
Veto Rights – The Security Council will apply the special provisions concerning voting as stated in the UN Charter.
PROCEDURE FOR SUBMITTING RESOLUTIONS
Draft resolutions have to be approved by the Approval Panel.
NOTE: All resolutions need to be placed on the school computer system. Students should bring resolutions on Memory stick or email.
Each draft resolution must be co-submitted by a maximum of nine and minimum of seven delegates with not more than two from the same School. Delegates submitting a resolution may not co-submit any other resolution on the same issue. Only one of the submitting delegations may present the resolution to the Approval Panel, although any of the submitters of resolution may read or speak on the resolution. Maximum 15 Operative Clauses, including Sub Clauses
Each resolution must be type-written on A4 paper using the prescribed format. The heading must appear on each page of the resolution but lines do not need to be numbered.
A copy of the resolution should be placed in the “MUN Resolution Folder” on the school computer system. One copy of the resolution, plus the co-submitters form should be submitted to the Approval Panel.
Criteria for Approval
The criteria for the approval of a resolution will be:
– format (see Sample Resolution)
– language (grammar, punctuation etc)
– logical consistency
The Panel will not presume to make judgements about the content of the resolutions, nor does “approval” imply that the resolution is “in order” according to the rules and procedures of the particular forum.
Approved Resolutions will be placed in the Approved Resolution folder on the school computers. One copy will be given to the President or Chair, and the Committee Chairs in discussion with student officers will decide which resolutions will be debated.
Resolutions rejected will be placed in the Rejected Resolutions folder on the school computers. Rejected resolutions may be re-submitted once the necessary alterations, suggested by the approval panel have been made.
Amendments to resolutions will only be entertained in Committee not in General Assembly.
All amendments must be submitted to the Chair at the appropriate time on an Amendment Sheet of the approved format
A separate Amendment Sheet must be used for each amendment or amendment to an amendment.
All amendments must state clearly:
– the clauses which are affected by the amendment;
– the kind of amendment eg strike, insert, strike and insert, add.
Amendments may be hand-written but must be LEGIBLE. Illegible or untidy amendments will be ruled out of order.