GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure
GENERAL ASSEMBLY Rules of Procedure Edited by: Elena Viktorchyk Evgeniya Andrejuk, Tatiana Pratskevich Lizaveta Sitkevich
These rules are based on the original rules of the General Assembly, but adaptations have been made to facilitate and ease debate during the Model UN conference. In general, the procedure in the General Assembly and its committees shall conform to the Rules of Procedure. In case of any conflict between rules in this chapter and the other chapter of the Rules of Procedure, the rules in this chapter shall take precedence. I. GENERAL RULES Rule 1 All matters are conducted in accordance with these rules and the Charter of the United Nations. Rule 2 Rule Changes Interpretation of the rules shall be reserved exclusively to the President of the General Assembly and to the Secretary-General. Such interpretation shall be in accordance with the philosophy and principles of Minsk International Model United Nations. Rule 3 Opening date The General Assembly and other forums of MINTMUN shall meet every year in session commencing on a date to be determined by the Board of Directors of the MINTMUN. Rule 4 Composition The delegation of a Member shall consist of not less than three delegates. On committees, where the delegation will be represented, it will have one delegate only and one vote. Rule 5 Official and working language English shall be both the official and the working language of the General Assembly, its committees and other forums of the MINTMUN. All resolutions and other documents shall be published in the language of the General Assembly. Usage of other languages is out of order.
Rule 6 Invitation to silent prayer or meditation Immediately after the opening of the first plenary meeting and immediately preceding the closing of the final plenary meeting of each session of the General Assembly, the President may invite the representatives to observe one minute of silence dedicated to prayer or meditation. A formal request for silent prayer or meditation shall be made at the opening of the first plenary session or during the final meeting of the Committee.
II. SECRETARY- GENERAL, PRESIDENT OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SECRETARIAT Rule 7 Functions of the Secretary-General The Secretary-General shall have authority over all student participants at the conference. The Secretary-General shall have the right to make decisions on all issues or questions vital to the harmonious operation of MINTMUN. The Secretary-General shall have the right to rule on all questions concerning the competence of a particular forum to adopt a proposal submitted to it. These decisions will be final. Rule 8 Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization The Secretary-General shall make an annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the Organization. Rule 9 Statement by the Secretary-General The Secretary General or a member of the Secretariat designated by him/her may at any time Page 1 of 6
MINTMUN make either written or oral statements to any committee. Rule 10 Provisional agenda The provisional agenda for a session shall be drawn up by the Secretary-General and communicated to the Members of the United Nations at least thirty days before the opening of the session. Rule 11 Duties of the Secretariat The Secretariat shall receive, print and distribute documents, reports and resolutions of the General Assembly; prepare, print and circulate the records of the session; have the custody and proper preservation of the documents in the archives of the General Assembly; distribute all documents of the Assembly to the Members of the United Nations. Rule 12 Acting President If the President finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, he shall designate one of the Chairmen of the committees to take his place. Rule 13 General Powers of the President In addition to exercising the powers conferred upon him elsewhere by these rules, the President shall, subject to the most recent programme of events, declare the opening and closing of each plenary meeting of the session, the adjournment of the meeting, direct the discussions in plenary meeting, ensure observance of these rules, accord the right to speak, put questions and announce decisions. He shall rule on points of order and, subject to these rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings at any meeting and over the maintenance of order thereat. The President may, in the course of the discussion of an item, decide the limitation of the time to be allowed to speakers, the limitation of the number of times each representative may speak or the closure of the debate. He may also propose the suspension of the meeting or the adjournment of the debate on the item under discussion.
III. COMMITTEE RULES Rule 14 Main Committees
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure The Main Committees, for the purpose of these Rules referred to as committees of the General Assembly, are the following: For University Conference: GA 1 (Special Political and Decolonization) Committee; GA 2 (Economic and Financial) Committee. For High School Conference: GA 1 (Special Political and Decolonization) Committee; GA 2 (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) Committee. Rule 15 Functions of the Chairman The Chairman shall, subject to the most recent programme of events, declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the committee, the adjournment of the meeting, direct its discussions, ensure observance of these rules, accord the right to speak, put questions and announce decisions. The Chair and the other Chair are independent officials representing the interests of the world community. They have no voting rights. He shall rule on points of order and, subject to these rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings at any meeting of the committee and over the maintenance of order thereat. The Chairman may, in the course of the discussion of an item, decide the limitation of the time to be allowed to speakers, the limitation of the number of times each representative may speak or the closure of the debate. He may propose the suspension of the meeting or the adjournment of the debate on the item under discussion. Rule 16 Absence of Chairman If the Chairman finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the other Chairman shall take his place. Both Chairmen shall have the same powers and duties as the Chairman. If any officer of the committee is unable to perform his functions, a new officer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. Rule 17 Courtesy Delegates shall show courtesy and respect to other delegates and the Secretariat. Rule 18 Quorum The Chairperson may declare a meeting open and permit the debate to proceed when at least one third of the members of the General Assembly are Page 2 of 6
MINTMUN present. The presence of a majority of the members shall be required for any decision to be taken.
IV. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS Rule 19 Unmoderated Caucus In unmoderated caucus, delegates may leave their seats and address other delegates in an informal manner. Its purpose is to discuss the issue in informal format, to merge draft resolutions, to explain position of the country. Rule 20 Moderated Caucus The purpose of the moderated caucus is to facilitate substantive debate at critical junctures in the discussion. In a moderated caucus, the Chairperson will call on delegates to speak at his or her discretion. The Chairperson rules the debates in official manner. Rule 21 Roll Call At the beginning of each session Chairman will call on Member States in English alphabetical order to state their status of attendance. Member States may reply ‘present’ or ‘present and voting’, where ‘present and voting’ means the Member State cannot abstain on the substantive vote. Rule 22 Speeches No representative may address the General Assembly without having previously obtained the permission of the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall call upon speakers in an order determined by the Chairperson. Rule 23 Time-limit on speeches The Chairperson may limit the time to be allowed to each speaker and the number of times each representative may speak on any issue Rule 24 Yields A delegate granted the right to speak on a substantive issue may yield in one of three ways: Yield to another delegate. His or her remaining time will be given to that delegate. Yield to questions. Questioners will be selected by the Chairperson and limited to one question each.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure The Chairperson will have the right to call to order any delegate whose question is, in the opinion of the Chairperson, rhetorical and leading and/or not designed to elicit information. Only the speaker’s answers to questions will be deducted from the speaker’s remaining time. Yield to the chair. Such a yield should be made if the delegate does not wish to yield to questions or another delegate. The Chairperson will then move to the next speaker. Delegates must declare any yield by the conclusion of his or her speech. If time runs out, the Chairperson will simply move on to the next speaker. Rule 25 Recognition of Speakers Delegations wishing to speak on an item before the Council will signify by raising their placards. The exception to this rule occurs on any Point of Order, Point of Parliamentary Inquiry, Point of Information or Point of Personal Privilege, at which time a Representative should raise their placard and call out “Point of _______”. Rule 26 Right of Reply A delegate whose national integrity has been impugned by another delegate may request a Right of Reply. The Chairperson shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply. The Chairperson’s decision whether to grant the Right of Reply is not open to appeal. A Right of Reply to a Right of Reply is out of order. Rule 27 Draft Resolutions A draft resolution may be introduced when it receives the approval of the Chairperson. Signing a resolution need not indicate support of the resolution, and the signer has no further obligations. For a draft resolution to be considered it must be organized in content and flow, have a minimum of 30% of the delegations in attendance listed as co-submitters, and the signature of the Chairperson. Rule 28 Amendments An amendment is a proposal that does no more than add to, delete from or revise part of a draft resolution. Amendments can only be submitted by a speaker who has the floor. They may be moved in debate time against the resolution. However, an amendment must be an attempt to improve the resolution and must not seek to change its general intent. It is nevertheless debatable. There can be no abstentions during the vote on an amendment. Page 3 of 6
MINTMUN Rule 29 Amendments to the Amendment An amendment to the amendment will be in order. No amendments of the 2 nd degree will be in order. An amendment to an amendment may be introduced in written or orally. In order to introduce an amendment to an amendment, a delegate shall request the floor when the Chair asks for speakers either against or in favor of the original amendment. Rule 30 Voting on Amendments to an Amendment Voting on an amendment to an amendment shall take place once debate time on the amendment to the amendment has elapsed. If the house passes the amendment to the amendment, the original amendment also passes as a whole. If the amendment to the amendment fails the house goes back into debate on the original amendment. Rule 31 Note Passing Note Passing is in order during the entire session, except during voting on a resolution, for the purpose of communication with other delegations and the Chairperson. The Chairperson may suspend note passing for any period of time if he feels that decorum in the committee is not maintained. All notes passed between the delegates shall be screened by the administration staff responsible for note passing. Should a member of the staff find a note not in compliance with section of the Rules of Procedure, the note shall be passed to the Chairperson, who will take appropriate disciplinary action against the sender of the note. Note Passing shall be suspended during voting procedures.
V. VOTING Rule 32 Voting rights Each member of the committee shall have one vote. No delegate may cast a vote on behalf of another country. Rule 33 Majority required Voting on a resolution takes place after the debate time on the resolution has elapsed. Passing or failing a resolution needs a simple majority. In this case abstentions will be in order. Rule 34 Method of voting
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure The committee shall normally vote by show of placards, but any representative may request a rollcall using the Motion to Divide the House. The rollcall shall be taken in the English alphabetical order of the names of the members, beginning with the member whose name is drawn by lot by the Chairman. The name of each member shall be called in any roll-call, and its representative shall reply "in favour", "against" or "abstaining". Rule 35 Voting on Resolutions At the end of debate only one resolution shall pass on each question on the agenda. After it the resolution which will be represented at the General Assembly shall be chosen out of the passed ones. Rule 36 Conduct during voting After the Chairman has announced the beginning of voting, no representative shall interrupt the voting except on a point of order in connection with the actual conduct of the voting. The Chairman may permit members to explain their votes, either before or after the voting. The Chairman may limit the time to be allowed for such explanations. Rule 37 Equally divided votes If a vote is equally divided the proposal shall be regarded as rejected.
VI. POINTS Rule 38 None of the points shall interrupt a speech except for a Point of Personal Privilege referring to audibility. Any point made by a delegate should be raised at the conclusion of the speech, or can be addressed by the Chairperson, at his or her discretion, during the speech. The Chair is entitled to rule a point out of order at any time. Rule 39 Point of Personal Privilege Whenever a delegate experiences personal discomfort, which impairs his or her ability to participate in the proceedings, he or she may rise to a Point of Personal Privilege to request that the discomfort be corrected. Only a Point of Personal Privilege may interrupt a speaker, but if referring to audibility only. Rule 40 Point of Order Page 4 of 6
MINTMUN During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may rise to a Point of Order to indicate an instance of improper parliamentary procedure or the General Assembly or its Committee is proceeding in a manner contrary to these rules. The Point of Order will be immediately ruled on by the Chairperson in accordance with these rules of procedure. Rule 41 Points of Parliamentary Inquiry A Point of Parliamentary Inquiry is a question to the Chairperson regarding the rules of procedure. It is in order when the delegate raising the point did not understand a part of the proceedings and wishes that the Chair clarifies this. Rule 42 Point of Information A Point of information is a question to the speaker, who has the floor if he/she has indicated that is willing to yield to points of information. A Point of Information must be formulated as a question.
VII. PROCEDURAL MOTIONS Rule 43 A motion may only be made when the floor is not taken and when there is no voting procedure. Each motion should be seconded by the House in order to be considered. And if objection is present, it should be clarified. Each motion shall be put to a vote even if there is no objection to them. There can be no abstentions during the vote on a motion. The Chair is entitled to overrule any motion in interest of the debate (except Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair). Rule 44 Motions in Order during the Debate: The following motions are in order during the entire debate: Motion to Extend Debating Time: The Motion to Extend Debating Time is needed when the delegate wishes to continue debate on an amendment or a draft resolution although debate time, as set by the Chair, is about to elapse. The delegate putting the motion forward must specify the time by which he wishes to extend debate time. The motion shall be put to a vote, requiring a simple majority to pass. Once the motion carries, the Chair shall add the specified time to the remaining debate time. Motion to Move the Previous Question:
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure The Motion to Move the Previous Question means that the delegate putting the motion forward wishes to end the debate on the current amendment or draft resolution and move directly into voting procedure. The motion requires a 2/3 majority to pass (absolute majority for amendments). Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair: The Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair is in order when the delegate is sure that the decision of the Chair is wrong and out of order. An appeal must be made immediately following the ruling in question. The motion needs a 2/3 majority to pass. Once the motion passes, the Chair shall withdraw the decision in question and continue with the debate/voting procedure. Motion for Unmoderated Caucus The Motion for Unmoderated Caucus is needed when the delegate wishes to discuss the issue in informal format. A time limit for the caucus shouldn’t exceed twenty minutes. The Motion requires a simple majority to pass. Motion to Follow Up: The Motion to Follow Up is a right of the further point of information from the same questioner, if there are no other points on the floor, or when a questioner supposes that the point is misunderstood. The Motion to Follow Up is overruled by the Chair at any time. Rule 45 Motions in Order after Voting on a draft resolution These motions are in order, after the vote was cast. Motion to Divide the House: The Motion to Divide the House is in order when the delegate putting the motion forward wishes that there be no abstentions during the vote and when the delegate wishes that every delegation declares its vote aloud. The Chair shall rule this motion out of order if the number of abstentions cannot change the outcome of the vote or when there is a minor difference between the number of votes “in favour” and “against”. The motion requires a simple majority to pass. Motion to Retake Votes: The Motion to Retake Votes is used when the delegate supposes that there is a need to vote once again. The motion requires an absolute majority to carry. Motion to Split the House:
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MINTMUN The motion to Split the House is used if the delegate wishes that the members of the House explain their votes.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Rules of Procedure The delegates will be called upon in a roll-call and asked to answer accordingly to their vote. The motion requires a simple majority to pass.
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