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Rules of UMLMUN

Rules and Procedures of UMLMUN:

The Model U.N. (MUN) is governed by a specific set of rules that each participating country must follow.

  1. The Secretary General shall have final authority on all academic and procedural matters during the conference.
  2. Each committee chair will have authority over all academic and procedural matters within their committee; decisions of the chair may be challenged in writing through the Secretary General.
  3. This document will be regarded as the official Rules and Procedures of the UMass Lowell (UML) MUN conference.
  4. The dress code for the conference will be business formal; neck ties for men are required. Please note that jeans, sneakers, and hats are not allowed.
  5. Electronic devices such as, but not limited to, laptops, tablets and cell phones, are allowed to be used in committee chambers and during formal debate for research, and resolution drafting purposes only. Please note that delegates are not allowed to text or communicate with other delegates in the room via their electronic devices. Any use of google-docs or other communal writing tools will be open to any member of the committee that wishes to participate.

Seating of Delegations:

The Committee Chair will have the final authority over any and all spectators allowed in committee chambers.

Delegates will be assigned seats by the chair; delegates may not reorder their seating arrangement without approval of the chair.

Any faculty advisers, UMass Lowell UML MUN staff, or University Personal shall be free to observe all proceedings of the conference.

During voting procedures on resolutions, rooms will be sealed. While voting is taking place, no persons will be allowed to enter or exit the committee chambers.


Quorum:

Quorum shall be set at two-thirds of all delegates present on the first roll call vote each day.

A simple majority shall consist of one-half plus 1 of all delegates present.

A two-thirds majority must be present for voting to take place.

Any delegate may request quorum verification by way of a parliamentary inquiry motion.


Notes:

Notes will be adopted as the official form of communication between delegates and chairs.

Notes are allowed to be passed between delegates and the chairpersons. Notes are restricted to conference business only.

The chair reserves the right to revoke note passing privileges if the practice is being abused.

Chairs will regard the use of notes to discuss non-debate matters as an abuse of the privilege.


Opening of Debate:

The first session shall begin with a call to order and a roll call. All delegates shall respond:

Present- The Delegation is present and has the right to abstain on substantive matters.

Present and Voting- The delegation is present and will vote on all resolutions, the delegation does not reserve the right to abstain from voting.

Please note that no delegate is allowed to abstain from voting on procedural matters.


Setting the Agenda:

Before debate ensues, the order of issues to be discussed must be decided. The chair will accept a motion to adopt the agenda (ex: “Motion to set the agenda to Topic 1 then Topic 2”). The chair will recognize 2 speakers for and 2 against the motion, with a speaking time of one 1-minute. If only 1 delegate wishes to speak for the motion only 1 delegate will be selected to speak against the motion and vice versa.

The agenda will be adopted by a simple majority vote. If the proposed agenda is NOT adopted, the agenda will automatically be set to the opposite order.


Speakers List:

After the agenda is set, the chair will call for a motion to open the speakers list, this motion will be automatically adopted without a procedural vote.

Any delegates wishing to be on the speakers list may motion to do so at this time. NOTE, when the speakers list is exhausted the matter must move to voting procedures. Delegates may be added to the speakers list by:

  • Motioning to the chair
  • Sending a note to the chair; requesting to be added
  • Chair’s discretion

Chairs will have the authority to set other methods for adding delegates to the speakers list

Delegations may only be on the speakers list twice at any given time and may not be listed back to back.


Speakers Time:

After the agenda is set, and the speakers list is opened, the chair will accept motions to adopt a speaking time (ex: “Motion to adopt the speaking time to 1 minute.”)

Please note that the speaking time cannot be set to lower than 45 seconds.

Once motioned, the chair will ask for seconds to the motion. The speaking time will be adopted by a simple majority.

The speaking time may be adjusted at any time during the conference at the discretion of the chair.


Addressing the Committee:

All remarks to the committee must be made to the chair.

Delegates will rise to address the committee.

All delegates must be recognized by the chair before speaking.

All remarks must remain germane to the topic discussed.

All delegates must refrain from the use of personal pronouns (ex: I, you, he, she, it, me, him, and her).

Delegates should always refer to themselves in the third person, as they are representing their country and government, not their individual opinions.

All delegates must remember to treat the chair and all fellow delegates with the utmost respect.

All delegates will use diplomatic and respectful language when addressing the committee. The chair will hold the authority to confiscate a delegate’s speaking time if the delegate is being disrespectful or using non-diplomatic language.

Any Delegate wishing to make a motion must raise their placard and wait until being recognized by the chair before speaking.

Delegates found to be violating proper decorum when addressing the committee may have their speaking privileges revoked at the discretion of the chair or the Secretary General.


Yields:

When a Delegate on the general speakers list has finished their speech and they did not exhaust their speaking time they must yield the remainder of their time. Delegates may yield their time in the following ways:

  • Yield to the Chair: When a speaker has finished speaking without exhausting the allotted speaking time, the speaker may yield the remainder of their time to the chair, effectively ending their time on the speakers list. (ex: “We yield the remainder of our time to the chair.”)
  • Yield to Another Delegate: When a speaker is finished, they may yield the remainder of their time to another delegate. This time may not be yielded to a third delegate. The chair will note the time remaining to the yielded delegate. (ex: “We yield the remainder of our time to the delegation of [country name].”)
  • Yield to Questions: A Delegate may yield the remainder of their time to questions pertaining to the speech just made. Only time used to answer questions will be counted towards the speaking time. Delegates asking questions cannot use that time to debate the virtues of the issue, only to ask questions. All questions will be addressed through the chair; delegates wishing to ask questions will raise their placards and wait for recognition by the chair and they must ask their question directly to the chair. The chair will then ask the delegate being questioned if they accept, reject, or would like a rephrasing of the question. Delegates may refuse to answer any question or ask for the question to be rephrased. The chair may end the questions period at any time.
  • Yield to the Floor: A Delegate may yield the remainder of their time to the floor; it will then be up to the discretion of the chair to recognize delegates wishing to speak.

Note: Yields are only used when speaking on the speakers list hence not during moderated caucuses.


Parliamentary Points:

  • Right of Reply: A right of reply may only be invoked when a Delegate, in the body of a speech, impugns the integrity of another country or delegate. This point may interrupt the speaker. Validity and course of action are determined at the discretion of the chair. If the chair feels the right of reply is in order, the chair may grant the delegate 30 seconds to respond.
  • Point of Order: A point of order is invoked when a Delegate questions the use of parliamentary procedure. The Delegate raising to the point of order must point out the violation in procedural rules, and not to the substance of the matter. Action is up to the discretion of the chair. A point of order may interrupt a speaker.
  • Point of Personal Privilege: A point of personal privilege can be raised over concerns of the general committee room environment. Examples include the volume of a speaker or the room temperature. A point of personal privilege may interrupt a speaker.
  • Point of Parliamentary Inquiry: A delegate may ask for a point of parliamentary inquiry to inquire about the correct use of parliamentary procedure. This point may not interrupt a speaker.

Caucusing:

Moderated Caucus: A moderated caucus is a form of debate where the speakers list is set aside, and speakers will be called upon by the chair. This less formal style of debate allows for a freer flow of ideas and exchange between Delegates. A moderated caucus allows delegates to narrow the scope of debate for a short period of time. A motion for a moderated caucus may be made by any delegate, and a motion must include a time limit for the caucus, a speaking time for the caucus and the purpose for the caucus. A moderated caucus is entered by a simple majority vote. There are no yields in a moderated caucus. The delegate proposing the caucus may speak first or defer to last (Note: the length of moderated caucuses and speaking time for the caucus are at the chair’s discretion, but in general a moderated caucus should not exceed 15 minutes with a 1-minute speaking time).

Unmoderated Caucus: An unmoderated caucus is a suspension of the rules allowing Delegates to converse freely. Just as in a moderated caucus, a motion must include a time limit and topic for the caucus. The caucus requires a simple majority to pass.

All caucuses are at the discretion of the chair and maybe ruled out of order.

Voting on caucuses will proceed in the order of "most disruptive", hence the motion that impacts the rules of formal debate the most will take precedent. For instance, a motion for a 15-minute moderated caucus would be voted on before a motion for a 10-minute moderated caucus, as 15 minutes is more disruptive than 10 minutes. When moderated caucuses proposed with the same time limit and speaking time, the moderated caucus proposed first will take precedent. If moderated caucuses have the same time limit but different speaking times, the moderated caucus that allows for more speakers shall take precedent (ex: Moderated caucus for 5 minutes with a speaking time of 45 seconds will take precedent over a 5-minute moderated caucus with a 1 minute speaking time.) A motion for an unmoderated caucus is always voted on before a moderated caucus regardless of time.

Seconds: Seconds on motions for caucusing are not required, however may be asked for at the discretion of the chair.


Resolutions:

The following describes the process by which working papers become resolutions, how resolutions are debated, and how they are voted upon.

Working Paper: A working paper is the draft form of a resolution. A working paper is a resolution that is still being written and developed by the delegates. Once a working paper has been developed to the point that it is fully written and formatted correctly it may be submitted to the Chairs for consideration as a draft resolution. Working papers will only be considered by the Chairs if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are well written, and address the ideas being debated by the committee at the time
  • They are formatted properly (see sample resolution)
  • They have a minimum of 2 sponsors
  • The total number of sponsors and signatories must equal at least 1/3 of the committee members

Once the working paper meets those requirements it may be submitted to the chair. If approved, the chair will assign the working paper a resolution number. However, the resolution must be formally introduced to the committee by a delegate motioning to introduce it. Once the motion to introduce is made, it is adopted automatically, and the resolution may now be debated and referred to in formal debate by its assigned resolution number.

Sponsors: A sponsor is a delegate that has contributed substantively to the language or ideas contained in the working paper or resolution. Sponsors shall be listed alphabetically in the resolution’s header.

Signatory: A signatory is a delegate that did not contribute substantively to the working paper or resolution, but agrees with the document in principal, and or wished to see the document move forward and be debated.

Authors Rights: Once a resolution is introduced, a panel of authors may be convened to answer specific questions regarding the ideas expressed in the resolution. This is done by a simple motion to the chair for authors rights, once motioned the measure is adopted automatically. The panel of authors may consist of up to 3 sponsors of the resolution, and the chair may allocate up to 10 minutes for the question and answer period (a limited extension may be granted by the chair, if deemed necessary).

Limiting Debate: Delegates may motion to limit debate to a specific draft resolution. This is done by a motion to limit debate to the specific resolution number. If approved by a majority, the debate will be limited to that specific resolution, and a new speakers list will be opened. Debate remains limited to the resolution until a motion to close debate is made. A delegate may motion to close debate on the resolution, there will be 2 speakers for and 2 speakers against, 1-minute speaking time, for the motion to close debate on the resolution, and requires a simple majority to pass. If the motion to close debate passes, the committee will return to the general speakers list. (Note: this does not move the committee into voting procedure. See below for the process of closing debate on the topic and moving to voting procedure).

Voting on Resolutions: The committee may elect to move into voting procedure on any resolution after it has been introduced. This may be done by a Motion to Enter Into Voting Procedures on that resolution. This motion requires two speakers for and two speakers against and requires a simple majority to pass.


Amendments:

Delegates may offer amendments to resolutions that have been formally introduced. Amendments require at least 1 signatory and 1 sponsor to be considered. Once a properly formatted amendment is submitted to the chair, it will be given an amendment number (example: 2.1.2) and a delegate may make a motion to introduce the amendment. There are 2 types of amendments:

Friendly Amendments: A friendly amendment is any addition or change to the body of a resolution that is approved by all sponsors to a resolution. Once an amendment is introduced, chairs will ask all of the sponsors if they approve of the amendment. If no sponsors object to the amendment, it is added automatically.

Unfriendly Amendment: An unfriendly amendment is any addition or change to the body of a resolution that is opposed by at least 1 sponsor to the resolution. When an unfriendly amendment is introduced, there will be 2 speakers for and 2 speakers against the amendment and requires a simple majority vote to be adopted. Should an amendment require additional debate, a motion to limit debate can be made to the amendment. Voting on the amendment will take place upon closure of debate, prior to the return to the general topic speakers list.

Tabling: A motion can be made to table debate if the committee has reached an impasse. A motion to table will suspend debate on the current topic and the committee will move on to the next topic on the agenda. A motion to table requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Tabling will require 2 speakers for and 2 speakers against, speaking time 1 minute.


Closure of Debate

After debate on a topic has been exhausted, a motion can be made to close debate on the topic. After the motion is made, the chair will ask for 2 speakers for and 2 speakers against closing debate on the topic, with a speaking time of 1 minute. A simple majority is required to close debate, if the motion passes, the committee moves immediately into voting procedure on all draft resolutions that have not yes been voted upon. Resolutions will be voted on in the order they were received by the chair. Once all resolutions have been voted on, the committee will then automatically proceed on to the next agenda item, and the chair will accept motions to open the speakers list and set the speaking time.


Voting:

All procedural matters will be voted on by a simple placard vote will be requiring a simple majority to pass.

Delegates have the option of 3 alternative methods of voting listed below in the order of most disruptive when voting for resolutions.

Unanimous Consent: Any delegate may motion to adopt the resolution by unanimous consent, this is adopted automatically by motion (ex: “Motion to adopt resolution 1.B by unanimous consent”). The Chair will then bang their gavel and say “without objection” 3 times. If no delegate objects, the resolution is passed. A delegate may object by saying “objection” loudly and clearly. If a delegate objects, the resolution will return to a placard vote unless otherwise motioned. Security Council Vetoes are not invoked if a permanent member of the Security Council objects. Their objection will count as any other objection and return the committee to a placard vote, where they may Veto.

Divide the Question: Any delegate may motion to divide the question, this is adopted (ex: “motion to divide the question on clause 3, 7, and 15”), and must be passed by simple majority. Motions to divide the question may include anywhere from 1 to all clauses in a resolution. This motion is compatible with other voting motions. For example, a divided clause or clauses could be adopted by unanimous consent or through a roll call vote. This may be done by motion to the chair as normal. Any clause divided from the resolution will be voted on. Clauses that fail to gain majority support will be removed from the resolution and any clause that has majority support will remain. Security Council Vetoes will apply to these votes. Then the resolution will be voted on. Please note that any amendments or changes made that passed will be applied to the resolutions; delegates will vote on the finalized version of the entire resolution.

Roll Call Vote: Any delegate may motion for a roll call vote; this will be adopted automatically (ex: “Motion to vote by roll call”). The Chair will then ask each State to vote in alphabetic order.

Delegates may elect to vote as:

  • Yes: indicating they are in favor
  • No: Indicating their opposition
  • Abstain: the delegate chooses not to vote, lowering the number needed for a majority
  • Pass: Delegates may pass on the first round and elect to cast their vote at the end.
  • No with Rights: Delegates may elect to reserve 30 seconds to speak to explain their no vote, this may only be done to explain why the vote was not in line with established national policy, not to argue the merits of the resolution.

Suspending/ Ending Debate:

Move to Recess: A move to recess will suspend the meeting until the next scheduled committee session. A move to recess requires a simple majority.

Move to Adjourn the Meeting: A move to adjourn the meeting will end all formal debate and will only be entertained at the end of the final committee session. An adjournment of the meeting requires a simple.