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Rules of UMLMUN

The Model U.N. 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. The UMass Lowell (UML) MUN will be run under the specific rules set forth in the delegate preparation guide.
  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 not allowed to be used in committee chambers or during formal debate at any time.

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 shall be set at two-thirds of all delegates present at the first roll call vote each day.
  • A simple majority shall consist of one half plus one 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 motion for parliamentary inquiry


  • Notes are allowed to be passed between delegates and the chair persons. Notes are strictly restricted to conference business only.
  • The chair reserves the right revoke note passing privileges if the practice is being abused.

Setting the Agenda

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.

Before debate ensues, the order of issues to be discussed must be decided. The chair will accept a motion to adopt the agenda (ex. Issue 1 then Issue 2). The chair will recognize two speakers for and two against this motion, with a speaking time of one (1) minute. The agenda will be adopted by a simple majority. 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 adopted automatically 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 listed on the speakers list up to 2 times. Delegates may be added to the speakers list by:

  • Motioning the chair
  • Sending a note to the chair, requesting to be added
  • By the request of the chair
  • Chairs will have the authority to set other methods for adding delegates to the speakers list as they see fit 
  • 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 opened, the chair will accept motions to adopt a speaking time (example: speakers time of 1 minute, speakers time of 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 in 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 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 his or her placard and wait until being recognized by the chair before speaking.
  • All delegates should strictly refrain from the use of personal pronouns. Delegates should always refer to themselves in the third person, as they are representing their country and government, not their individual opinions. Enforcement of this rule will be up to the opinion of the chair.
  • 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. 


When a Delegate on the speakers list has finished their speech to the committee, if there is remaining time, that time may be yielded 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 his/her time to the chair, effectively ending their time on the speakers list.
  • Yield to Another Delegate: When a speaker is finished, he or she 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.
  • Yield to Questions: A Delegate may yield the remainder of his or her time to questions pertaining to the speech just made. Only time used answering 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. The delegate may refuse to answer any question, or ask for the question to be rephrased. All questions are up to the chair, and the chair may end the question 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 off the speakers list

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. This point may interrupt a speaker. 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 rising 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 concern for the 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.


  • 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 more free flow of ideas and exchange between Delegates. 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 the vote of a simple majority of the committee. There are no yields in a moderated caucus. The delegate proposing the caucus may speak first, or reserve the right to speak last (Note: Length of moderated caucuses and speaking time for the caucus are at chairs discretion, but in general a moderated caucus should not exceed 15 minutes with a 1 minute speakers 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 purpose for caucusing. The caucus requires a simple majority to pass.
  • All caucuses are at the discretion of the chair and may be ruled out of order.
  • Voting on caucuses with proceed in the order of "most disruptive", which one most impacts the rules of formal debate. 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. A motion for a unmoderated caucus is always voted on before a moderated caucus regardless of time.
  • Seconds: Seconds on motions for caucusing is not required, however may be asked for at the discretion of the chair.


The following described he 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 developed to the point that is is fully written and formatted correctly it may be submitted to the chair 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 topic being debated by the committee at the time
  • They are properly formatted (see sample resolution)
  • They have a minimum of 2 sponsors
  • The total number of sponsors and signatories equals at least 1/3 of the committee members
Once the working paper meets the requirements it may be submitted by 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 by a "motion to introduce".  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 resolutions 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. Signatories are under no obligation to for the resolution.
  • Authors Rights: Once a resolution is introduced, a panel of authors may be convened to answer specific questions about 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 three 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. Debates 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 two speakers for and two speakers against, one minute speaking time, 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 topic 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). 


  • Delegates may offer amendments to Resolutions that have been formally introduced. Amendments require at least one signatory and one 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 two 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 without a vote.
  • Unfriendly Amendment: An unfriendly amendment is any addition or change to the body of a resolution that is opposed by at least one sponsor to the resolution. When an unfriendly amendment is introduced, there will be two speakers for and two speakers against the amendment and requires a 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 two speakers for and two speakers against closing debate on the topic, with a speaking time of one minute. A simple majority is required to close debate, if the motion passes, the committee moves immediately into voting procedure on all draft resolutions. 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.


The vote will be a placard vote, requiring a simple majority to pass. Delegates have the option of three alternative methods of voting listed below in the order of most disruptive.
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” three 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 automatically by motion (ex: “motion to divide the question on clause 3, 7, and 15”). Motions to divide the question may include anywhere from one to all clauses in a resolution. This motion is compatible with other 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 in full with the change in place. 
Roll Call Vote: Any delegate may motion for a roll call vote, this is adopted automatically by motion (ex: motion to vote by roll call”). The Chair will then ask each State to vote in alphabetic order.
Delegates may elect to vote
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.
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.