WELCOME TO DUMUNC 2017
Parlimentary Procedures can oftentimes be the biggest hurdle for new MUNers. Below are the official rules for DUMUNC, taken from the Delegate Guide (which will be distributed at the conference). Please note that small/specialized committees will use a modified version of parliamentary procedure to facilitate debate.
SECTION I: Agenda
Rule 1 – Adoption of Agenda
The first order of business is the opening of the speakers list on the order of the agenda to be debated during the conference. Once the speakers list is exhausted or closed, the Chair will recognize all Delegates who wish to propose an order of the agenda. The first majority in favor will determine the order. If all proposals fail, debate will revert to the speakers list or the Chair will set the agenda at his/her discretion.
SECTION II: Conduct of Business
Rule 1 - Quorum
The Chair of any committee can declare a committee in session, and open debate when at least half of the Delegations are present. The number of Delegations required for debate to proceed is based on the number of registered delegations prior to the start of the conference.
Rule 2 - Speeches
During formal debate, no delegation can address the committee without the permission of the Chair. The Chair will call upon speakers at his/her discretion. The Chair can call a speaker to order if the speaker’s remarks are not relevant to subject under discussion or offensive to any member of the body.
Rule 3 - Yielding of Time
The Delegation recognized by the Chair to address the committee on a substantive issue can yield their remaining time in three ways:
- Yield their time to any delegation in the committee. The delegation receiving time is unable to further yield that time
- Yield to questions. The combined question and answer time cannot surpass the maximum time allowed for the speech
- Yield to the Chair. No questions or comment can follow the speaker’s address
Upon the recommendation of the Chair or any Delegate, the committee may institute up to two comments after Delegation speeches during substantive debate. The recommendation must include a time limit on the comment(s), not to exceed one minute per comment. The Chair will decide whether to entertain a motion to yield to comments and the motion requires a majority to pass in committee. The Chair will recognize Delegations to comment after speeches if the speaking Delegation has yielded to comments or not yielded at all. All intentions to yield time other than yielding to comments must be announced before the beginning of Delegation speeches.
Rule 4 - Point of Order
A Delegation can rise to a Point of Order at anytime during debate, and the Point of Order will immediately be decided by the Chair in accordance with the DUMUNC Rules of Procedure. A Point of Order cannot be substantive and must relate to the observance of the rules or the way the Chair is exercising the power conferred by the Secretary-General. The Chair can refuse to recognize a Point of Order if the Delegation has not shown proper restraint and decorum governing the use of such a right or if the point is dilatory in nature. A Delegation can appeal the decision of the Chair in accordance with Section III.16.
Rule 5 – Point of Personal Privilege
A Delegation can rise to a Point of Personal Privilege, and the Chair will immediately address the Point of Personal Privilege. A Point of Personal Privilege can be used to interrupt a speaker, but must refer to personal comfort (e.g. cannot hear, too hot, etc). A Member can appeal the decision of the Chair in accordance with Section III.16.
Rule 6 – Point of Parliamentary Inquiry
A Delegation can rise to a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry if no Delegations have the floor. A Point of Parliamentary Inquiry is a request for clarification of the present procedural status of a meeting (e.g. when does committee session end, status of submitted resolutions, etc).
Rule 7 – Changes to Speaking Time
Upon the recommendation of the Chair or any Delegation, the committee will change the amount of time allowed to each speaker. This will require the consent of the Chair and a majority decision. The Chair will then set the time accorded to speakers under this rule.
Rule 8 – Closure of the Speakers List
During the course of debate, the majority of the Delegations can declare the list closed upon the request of the Chair or any delegation. Once the speakers list is closed, no new speakers can be added to the list. Closure of the speakers list requires two-thirds in favor. Two-thirds in favor is also required to reopen the speakers list.
Rule 9 – Informal Debate (Moderated Caucus)
Upon the recommendation of the Chair or any Delegation, the committee can enter informal debate. The recommendation must include a time limit for Delegation remarks (not to exceed one minute) and a time limit for the committee to remain in informal debate (not to exceed twenty minutes). This requires a majority decision. During informal debate, the Chair will recognize Delegations for remarks and all yields will be out of order.
Rule 10 – Right of Reply
The Chair will grant the Right of Reply only in instances of a grave personal insult. A Delegation can only rise to a Rights of Reply after a speech is completed. No ruling on this matter is subject to appeal. If a Right of Reply is granted, the Chair will then recognize the Delegation wishing to reply. Any Right of Reply cannot exceed one minute.
Rule 11 – Suspension of Debate (Unmoderated Caucus)
During formal debate, a Delegation can move for the suspension of debate (an Unmoderated Caucus), specifying a time not to exceed twenty minutes for reconvening. Such motions will not be debated and immediately be put to a vote. This requires a simple majority in favor to pass. The Chair can rule a move for the suspension of debate out of order at his/her discretion.
Rule 12 – Recess and Adjournment of Meeting
During formal debate, a Delegation can move for a recess of the meeting. Such motions will not be debated, but will immediately be put to a vote. This requires a two-thirds majority in favor to pass. After recess, the committee will reconvene at its next regularly scheduled meeting time. Recess of the final meeting is known as “adjournment” and will result in the final adjournment of debate in committee. All motions to recess must first be approved by the Chair before being put to a vote.
Rule 13 – Motion to Table
During formal debate, a Delegation can move to table the topic being discussed. In addition to the author of the motion, one delegation will speak in favor and two against the motion, after which the motion will immediately be put to a vote. A two-thirds majority is required for passage. If a motion to table is passed, the topic is considered dismissed and no further action will be taken regarding the topic. A debate topic can be removed from the table by a two-thirds majority vote of the committee. Once a topic has been tabled, the committee will immediately move on to the next topic on the agenda.
Rule 14 – Closure of Debate
During formal debate, a Delegation can move for the closure of debate on the topic under discussion. Permission to speak on the closure of debate will be granted only to two speakers opposing the closure (speaking time not to exceed one minute), after which the motion will immediately be put to a vote. If two-thirds of the committee votes in favor of the motion, the Chair will declare the closure of debate and immediately move to vote on all proposals introduced under this agenda item.
SECTION III: Proposals and Voting
Rule 1 – Drafting of Resolutions
All proposals will be drafted after the commencement of the Committee Session I. No previously drafted proposals can be submitted or debated by the committee.
Rule 2 – Submission of Resolutions
Resolutions and amendments will be submitted to the Chair in writing. The Chair can permit discussion and consideration of proposals and amendments, even though such substantive matters have not been circulated through the committee.
Rule 3 – Sponsorship of Resolutions
In order for a proposal to be approved by the Chair, it must have at least two sponsors. A resolution must have at least one-fifth of the committee as signatories (including the sponsors). An amendment must have at least one-eighth of the committee as signatories (including the sponsors). By becoming a signatory, a Delegation simply agrees to put the proposal on the floor. It is not a statement of support, regardless of whether the Delegation is, in fact in favor of the proposal.
Rule 4 – Withdrawal of Sponsorship
A Delegation can withdraw sponsorship of a resolution at any time before voting has commenced. The member must submit this withdrawal in writing to the Chair. If sponsorship falls below the required amount, the resolution will be considered withdrawn from debate. A resolution that is withdrawn can be introduced again provided that it is sponsored by at least two Delegations and has at least one-fifth of the Delegations as signatories.
Rule 5 – Reconsideration of Resolutions
When a resolution has been adopted or rejected, it cannot be reconsidered during the same session unless the committee, by a two-thirds vote, decides to do so. Permission to speak on a motion to reconsider will be granted only to two speakers opposing the motion, after which the motion will immediately be put to a vote.
Rule 6 – Voting Rights
Each Delegation will have one vote. Observing nations will not be granted the right to vote on substantive matters.
Rule 7 – Present and Voting
“Present and voting” refers to members casting affirmative or negative votes during a committee session. Delegations who abstain are considered not voting. In order to abstain during a vote, a Delegation must respond “present” during roll call at the beginning of a committee session, or upon late arrival, can submit their Delegation’s name in writing to the Chair.
Rule 8 – Method of Voting
The committee will vote by a show of placards, but any representative can request a roll call vote. A roll call vote can also be taken at the discretion of the Chair. The roll call vote will be taken in alphabetical order of the names of the Delegations.
Rule 9 – Division of the Proposal
A Delegation can motion to divide the question during voting procedure. This is the only procedural motion during voting procedure that the Chair will entertain. The Chair will only recognize motions for a division of a resolution once all amendments on that resolution have been voted upon. If an objection is made to the request for a division, two speakers will speak in favor of the procedural motion and two against. The Chair will set the speaking time. The procedural motion for a division requires a simple majority in favor to pass.
If the procedural motion for a division of the resolution passes, the Chair will take all requests for divisions at that time. The Chair will rank all divisions from most to least radical. The Chair will then put the most radical division to a substantive vote. The vote is to divide out the denoted part(s). This requires a simple majority to pass. If this fails the Chair will put to a vote the next most radical division. If, however, the division passes, the resolution now stands amended. All operative clauses will be renumbered and all further requests for division will be taken again. If the vote to divide passes, those divided parts will be voted upon separately. Preambulatory clauses cannot be divided.
Rule 9 – Amendments
An amendment adds to, deletes, or revises parts of the operative clauses in a proposal. Amendments must be submitted to the Chair in writing at any time while the proposal is under discussion. The Chair will introduce the amendment at any time while the proposal is under discussion. The Chair will introduce the amendment at the appropriate time. Preambulatory clauses cannot be amended.
Rule 10 – Approval of Amendments
Both friendly and unfriendly amendments require the approval of the Chair. An amendment is considered friendly if all of the initial sponsors agree to the amendment. Such an amendment is adopted automatically. Only unfriendly amendments are put to the committee for a vote. The committee will vote upon the adoption of all unfriendly amendments in voting procedure, prior to voting on the resolution as a whole.
Rule 11 – Voting on Unfriendly Amendments
Unfriendly amendments to a resolution will be voted on before voting on the resolution as a whole. When two or more amendments are proposed to a resolution concurrently, the committee will vote on them in the order in which the Chair received them. Two speakers for and two against the proposed amendment will be required before voting upon the adoption of the amendment. Unfriendly amendments require a simple majority of the Delegations present and voting in favor to pass.
Rule 12 – Voting Conduct
After the Chair has announced the beginning of voting, no Delegations will enter or leave the room, nor will any Delegation interrupt the voting except on a Point of Order in connection with the actual conduct of voting. A member of the committee staff will secure the doors during voting procedure. Members can vote in favor, in favor with rights, against, against with rights, abstain, or pass. Voting with rights is only possible during a roll call vote. The Chair can permit delegations to explain their votes after voting has concluded, but before the decision has been announced. The Chair will set the speaking time for explanations. Sponsors of a proposal or an amendment cannot explain their vote on their own proposal or amendment. Explanations of vote are reserved for those Delegations who appear to be voting out of policy.
Rule 13 – Ordering of Resolutions
If two or more resolutions relate to the same issue, the committee will vote on the resolutions in the order in which they have been submitted, unless a motion is made to reorder the resolutions. A motion to reorder must propose the new ordering, but the ordering does not need to be submitted to the Chair in writing first. The Chair will then entertain one speaker in favor and one against the proposal. This motion requires a majority vote to pass. If the motion passes, the resolutions will be voted upon in the new order.
Rule 14 – Designation of Important Question
Once in voting block, a Delegation can motion to designate a resolution as an important question if the resolution under debate is of vital importance, as stated in the United Nations Charter (Pertains only to admittance of new countries, matters of international security, and UN finances). The Chair will first take a procedural vote as to whether it should be considered an important question. This requires a simple majority. If this passes, the Chair will take a substantive vote on whether to accept the resolution as an important question. This requires a two-thirds majority in favor to pass.
Rule 15 – Passage of Resolutions
In any committee of the General Assembly or the World Health Organization, a resolution must receive a simple majority in favor to pass.
Rule 16 – Appeals
Any Delegation can appeal a decision of the Chair except when pertaining to roll call votes, explanation of votes, and Rights of Reply. The motion is debated in favor by the Delegation who proposed appealing the Chair, and the Chair will speak to uphold the decision. Each speaker is accorded one minute; this cannot be changed. The appeal is immediately put to a vote. Unanimous consent of all Delegations is required to overrule the decision of the Chair.