Rules of Procedure of Model United Nations
Below you will see the various stages of a Model UN simulation. Being familiar with the rules, how the action will proceed, from the first “scene” to the last, is an important way to prepare yourself for a Model UN conference.
The Chairperson will announce each country’s name. After delegates hear their country, they should answer "present."
When Model UN committees have more than one topic available, the body must set the agenda to begin working on one of these issues. At this time a delegate typically makes a motion, stating "The country of [name] moves to place [topic A] first on the agenda, followed by [topic B] and then [topic C]." Once the motion has been made, three delegations must speak in favor of the motion, and three other delegations will speak against it. These speeches should alternate between those in favor and those opposed. Once these six speeches have been given, a vote is taken. Setting the agenda requires a simple majority vote.
Formal debate revolves around a speakers list. The Chair begins by asking all delegates interested in addressing the other members to raise their placards. The Chair then chooses delegates to be placed on the speakers list. A country may only be on the speakers list once, but delegates may add their country to the end of the list after their speech.
Informal debate involves discussion outside of the speakers list. During moderated caucuses, the Chair calls on delegates one-by-one so that each can address the committee in short speeches. During unmoderated caucuses, the committee breaks for a temporary recess so that delegates may meet with each other and discuss ideas.
The final results of discussion, writing and negotiation are resolutions—written suggestions for addressing a specific problem or issue. Resolutions, which are drafted by delegates and voted on by the committee, normally require a simple majority to pass (except in the Security Council). Only Security Council resolutions can compel nations to take action. All other UN bodies use resolutions to make recommendations or suggestions for future action.
Draft resolutions are all resolutions that have not yet been voted on. Delegates write draft resolutions alone or with other countries. There are three main parts to a draft resolution: the heading, the preamble and the operative section.
A draft resolution must always gain the support of a certain number of member states in the committee before the sponsors (the delegates who created the resolution) may submit it to the committee staff.
Once the speakers list is exhausted, the committee automatically moves to voting. Also, once a delegate feels that his or her country’s position is clear to others and that there are enough draft resolutions on the floor, he or she may make a motion to proceed into voting procedure by moving for the closure of debate.
Once a motion to close debate has been approved, the committee moves into voting procedure. Amendments are voted on first, then resolutions. Once all of the resolutions are voted on, the committee moves to the next topic on the agenda.
For more details visit the website of the
United Nations Association of the United States of America