PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

Rules of Parliamentary Procedure

Official and working language
 

Rule 1


English shall be the official and working language of the Committees.
 

I. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS


Conduct of Quorum
 

Rule 2


The Chairperson may declare a meeting open and permit debate to proceed when delegates of at least one third of the members of the Committee are present. The presence of delegates of a majority of the members of the body concerned shall be required for any decision to be taken.

General Powers of the Chairperson

 

Rule 3


In addition to exercising the powers conferred upon him/her elsewhere by these rules, the Chairperson shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the Committee, direct the discussions, ensure observance of these rules, accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote and announce decisions. The Chairperson, subject to these rules shall have complete control of the proceedings of the Committee and over the maintenance of order at its meetings. She/He shall rule on points of order. She/He may propose to the Committee the closure of the list of speakers, a limitation on the time to be allowed to speakers and on the number of times the delegate of each member may speak on an item, the adjournment or closure of the debate, and the suspension or adjournment of a meeting.

Points of order

 

Rule 4


During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may rise to a point of order. The chairperson's decision will be given immediately and will be considered final and ultimate.

Note: See Notice (below) for summary of rule changes

Speeches

 

Rule 5



1. No one may address the Committee without having previously obtained the permission of the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall call upon speakers in the order in which they signify their desire to speak.

2. Debate shall be confined to the question before the Committee, and the Chairperson may call a speaker to order if his/her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.

3. The Committee may limit the time allowed to speakers and the number of times the delegate of each member may speak on any question: permission to speak on a motion to set such limits shall be accorded only to two delegates favoring and to two opposing such limits, after which the motion shall be put to the vote immediately. Interventions on procedural questions shall not exceed five minutes unless the Committee decides otherwise. When debate is limited and a speaker exceeds the allotted time, the Chairperson shall call him/her to order without delay.

Closing of list of speakers

 

Rule 6


Members may only be on the list of speakers once but may be added again after having spoken. During the course of a debate the Chairperson may announce the list of speakers and, with the consent of the committee, declare the list closed. When there are no more speakers, the Chairperson shall, with the consent of the Committee, declare the debate closed. Such closure shall have the same effect as closure by decision of the Committee.
 

Rule 7


If a remark impugns the integrity of a delegate's state, the Chairperson may permit a right of reply following the conclusion of the controversial speech, and shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply. No ruling on this question shall be subject to appeal.

Suspension of the meeting

 

Rule 8


During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move the suspension of the meeting specifying a time for reconvening. Such motions shall not be debated but shall be put to the vote immediately.
 

Rule 9


During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move the adjournment of the meeting. Such motions shall not be debated but shall be put to the vote immediately. Adjournment of meeting is only in order within 15 minutes to the scheduled time when the committee is to adjourn. After adjournment, the Committee shall reconvene at its next regularly scheduled meeting time. Adjournment of the final meeting shall adjourn the session.

Adjournment of debate

 

Rule 10


A delegate may at any time move the adjournment of debate on the item under discussion. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded only to two delegates favoring and to two opposing the adjournment, after which the motion shall be put to the vote immediately. If a motion for adjournment is passed, the topic is considered dismissed and no action will be a taken on it.

Closure of debate

 

Rule 11


A delegate may at any time move the closure of debate on the item under discussion, whether or not any other delegate has signified his/her wish to speak. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded only to two delegates opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be put to the vote immediately. Closure of debate shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. If the Committee favors the closure of debate, the Committee shall immediately move to vote on all proposals introduced under that agenda item.

Order of motions

 

Rule 12


Subject to rule 4, the motions indicated below shall have precedence in the following order over all proposals or other motions before the meeting:

    a) To suspend the meeting;

    b) To adjourn the meeting;

    c) To adjourn the debate on the item under discussion;

    d) To close the debate on the item under discussion.

Withdrawal of motions

 

Rule 13


A proposal or a motion may be withdrawn by its sponsor at any time before voting has commenced, provided that it has not been amended. A motion thus withdrawn may be reintroduced by any delegate.

Reconsideration of proposals

 

Rule 14


When a proposal has been adopted or rejected, it may not be reconsidered at the same session unless the Committee, by a two-thirds majority of the delegates present and voting, so decides. Permission to speak on a motion to reconsider shall be accorded only to two speakers opposing the motion, after which it shall be put to the vote immediately.
 

II. VOTING


Voting rights
 

Rule 15


Each member of the Committee shall have one vote.

Request for a vote

 

Rule 16


A proposal or motion before the Committee for decision shall be voted upon if any member so requests. Where no member requests a vote, the Committee may adopt proposals or motions without a vote.

Majority required

 

Rule 17


1. Unless specified otherwise in these rules, decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.

2. For the purposes of tabulation, the phrase "members present and voting" means members casting an affirmative or negative vote. Members who abstain from voting are considered as not voting.

Method of voting

 

Rule 18


The Committee shall normally vote by a show of placards, except that a delegate may request a roll call, which 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 Chairperson. The name of each member shall be called in any roll call, and one its delegates shall reply :"yes", "no" or "abstention".

Explanation of vote

 

Rule 19


Delegates may make brief statements consisting solely of explanation of their votes after the voting has been completed. The delegate of a member sponsoring a proposal or motion shall not speak in explanation of vote thereon, except if it has been amended.

Conduct during voting

 

Rule 20


After the Chairperson has announced the commencement of voting, no delegate shall interrupt the voting except on a point of order in connection with the actual process of voting.

Division of proposals and amendments

 

Rule 21


Parts of a proposal or an amendment may be voted on separately if a delegate moves that the proposal be divided. Motions for division of proposals and amendments may be made only following a successful motion to close debate. If there are calls for multiple divisions, they shall be voted upon in an order to be set by the Chairperson, where the least radical division will be voted upon first. Two delegates may speak in favor of the motion for division, and two may speak against it. If the motion for division is carried, those parts of the proposal or the amendment which have been approved shall then be put to a vote as a whole; if all operative parts of a proposal or an amendment have been rejected, the proposal or the amendment shall be considered to have been rejected as a whole.

Amendments

 

Rule 22


An amendment is a proposal that does no more than add to, delete from or revise part of another proposal.

Order of voting on amendments

 

Rule 23


When an amendment is moved to a proposal, the amendment shall be voted on first. When two or more amendments are moved to a proposal, the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal shall be voted on first and then the amendment next furthest removed therefrom, and so on until all the amendments have been put to the vote. Where the adoption of one amendment necessarily implies the rejection of another amendment, the latter shall not be put to the vote. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended proposal shall then be voted on.

Order of voting on proposals

 

Rule 24


If two or more proposals, other than amendments, relate to the same question, they shall, unless the Committee decides otherwise, be voted on in the order in which they were submitted.
 

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Notice of Changes in Parliamentary Rules of Procedure

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The following is a list of changes and additions to the Rules of Procedure for the Southwest Florida Model United Nations program. Please review these changes.

1. Point of Order:

Point of Order has in the past been used to challenge a decision or ruling by the chair. This procedure will no longer be allowed due to past usages that have created obstacles in effective committee functioning. The rules will now read as follows:


 

During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may rise to a point of order. The Chairpersons decision will be given immediately and will be considered final and ultimate.


2. Personal Privilege:

The rules of Personal Privilege in the past has been used as a mechanism to question other delegates. This rule is only used when a delegate cannot hear or a delegate's life is in immediate danger. Therefore, this rule will no longer be used.

3. Resolutions and Sponsors:

In order to expedite the committee proceedings, all delegates must have the required signatures upon presenting their resolution to the Chairperson. In this year's simulation the required numbers of signatures for the presentation of a resolution will be the author's plus two (2) from member nations within the respective committee. For an unfriendly amendment, four (4) signatures will be required, which may include the signatures of the original signatures or the author. This will be the standard rule for all committees with the exception of the Security Council. In the Security Council issues shall be discussed at the discretion of the Secretary General and the required signatories for a resolution and amendments shall be at the discretion of the Secretary General.

4. Amendments:

An Amendment is a proposal that adds to, deletes from or revises part of another resolution. A friendly amendment is immediately added to the resolution without any discussion or vote from the committee. For an amendment to be considered friendly by a Chairperson, all original signatories and author(s) must agree to the content of the amendment. If they do not all agree the amendment is considered unfriendly and must be discussed. The Chairperson will open the speaker's list and after discussion the amendment will be brought to a vote to determine if it will be included as part of the resolution.

 

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Clarifications and Additions to the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure

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Revisions of Rules of Procedure

1. Calling delegates to order - if a delegate does not remain germane to the issue or if a delegate’s remarks cease to add anything new to the debate, he/she will be called to order (rule 5, point 2). 
2. Time limits for speeches: general debate 5 minutes; procedural, 1 minute.

3. Yielding time: speakers can yield remainder of time to fellow delegates.

4. Delegates may question a speaker at the end of his speech. Questions are addressed to the Chair and the Chair will then ask the speaker whether he/she will yield to a question. Speakers are not obliged to yield and questions must of relevant to the subject of the speech. The Chair may limit questioning in the interests of expediting the procedures of the committee.

5. Suspension of meeting leads to caucus (rule 8). Caucuses will be not more than 10 minutes in length; within that time period, delegates can propose a time for reconvening the meeting.

6. Adjournment of meeting (rule 9) is only in order within 15 minutes to the scheduled time when the committee is to adjourn.

7. Resolutions may not be brought before the body until copies have been distributed to all delegations.

8. Right of reply may only be exercised at the discretion of the chair; the speeches that follow would be considered procedural and be given one minute.

9. Rule 19: explanation of vote may only occur after the vote has been taken.

10. Rule 21: motions for division of proposals and amendments may be made only following a successful motion to close debate.

 

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The following comments are delivered for better understanding of the rules, and changes in the rules, as they effect conduct while the committee is in session. The observations provide clarification and additional explanation of the rules of procedure.
 

Rules of procedure in the context of committee deliberations


1. A resolution may be moved to the floor if it has the signatures of the author’s plus two additional signatures and if all delegates have a copy of the resolution available. The Chair will ask whether all delegates have a copy of the resolution. If this is not the case, then the motion will be out of order.

2. If all delegates have copies of the resolution, then the Chair will open a list of speakers to the resolution. Delegates may, at any time, move to close the speakers list.

3. The establishment of a speakers list does not foreclose other motions and proposals. Between speeches, delegates may move amendments, if properly prepared and signed, to the floor. Once the amendment has been acted upon, the committee will return to the speakers list on the resolution.

4. Delegates may also make a variety of other motions between speeches: adjournment of debate, suspension of meeting, withdrawal of motions, etc. Note that a motion for division of proposals and amendments would be out of order at this point; see revision #10.

5. When an amendment is moved to the floor, the Chair will ascertain whether the amendment is friendly or unfriendly by checking with the sponsoring delegates of the resolution. All signatories to the resolution must agree that the amendment is friendly for the committee to consider it so (point 4 in changes in Rules of Parliamentary Procedure).

6. With the consent of the committee a speakers list for an amendment may be drawn up by the Chair with speakers having 5 minutes to speak and able to yield the remainder of their time to either the Chair or to other specific delegations (provision on yielding time to be added to rules of procedure).

7. With consent of committee, the Chair may close the list (simple majority vote, rule 6).

8. At the end of speeches, delegates may ask the Chair if speakers will yield to questions. If the integrity of a country has been impugned, a delegate may have the right to reply at the discretion of the Chair (rule7).

9. Delegates may, at any time, move to close debate on theamendment (rule 11).

*two speakers against closure; 2/3rds vote

10. If there are no remaining speakers, the Chair may declare the debate closed and the committee will move to an immediate vote on the motion (rule 6).

11. Delegates may, at any time, move to suspend the meeting, specifying a time when the committee will reconvene (rule 8).

*the motion shall be put to an immediate vote

12. Delegates may, at any time, move to adjourn the debate (rule10).

*speakers: two for; two against; majority vote

13. After an amendment has been approved or rejected, delegates may move to close debate on the resolution (rule6). 
14. Delegates may also move for a division of proposals and amendments (rule21) following a successful motion to close debate.

15. Points 7 through 14 apply to consideration of resolutions as well as consideration of amendments. The process is the same on both levels.