Prepared by: President of the General Assembly
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The Official Rules of Model United Nations of Alaska
These rules shall be the only rules that apply to the Model United Nations of Alaska and shall be considered adopted by the General Assembly prior to its first meeting.
The Secretary-General, the President, and the Chairpersons shall have the power to interpret these rules. The Secretary-General shall be the final authority in interpretation of these rules.
Rule 1 – Definitions
The following definitions shall apply to all other rules contained herein:
Chairperson: A delegate appointed by the Secretariat to preside over meetings of a Main Committee.
Delegate: An individual attending the Model United Nations as a representative of a member.
Director: A member of the Secretariat responsible for the administration of a Main Committee.
General Assembly: The plenary body of the Model United Nations, which is composed of delegates representing each member.
Main Committee: Any subsidiary body of the Model United Nations that is convened to conduct business on behalf of the Model United Nations.
Meeting: Any officially sanctioned gathering of delegates to conduct the business of the Model United Nations through the General Assembly or a Main Committee.
Member: Any nation-state that has been admitted to the Model United Nations by a vote of the General Assembly.
Model United Nations: This term shall be used in referring to any aspect of the Model United Nations of Alaska, and can be abbreviated MUN.
President: A delegate appointed by the Secretariat to preside over plenary meetings of the General Assembly.
Rapporteur: A delegate elected at the opening of the first Main Committee meeting of a session to take notes, process and code documents and report on the work of the Main Committee to the Secretariat following the closing of the meeting.
Secretariat: The executive body of the Model United Nations; responsible for the administration of the Model United Nations.
Secretary-General: The director of the Secretariat.
Session: An officially sanctioned convention of the Model United Nations.
Rule 2 – Date of Session
The Model United Nations shall meet every year in special session commencing and closing on the dates designated by the Secretary-General.
Rule 3 – Location of Session
The Model United Nations shall meet at a location designated by the Secretary-General.
Rule 4 – Provisional Agenda
The provisional agenda for the General Assembly and the Main Committees shall be drafted by the Secretary-General and communicated to the members of the Model United Nations prior to each session.
Rule 5 – Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda provided by the Secretary-General shall be considered adopted as of the beginning of the session. The order of consideration for the agenda items shall be determined by a majority vote of those present and voting at the first meeting of the General Assembly.
Rule 6 – Inclusion of Items
No new items can be added to the agenda after the opening of the session.
Rule 7 – Delegation Composition
Each member shall send a delegation consisting of four delegates. Members may send delegations with more or less delegates with the permission of the Secretary-General prior to the session.
Rule 8 – Advisors
Advisors shall provide technical expertise to their delegation. Advisors shall not speak at meetings of the General Assembly or meetings of the Main Committees.
Rule 9 – Appointment of Officers
The Secretariat shall appoint the officers of the General Assembly, including the President, and the officers of the Main Committees, including the chairpersons. All officers must be delegates of member states.
Rule 10 – Powers and Duties of the President
The President shall preside over meetings of the General Assembly by calling the session and meetings to order, directing discussion during each meeting, ensuring observance of the rules, according to delegates the right to speak and declaring meetings and the session adjourned. The President may limit the time each delegate may speak and the number of times each delegate may speak, unless the General Assembly decides otherwise in compliance with Rules 34 and 35. No limit set under this rule or Rules 34 and 35 shall abridge a delegate's ability to raise a point of order (Rule 26), to assert the right of reply (Rule 29) or to raise a point of information (Rule 32). The President may not speak on substantive matters.
Rule 11 – Acting President
If the President finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the President shall designate the chairperson of one of the Main Committees to take the President's place. The Acting President shall have all powers of the President. The Acting President shall yield all powers assumed to the President upon the return of the President.
Rule 12 – Powers and Duties of the Chairperson
The Chairperson of each Main Committee shall preside over its meetings by calling each meeting to order, directing discussion during each meeting, ensuring observance of the rules, according to delegates the right to speak and declaring each meeting adjourned. The Chairperson may limit the time each delegate may speak and the number of times each delegate may speak, unless the Main Committee decides otherwise in compliance with Rules 34 and 35. No limit set under this rule or Rules 34 and 35 shall abridge a delegate's ability to raise a point of order (Rule 26), to assert the right of reply (Rule 29) or to raise a point of information (Rule 32). The Chairperson may not speak on substantive matters while serving in said capacity.
Rule 13 – Acting Chairperson
If the Chairperson finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the Chairperson shall designate the Director of the Main Committee to take the Chairperson's place. The Acting Chairperson shall yield all powers assumed to the Chairperson upon the return of the Chairperson. If the Chairperson desires to speak on a substantive matter, the Chairperson shall designate the Director of the Main Committee to take the Chairperson's place. The Acting Chairperson shall yield all powers assumed to the Chairperson upon the completion of consideration of that substantive matter. In either case, the Acting Chairperson shall have all powers of the Chairperson.
Rule 14 – Duties of the Rapporteur
At the start of the first Main Committee meeting of the session, each Main Committee shall elect a Rapporteur. The Rapporteur of a Main Committee shall be responsible for taking notes, processing and coding documents and reporting on the work of the Committee to the Secretariat and the General Assembly at the closing of the final Main Committee meeting of the session.
Rule 15 – Composition of the Secretariat
The Secretariat shall be composed of the Secretary-General, the Under Secretaries-General, the Directors, and the President.
Rule 16 – Duties of the Secretariat
The Secretariat shall receive, print and distribute documents, reports, and resolutions of the General Assembly and the Main Committees; have the custody of and provide for the proper preservation of the documents in the Model United Nations archives; and perform all other work which it is directed to do by the General Assembly.
Rule 17 – Duties of the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General shall advise delegations, set the agenda, interpret rules of procedure and ensure the duties of the Secretariat are carried out. The Secretary-General shall have the right to address the General Assembly and the Main Committees at any time. The Secretary-General shall designate the duties of the Under Secretaries-General.
Rule 18 – Duties of the Director
The Director of each Main Committee shall assist the Chairperson with clarifications and explanations of the rules of procedure. Each Director, under the direction of the Secretary-General, shall develop the agenda for their respective Main Committee.
Rule 19 – Official and Working Language
English shall be the official and working language of the Model United Nations, the General Assembly and the Main Committees.
VIII. Conduct of Business
Rule 20 – Quorum
The President may declare a session open and permit the business of the Model United Nations to be conducted when delegates of at least one-third of the members of the General Assembly are present. The President or Chairperson may call to order a meeting of the General Assembly or a Main Committee when delegates of at least one-third of the members of the respective body are present. The presence of a majority of the members of a body shall be necessary for any vote to be taken, except a vote to adjourn the meeting (Rule 27) which may be taken regardless of the number of members present.
Rule 21 – Consideration of a Report of Main Committees
Consideration of a report of a Main Committee shall take place in a plenary meeting of the General Assembly and shall only take place if at least one-third of the members present and voting at the meeting consider such consideration to be necessary. Any proposal to this effect shall be immediately put to a vote without discussion.
Rule 22 – Consideration of Proposals
In order to be considered, proposals and substantive amendments must be submitted in writing to a member of the Secretariat with the names and signatures of delegates of one-quarter of the members present and voting in the General Assembly or Main Committee in which the proposal or amendment is to be considered. The Secretariat may, at its discretion, approve the proposal or amendment for circulation of copies to the delegations. The General Assembly or a Main Committee shall not consider any proposal unless copies of it have been circulated to all delegations or an electronic copy is viewable by all delegates. The President or Chairperson may permit the discussion and consideration of amendments or of procedural motions even though such amendments and motions have not been circulated.
Rule 23 – Discussion
No delegate may address the General Assembly or a Main Committee without having previously obtained the permission of the President or Chairperson, respectively. The President or Chairperson shall call upon speakers in the order in which they signify their desire to speak by the raising of a placard labeled with the name of their nation-state. The President or Chairperson may call a speaker to order if the remarks being given are not relevant to the subject under discussion. The President or Chairperson shall immediately recognize any delegate raising a legitimate point of order (Rule 26) or point of information (Rule 32).
Rule 24 – Speaking Order Precedence
During the discussion of a Main Committee report by the General Assembly, the Chairperson and the Rapporteur of the Main Committee may be accorded speaking order precedence for the purposes of explaining the conclusions arrived at by the Main Committee. During the discussion of a matter by the General Assembly or a Main Committee, a delegate of the member proposing the matter shall be accorded speaking order precedence.
Rule 25 – Precedence of Motions
Motions shall be considered in order of precedence, with motions of the highest precedence being completely dealt with first. The precedence of motions shall be determined by their order in the Rules of Order, with motions of the highest precedence coming first beginning with Rule 26 and ending with Rule 40. All motions not described by one or more of the rules in this section shall be considered to be of equal precedence with Rule 40. Any motion made while a motion of higher precedence is being considered shall be out of order.
Rule 26 – Points of Order
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may raise a point of order in order to correct a violation of the Rules of Procedure; the President or Chairperson shall immediately rule on the point. A delegate may appeal the ruling of the President or Chairperson. The appeal shall be immediately put to a roll-call vote; the ruling of the President or Chairperson shall stand unless two-thirds of the members present and voting vote to reverse the ruling. A delegate raising a point of order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion while making such a point.
Rule 27 – Adjournment of the Meeting
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move to adjourn the meeting. Such motions shall not be debated, but shall be immediately put to a vote.
Rule 28 – Suspension of the Meeting
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move to suspend the meeting, specifying a time for reconvening. Such motions shall not be debated, but shall be immediately put to a vote.
Rule 29 – Right of Reply
If a remark impugns the dignity or integrity of a member, the President or Chairperson may, upon request of a delegate from the offended member, permit a reply by a delegate of the offended member following the conclusion of the controversial speech. The President or Chairperson shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply. No ruling on this question shall be subject to appeal.
Rule 30 – Decision on Competence
Any motion calling for a decision on the competence of the General Assembly to adopt a proposal submitted to it shall be put to the vote before a vote is taken on the proposal in question.
Rule 31 – Questions of Credentials
A delegate may move to question the credentials of any other delegate and in making such a motion shall state the basis upon which the credentials are questioned. Credentials may be questioned any time that a delegate acts in a manner inconsistent with the official views of the member state that the delegate is representing. The delegate whose credentials are being questioned shall have the opportunity to respond to the charges; the President or Chairperson shall determine an appropriate time limit for the delegate's response. After the response, the question shall be put to an immediate roll call vote; two-thirds of the delegates present and voting must affirm the decision to question the credentials for the motion to pass. In the case that the motion passes, the President or Chairperson shall immediately notify the Secretary-General of the action. The Secretary-General shall convene the Secretariat at the earliest possible time to make a final decision on action to be taken against the delegate being questioned. All decisions of the Secretariat in matters of questioned credentials are final.
Rule 32 – Points of Information
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may raise a point of information in order to seek clarification of a matter currently under discussion; the President or Chairperson shall address the point between speakers and deal with it at his or her discretion.
Rule 33 – Closure of Debate
A delegate may at any time move to close debate on the item under consideration, regardless of any other delegate's desire to speak on the issue. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded to two delegates opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be put to a vote. Closure of debate shall require the assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting. If the motion to close debate passes, a vote shall be taken immediately on the item under consideration, including all amendments currently proposed.
Rule 34 – Limiting Discussion
The General Assembly or a Main Committee may, by majority vote, limit the time allowed to each speaker and/or the number of times each delegate may speak on a question. Before a vote is taken to limit discussion, two delegates may speak in favor of and two delegates may speak against such action. When debate is limited and a delegate exceeds the allotted time, the President or Chairperson shall immediately call the speaker to order.
Rule 35 – List of Speakers
The President or Chairperson may implement a list of speakers for any substantive matter. Members whose delegates wish to speak may be added to the list in the order they are recognized to do so by the President or Chairperson. Each member may only be on the list of speakers once at any given time, but any member may be added again after having spoken. Any delegate may move that the list of speakers be closed or, if already closed, re-opened. The motion to close or re-open the list of speakers shall not be subject to debate. When the list of speakers is exhausted, closure of debate is automatic and voting procedures begin.
Rule 36 – Postponement of Consideration
Any delegate may move to postpone consideration of an issue until a specified time. A two-thirds majority is needed to pass such a motion.
Rule 37 – Adjournment of Debate
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move to adjourn debate on the item under consideration. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded only to two representatives in favor of and two delegates in opposition to adjourning debate, after which the motion to adjourn debate shall be immediately put to a vote. If the motion to adjourn debate passes, the item under consideration is considered dismissed and no action will be taken on it.
Rule 38 – Amendments to Proposals
Any delegate may propose an amendment to a proposal. If the sponsors of a proposal under consideration in a Main Committee agree to the adoption of a proposed amendment, the proposal shall be modified accordingly without a vote. A proposal amended in this manner shall be considered as the proposal pending before the body for all purposes, including subsequent amendments. If the sponsors of a proposal under consideration in a Main Committee do not agree to the adoption of a proposed amendment, or if an amendment is proposed in the General Assembly, then the body considering the proposal shall consider the amendment, allowing for discussion and concluding with a vote. If the body adopts the amendment, then the amended proposal will come before consideration of the body and the sponsors will no longer have power to authorize amendments. If the body fails to adopt the amendment, the original proposal shall remain under consideration and the sponsors shall retain the power to authorize amendments. All amendments submitted for consideration by the General Assembly must be submitted in writing to the President or a designated member of the Secretariat at the time they are introduced.
Rule 39 – Reconsideration of Proposals
Any proposal adopted or rejected by the General Assembly or a Main Committee shall not be reconsidered at the same session unless a delegate moves to reconsider the proposal. Permission to speak on a motion to reconsider shall be accorded to two delegates in favor of and two delegates opposed to the motion to reconsider; a vote shall be taken on the motion immediately after the discussion is complete.
Rule 40 – Withdrawal of Motions
A proposal or a motion may be withdrawn at any time by its sponsors before voting has commenced, providing that the proposal or motion has not been amended without the authorization of the sponsors under the provisions of Rule 38. Any delegate may reintroduce a proposal or motion thus withdrawn.
Rule 41 – Voting Rights
Each member of the General Assembly shall have one vote. Each member of a Main Committee shall have one vote.
Rule 42 – Important Questions and Motions
The following types of proposals shall be considered Important Questions: recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of non-permanent members to the Security Council, the elections of members of the Economic and Social Council, the election of members to the Trusteeship Council, the admission of new members to the Model United Nations, the suspension of rights and privileges of members, the expulsion of members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions. The following types of motions shall be considered Important Motions: appealing the ruling of the President or Chairperson (Rule 26), questioning the credentials of a delegate (Rule 31), closure of debate (Rule 33), postponement of consideration (Rule 36), reconsideration of a proposal or motion (Rule 39). A delegate may move to declare a particular question as important. On such a motion, two delegates may speak in favor of and two delegates may speak against the motion, after which the motion shall then immediately be put to a vote.
Rule 43 – Voting on Important Questions and Motions
Important Questions and Motions shall require approval of two-thirds of the members General Assembly or the Main Committees present and voting to be adopted. Decisions of the General Assembly or a Main Committee on amendments to proposals and motions considered Important Questions and Motions and on parts of such proposals voted on separately shall require the approval of two-thirds of the members present and voting to be adopted.
Rule 44 – Standard Voting
Decisions of the General Assembly on questions and motions other than those considered Important pursuant to Rule 42 shall require approval by a majority of the members present and voting to be adopted.
Rule 45 – Members Present and Voting
For the purposes of tabulation the phrase “members present and voting” means the members casting affirmative or negative votes. Members who abstain from voting are considered not voting.
Rule 46 – Voting Procedure
Any vote taken in the General Assembly or a Main Committee shall take place by a show of placards indicating the name of the member unless a member requests a roll call vote, in which case one shall be taken. The roll call vote shall be taken in alphabetical order of the names of the members, beginning with the member whose name is drawn by lot by the President or Chairperson. The name of each member shall be called in every roll call, and one of its representatives shall reply “yes,” “no,” or “abstain.” The result of voting shall be inserted into the record in the alphabetical order of the names of the members, regardless of starting order.
Rule 47 – Conduct During Voting Procedure
When the President or Chairperson announces that a vote will be taken the doors to the chamber in which the meeting is taken place shall be shut and shall remain so until the voting procedure is complete. No delegate shall interrupt the voting except to raise a point of order in connection with the actual conduct of voting. The President or Chairperson may permit members to explain their vote, either before or after voting. The President or Chairperson may limit the time allowed for such explanations. The President or Chairperson shall not permit any sponsor of a proposal, amendment, or motion to explain the proposal, amendment, or motion. No delegate shall speak during the voting procedure except when recognized by the President or Chairperson to cast a vote, explain a vote or raise a point of order.
Rule 48 – Division of Proposals and Amendments
Immediately prior to the commencement of a voting procedure, a delegate may move that parts of a proposal or of an amendment should be voted on separately. If any delegate objects to the request for division, the motion for division shall be voted upon. If there are calls for multiple divisions, they shall be voted upon in the order set by the President or Chairperson such that the least radical divisions shall be voted on first. Permission to speak on any motion for division shall be given only to two speakers in favor and two speakers against. If the motion for division is carried, those parts of the proposal or of the amendment that are approved shall then be put to a vote as a whole. If the President or Chairperson rules that all operative parts of the proposal or amendment have been rejected, the proposal or amendment shall be considered to have been rejected as a whole.
Rule 49 – Voting on Proposals
If two or more proposals are related to the same question, the General Assembly or Main Committee shall, unless it decides otherwise, vote on the proposals in the order in which they have been submitted.
Rule 50 – Equally Divided Votes
If a vote is equally divided, a second vote shall be taken at the subsequent meeting. If this vote is also equally divided, the proposal shall be considered to have failed.