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The Official Rules of the Model UN

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 Secretariat shall be the sole authority on the interpretation of the rules.

  • I. DEFINITIONS

    Rule 1 -  Definitions

    The following definitions shall apply to all other rules contained herein:

    • Agenda: The schedule for the Model United Nations of Alaska
    • Chairperson: An individual 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 all 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. 
    • Simple Majority, Simple: Greater than half of a body.
    • Two-Thirds Majority, Two-Thirds: Two-thirds or greater of a body.
    • 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. 
    • Motion: An action suggested verbally by a delegate that has been recognized to speak by the Chairperson, that modifies the flow of discussion of a proposal or amendment. For a list of frequently used motions: Please see sections VII and VIII of these rules.
    • President: The Secretariat member who presides over plenary meetings of the General Assembly. 
    • Proposal: A resolution or recommendation submitted to a Main Committee for consideration.
    • Question: The resolution, recommendation, amendment, or motion presently being discussed.
    • 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.
    • Under-Secretaries General: Individual appointed to assist the Secretary-General and the Secretariat.

    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.
  • II. AGENDA

    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.

    Rule 6 – Inclusion of Items

    No new items can be added to the agenda after the opening of the session.

  • III. DELEGATIONS

    Rule 7 – Delegation Composition

    Each member shall send a delegation consisting of no more delegates than the number of committees the member is eligible to participate in. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Secretariat.

    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.

  • IV. OFFICERS

    Rule 9 – Appointment of Officers

    The Secretariat shall appoint the Chairpersons of the Main Committees from the delegates present.

    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, maintaining a speaker’s list, 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 a Motion to Limit Discussion (Rule 30). No limit set under this rule or Rule 30 shall abridge a delegate's ability to raise a point of order (Rule 26), to assert the right of reply (Rule 27) or to raise a point of information (Rule 28). The President may not speak on substantive matters.

    Rule 11 – Acting President

    If it is necessary for the President  to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the President or Secretary-General shall appoint 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, maintaining a speaker’s list, 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 a Motion to Limit Discussion (Rule 30). No limit set under this rule or Rule 30 shall abridge a delegate's ability to raise a point of order (Rule 26), to assert the right of reply (Rule 27) or to raise a point of information (Rule 28). The Chairperson may not speak on substantive matters while serving in said capacity. The Director shall retain the authority to make temporary amendments to the rules and motions in sections VII and VIII during committee session if needed.

    Rule 13 – Acting Chairperson

    If the Chairperson finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the Chairperson, President, or Secretary-General 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.

  • V. SECRETARIAT

    Rule 15 – Composition of the Secretariat

    The Secretariat shall be composed of the Secretary-General, the Under Secretaries-General, the Directors, the President, and all other positions deemed relevant.

    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 have the right to act with the powers of the President of the General Assembly in their absence. 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.

  • VI. LANGUAGES

    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.

  • VII. 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 29) which may be taken regardless of the number of members present. The Secretariat may assume the role of any absent Delegates.

    Rule 21 – Consideration of a Report of a Main Committee

    Consideration of a report of a Main Committee shall take place in a plenary meeting of the General Assembly and shall take place unless at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the meeting deem such consideration to be unnecessary, or are absent, or if the President of the General Assembly deems it unnecessary. 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 must be submitted in writing to a member of the Secretariat. The Secretariat may, at their discretion, approve the proposal or amendment for circulation. Otherwise, proposals must have the signatures of one fourth (¼) of delegates present in the Main Committee the proposal is being presented in. 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 at their discretion when a delegate signifies their desire to speak by raising a placard labeled with their nation-state’s name. The President or Chairperson may call a speaker to order if the remarks being made 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).

    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 35. All motions not described by one or more of the rules in this section shall be considered to be of equal precedence with Rule 35. 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 raising a Point of Order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion while making such a point. 

    Rule 27 – 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. 

    Rule 28 – 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 their discretion. 

    Rule 29 – Motion to Adjourn 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 30 – Motion to Suspend a 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 31 – Motion to Close 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 32 – Motion to Limit Discussions

    The General Assembly or a Main Committee may, by a simple majority vote, limit the time allowed to the floor, the time per speaker and/or the number of speakers who may speak on a question, and 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. When the time or number of speakers alloted for debate has reached its limit, debate on the proposal at hand is closed and it is brought to a vote.

    Rule 33 –  Motion to Postpone Consideration

    Any delegate may move to Postpone Consideration of an issue until a specified time. At this specified time the current debate is paused and debate of the postponed issue is resumed. A two-thirds majority is needed to pass such a motion.

    Rule 34 – Motion to Adjourn 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 35 – Motion to Amend Proposal

    Any delegate may Propose an Amendment to a resolution. If the sponsors of a resolution under consideration in a Main Committee agree to the adoption of a proposed amendment (they accept the amendment as friendly), the resolution shall be modified accordingly by the amendment without a vote. A resolution amended in this manner shall be considered as the resolution pending before the body for all purposes, including subsequent amendments. If the sponsors of a resolution under consideration in a Main Committee do not agree to the adoption of a proposed amendment (they do not accept the amendment as friendly), or if an amendment is proposed in the General Assembly, then the body considering the resolution shall enter into discussion on the proposed amendment. If the body adopts the amendment, then the amended resolution 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 resolution shall remain under consideration and the sponsors shall retain the power to authorize amendments. Any amendment that modifies a prior amendment accepted by the resolution’s sponsors will automatically be considered unacceptable and unfriendly to the sponsor. 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 36 – Motion to Reconsider Proposals

    Any resolution 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 resolution. 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 37 – 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 35. Any delegate may reintroduce a proposal or motion thus withdrawn.

  • VIII. VOTING

    Rule 38 – Voting Rights 

    Each member of the General Assembly shall have one vote. During General Assembly the World Bank, each NGO, and Indigenous Group shall have one vote except on the final vote of a resolution or recommendation. Each member of a Main Committee shall have one vote.

    Rule 39 – Important Questions and Motions 

    The following types of proposals shall be considered Important Questions: the admission of new members to the Model United Nations, the suspension of rights and privileges of members, and the expulsion of a member. The following types of motions shall be considered Important Motions: Closure of Debate (Rule 29), and Postponement of Consideration (Rule 31). A delegate may move to declare a particular question as important immediately prior to a vote on the question. 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 which shall require approval of a majority of the members present and voting to be adopted. 

    Rule 40 – 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 41 – Standard Voting 

    Decisions of the General Assembly on questions and motions other than those considered Important pursuant to Rule 37 shall require approval by a majority of the members present and voting to be adopted. 

    Rule 42 – 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. Abstained votes are not counted in voting margins. In accordance with Rule 20, a majority of members must be present and casting affirmative or negative votes for the vote to count. If a majority of members are not present and or casting an affirmative or negative vote on the current motion, amendment, or resolution then it fails.

    Rule 43 – Voting Procedure 

    Votes taken during committee or General Assembly shall happen by a show of placards, and shall be counted by the Chairperson; unless a delegate motions for a roll call vote, in which case, one shall occur. The order of the roll call vote is at the discretion of the Chairperson, and the votes shall be tallied by the Chairperson. When called upon by the Chairperson to cast a vote, delegates should respond with a vote of yes, or no. The following committees will have the third option of responding with a vote of abstain: General Assembly, Security Council, UNPFII, and ICC. The Rapporteur shall record if a roll call vote was taken.

    Rule 44 – 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 taking 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, or to Motion to Divide Amendments (Rule 43). No delegate shall speak during the voting procedure except when recognized by the President or Chairperson to cast a vote, or for a Point of Order (26)

    Rule 45 – Motion to Divide Operative Clauses 

    Immediately prior to the commencement of a voting procedure on a resolution or recommendation, and after the motion for voting has passed, a delegate may make a Motion to Divide Operative Clauses. The delegate may specify which operative clauses they would like to divide, into which groups they will be voted on, and the order in which they will be voted on. The chair will call for any objections from the body. If another delegate objects to the Motion to Divide Amendments, the division shall be voted on by the body, with two speakers in favor and two speakers opposed, and will require a 2/3 majority to pass. If the motion passes, each division will be voted on and require a simple majority to pass.

    Rule 46 – Voting on Proposals

    If two or more motions are related to the same question, the body will vote on the motions in the order in which they have been submitted, except in the case of a motion to make a question Important.

    Rule 47 – Equally Divided Votes 

    If a vote is equally divided between votes in the affirmative and the negative, the body will immediately return to discussion of the question. If a subsequent vote is taken, and it is equally divided, the vote will be considered a failure as it has not attained a simple majority of present voting members.

    Rule 48 - Speaking Rights of the Marshall Islands

    At all times the nation-state of the Marshall Islands of the Continent Oceania, the First of its Name, the Unconquered, Master of Islands, Matriarch of Micronesians, Warden of the Seas, Breaker of Ships, and the Motherland of Krakens shall always be recognized first. All of its motions require no second, motions are passed unanimously, and no opposition shall be heard.