Rules of Conduct

  1. Powers of the President

In addition to exercising the powers conferred on him/her elsewhere in these rules, the President shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the General Assembly, direct the discussion during the session, insure the observance of these rules, accord the right to speak and announce decisions. He or she shall rule on points of order, and have complete control of the proceedings of the General Assembly and the responsibility of the maintenance of order therein.

  1. Appeals

A delegate may appeal a ruling, if permitted by the President. The appeal must be seconded and shall be put to a vote immediately without debate. The appeal shall be deemed both an important question and a privileged motion. Appeals may not be appealed. The President may rule an appeal dilatory if it is clearly without purpose.

  1. Quorum

A simple majority of the existing member states of the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum.

  1. Absence of Quorum

During the absence of a quorum the only item that may be considered shall be a motion for recess for the purpose of finding a quorum.

  1. Roll Call

At the beginning of each meeting, the President shall take the roll call of the delegations. He or she may call the roll or take a simple count of the delegations at any point if the existence of a quorum should seem in doubt. Individual attendance will be taken during the proceedings.

  1. Silent Prayer or Meditation

Immediately after the opening of each annual session of the General Assembly, the President shall invite the delegates to observe only one minute of silence devoted to prayer or meditation. This shall occur following the completion of national anthem.

  1. Language

English is the language of the General Assembly. No translation will be provided. Delegates may, however, address the Assembly in any other language if they provide translation into English. Any delegate familiar with the language being spoken should point out substantial discrepancies between text and translation as points of order.

  1. Recognition

To be recognised by the Chair, a delegate must rise and address the Chair, as Mr./Madame President. If recognised, the delegate must state the nature of his or her point, once again beginning by addressing the Chair. If a delegate fails to address the Chair properly, the President will rule him or her out of order.

  1. Expulsion of Disorderly Delegates

If a delegate becomes disorderly during a meeting, or is deemed out of order an excessive number of times, the President may permanently expel the delegate from the meeting.

  1. Suspension of a Meeting

If a majority of the Assembly becomes disorderly during a meeting, the President may suspend the meeting.

  1. Privileged Motions

A privileged motion deals with procedure and takes precedence over the resolution and amendments pertaining to it. The Assembly must second such a motion in order for it to receive consideration. One privileged motion cannot be imposed on another. No abstentions are permitted in the vote on a privileged motion.

  1. Introduction of Motions

A motion is made through a point of order. Only delegates with speaking rights may make motions. No motion pertaining to a resolution or amendment may be introduced until the proposer has read aloud, and in full, the resolution or amendment.

  1. Order of Precedence of Privileged Motions
Motion Rule Number
Appeals 14
Recess 15
Adjournments 16
Closure of Debate 17
Shelving 18
Censure 19
Amendments 20, 21, 22
  1. Appeals

A delegate may appeal a decision of the President, if he or she permits (see Rule 2,. Appeals). An appeal is a privileged motion.

  1. Recess

A delegate may move for a recess or a lunch break at an appropriate point in the proceedings, or for the purpose of caucusing immediately before a vote on a resolution. A motion to recess, if carried, shall cause the immediate cessation of all work of the Assembly. The proceedings of the Assembly will be resumed at the termination of the recess. A motion for recess is a privileged motion.

  1. Adjournment

A delegate may move for adjournment of the current session of the Assembly at an appropriate point on the final day of the proceedings. A motion for the adjournment, if carried, shall cause the immediate cessation of all work of the Assembly. The proceedings of the Assembly will resume at the beginning of the next annual session.

  1. Closure of Debate

A delegate may, at any time, move for closure of debate on the resolution which is then before the Assembly. If closure is declared, through a debate followed by a vote, debate on the resolution under consideration shall cease and voting on said resolution will commence. Closure of debate on the resolution requires one speaker for and one against. Closure of debate cannot be imposed on another privileged motion.

  1. Shelving of a Resolution

A motion to shelve a resolution shall, if carried, cause all consideration of the resolution before the assembly to cease immediately. The resolution will be considered further at some later point. No vote is taken on a resolution after a motion to shelve. Debate on the motion shall be limited to one speaker in favour, and two speakers against. Shelving cannot be imposed on another motion or if there are amendments or speakers pending.

  1. Censure

A delegate may move for the censure of another delegate, or of a delegation, if he or she feels that the delegate or delegation has been consistently and purposely out of order. Debate on a motion of censure is limited to one speaker in favour and two against. This is a privileged motion. If a delegate or delegation is censured, the delegate or delegation must immediately leave the Assembly. This is a very important motion and should be considered carefully.

  1. Amendments

Motions to delete, amend or revise parts of a resolution are considered to be amendments. Neither the preamble of a resolution, nor another amendment may be amended. Also, starting this year, there is a limit of 3 amendments to every resolution.

  1. Moving Amendments

Only a delegate speaking before the Assembly (through the use of the speaker’s list) may move an amendment to the resolution. The Chair must have a written copy of the amendment prior to its submission. Debate on such an amendment shall take precedence over debate on the resolution being amended. If the submitter of the resolution adopts the resolution immediately, it will not require a seconder and will become part of the resolution at hand. If the amendment is not friendly, then upon receiving a seconder, the President shall call upon one speaker in favour and one against and the amendment may then be adopted by a simple majority of the Assembly. Once an amendment is moved, the delegate may not take points of information.

  1. Copies of Amendments

The President must receive a clear written copy of any amendment brought before the Assembly prior to its submission.

  1. Dilatory Motions

The President may rule out of order any motion that is dilatory, or without purpose in the eyes of the Chair.

  1. Withdrawal of Resolutions

Its proposer may withdraw a resolution, motion or other proposal at any time before voting, providing that there are no speeches or amendments pending.

  1. Limitation of Motions

The President reserves the right to limit motions if he/she determines that delegates are using them to delay or confuse the proceedings.

  1. Point Making

Any delegate, provided he or she has speaking rights before the Assembly, may make points to the Assembly. Points may not be made during a voting procedure, or once the Assembly has decided on recess or adjournment.

  1. Order of Precedence of Points
Point Rule Number
Point of Order 28
Point of Personal Privilege 29
Point of Information 30
  1. Point of Order

A delegate may rise on a point of order if he or she feels that some irregularity in the procedure has occurred. A delegate making a point of order may not speak on the substance of a proposal under consideration. The President shall rule on all points of order. Points of order are also used to introduce a motion.

  1. Point of Personal Privilege

A delegate may rise on a point of personal privilege if he or she feels that his or her person, or country, has been misquoted, misconstrued or insulted by the speaker holding the floor. The President may ask the allegedly offending delegate if he or she wishes to apologise. The offending delegate is not required to do so.

  1. Point of Information

A delegate may rise immediately after another delegate’s speech on a resolution, to question the speaker holding the floor on the substance of the speech before the Assembly. The speaker may choose to refuse to answer all questions. In addition, in the eyes of the Chair, if the speaker does not give a satisfactory answer he or she, forfeits the right to any further questions. Points of information are not opportunities for a delegate to refute a speaker’s point, nor are they permitted in regards to procedural matters. A point of information consists of one sentence preamble and one sentence in which a specific question is put to the delegate. The President shall permit points of information to speakers according to their importance to the resolution being debated.

  1. Limitation of Points

The President reserves the right to limit points if he or she determines that delegates are using them to delay or confuse the proceedings.

  1. Speaking Rights

No delegate may address the Assembly without having received the permission of the President. The President may rule a speaker out of order if his or her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.

  1. Interruption of Speakers

A delegate may interrupt a speaker who has the floor only on a point of order or on a point of personal privilege.

  1. Time Limit on Speeches

The President reserves the right to limit the amount of time the speaker has to make a speech and/or answer points of information, either collectively or individually.

  1. Speakers’ List

After the submitter has presented a resolution, the President shall declare the speakers’ list open. Delegates wishing to speak on the subject under discussion shall signify their desire through written notes to the Chair. Notes received before the speakers’ list is declared open shall be ignored.

  1. Order of Speaking

The order of speaking on a resolution shall consist of the submitter, the seconder, and the negator, followed by the first delegation on the speakers’ list.

  1. Speaking Procedure

The submitter shall read the resolution and present a short speech in support, if he or she wishes. The submitter shall not be asked any questions. The seconder, negator and other speakers shall present a speech on the resolution and may choose to respond to points of information.

  1. Voting Rights

Each member nation of the General Assembly shall have one vote. Nations and entities with observer status do not have a vote.

  1. Voting Procedures

Delegates shall vote by displaying conspicuously the placard of their countries. Only one delegate per delegation, holding one placard, is permitted to raise the placard during voting. Only delegations recognised as representative of member nations by the United Nations may vote.

  1. Conduct During Voting

After the President has announced the beginning of voting, no delegate may interrupt except on a point of order relating directly to voting procedure.

  1. Roll Call Vote

A delegate may request that a roll call vote be taken, by making a motion to that effect. If the motion is seconded, the name of each member nation shall be called during the vote, and each delegation shall announce its vote in response. To save time, the President may rule such requests out of order.

  1. Clause by Clause Vote

A delegate may request a clause by clause vote on the resolution under discussion. If the submitter and the seconder of the resolution accept this motion, the motion will be considered passed. Otherwise, debate is limited to one speaker in favour, and one speaker against. A clause by clause vote applies only to the operative clauses of a resolution. If any one operative clause is passed by a vote, the entire preamble is considered adopted. There cannot be a clause by clause roll call vote and in order to save time, the President may rule requests for clause by clause votes out of order.

  1. Explanation of Vote

A delegate may explain his or her vote on a resolution immediately after the result of the voting has been declared, provided that he or she requests this of the President before voting commences. Delegations may also request that other countries explain their vote. Delegations which have already spoken on the resolution, are not accorded this privilege. These requests shall be made as a point of order. To save time, the President may rule such requests out of order.

  1. By-Passing Voting

If any motion requires a speaker on both sides of the issue, and there is no speaker willing to assume the negative role, the motion will be considered passed by the Assembly without the need for a vote.

  1. Presence of Flags

Within the chambers or assemblies of the United Nations, all nations shall be considered equal and worthy of a neutral atmosphere where every member state shall be given the utmost respect. This implies that all nations agree to co-exist through the dismissal of national aggressions, so that progress may be made. As a symbol of the willingness to unite under the authority of the United Nations, and a show of respect to co-members, no delegates will be allowed to bring flags into the General Assembly or committees of the United Nations.

  1. Foreign Policy

Participation in the Martingrove Model United Nations implies a willingness on the part of the delegates to represent their nations. A delegate may rise on a point of order if he or she feels that a delegation has committed a serious breach of his or her country’s foreign policy. A delegate rising on such a point shall warrant the attention of the Assembly. If the allegedly offending delegate cannot substantiate successfully his or her actions, the Chair may rule the delegate out of order. The President may call a brief recess to consider the points of view involved before rendering a decision.

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