Guide to Parliamentary Procedure

Being familiar with parliamentary procedure is an essential element to succeeding at any Model UN conference. The following is a general list of points and motions used at most conferences along with a brief explanation of each. Some conferences may employ slightly different rules, so always be sure to check the conference handbook for any changes.
 
Point of Order: This point may be raised when you feel that a delegate or the Chair is not abiding by correct parliamentary procedure (as laid out for the conference). A point of order is allowed to interrupt the speaker.
 
Point of Personal Privilege: This point is used to indicate personal discomforts or impediments to debate. It may be raised during the debate if, for example, you cannot hear the speaker or feel uncomfortably hot or cold. This point is allowed to interrupt a speaker, but may not refer to the content of any speech or working paper.
 
Point of Inquiry: This point may be raised after a speaker yields to questions. It is used to ask a question of the speaker relating to the speech just given. It may also be used to ask the chair a questions regarding parliamentary procedure during a normal session.
 
Motion to Open Debate: This is the first motion of the conference and is made to move into formal debate and open the primary speakers list. If there are multiple topics on the agenda, the body will first debate on the order they are to be discussed until there is a motion to set the agenda. All delegates wishing to be added to the speakers list should raise their placards at the request of the chair or send a note to the dais. Speaking time during debate may be limited with a Motion to Limit Debate (see below).
 
Motion to Set the Agenda: This motion is made with a specific topic mentioned to be debated first and the other second. Two speakers for, two against, and requires a simple majority to pass.
 
Motion to Adjourn the Session: This motion adjourns the committee sessions for good. It will only be entertained by the chair at the end of the last committee session. This motion requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
 
Motion to Suspend the Meeting: This motion suspends the body between sessions. This motion requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
 
Motion to Enter Unmoderated Caucus: This motion temporarily suspends the meeting for a specified amount of time. Use it to create resolutions, talk to other delegates, or anything else you may need to do. It requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
 
Motion to Enter Moderated Caucus: This motion brings the body into a moderated debate on the issue on the floor for a specified amount of time. The moderating officer will then recognize speakers for a specified amount of time, who cannot yield to anyone but the Chair at the end of their speech. This motion requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass. This motion may not be made once debate has been closed.
 
Motion to Table the Topic: This motion tables a topic (ending debate on the topic) until it is reopened with a Motion to Reconsider. This motion requires a second, is debatable (two speeches in favor and two against), and needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
 
Motion to Divide the Question: This motion may be made to request that the resolution be divided in a manner specified by the motioner (it can be by every other letter, by prime numbers, or even by every ten words). These clauses will then be voted on individually. This motion requires a second, is debatable (2 speeches pro/2 con), and needs a simple majority to pass. If the motion passes, the body then votes on the operative clauses as they were divided out. If an operative clause fails to receive a majority vote, it is left out of the resolution.
 
Motion for a Roll Call Vote: This motion requests that the Chair conduct a roll-call vote on the resolution. This motion only requires a second to be accepted.
 
Motion to Limit Debate: This motion COLOR: white" lang=EN>Motion to Adopt by Consensus: This motion requests that the body adopt the resolution by consensus, meaning that no delegation would be casting a “no” vote if the resolution were to be voted upon normally. A delegation may abstain, but should one delegation object, the motion is out of order.
 
Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair: This motion appeals a decision of the Chair to the body. This motion requires the consent of the Chair and may be deemed out of order. If accepted by the Chair, the Chair and the Delegate shall each be given one minute to present their argument to the body. This motion needs a simple majority to pass. If passed, the decision of the Chair is repealed.
 
Motion to Introduce an Unfriendly Amendment: This motion brings an amendment that has already been submitted to the Chair with the appropriate number of signatories to the floor for general debate and a vote when debate is closed on the resolution. No second is required. It is only for unfriendly amendments, for friendly amendments are just considered automatically part of the resolution.
 
Motion to Introduce a Working Paper: This motion brings a working paper that has already been approved by the Chair with the appropriate number of signatories to the floor for general debate. It requires a second, is not debatable, and needs a simple majority to pass.
 
Motion to Limit Debate: This motion sets the amount of time a delegate has the floor during normal debate (excluding moderated caucuses). It may also be used to change the set speaking time.
 

Motion to Reconsider: This motion is used to bring a resolution or topic that has been previously tabled back to the floor. It requires two speakers in favor and two against and needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

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