You have to learn the rules of the game.
And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Rule 1 – General Authority of the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General may, at any time, make either written or oral statements to the Committee.

Interpretation of the rules shall be reserved exclusively to the Secretary-General. The Secretary General shall rule on matters not specified by the Rules of Procedure. Any deviation from the provisional agenda is at the approval of the Secretary- General. The Secretary-General has ultimate authority over any decisions and rulings made in regard to the Conference and his or her decision is final and not subject to appeal. The Secretary-General may delegate members of the Secretariat to exercise his or her authority under this rule or any duties or prerogatives specified elsewhere in the Rules of Procedure.

Rule 2 – Committee President

In addition to exercising the duties and authority described elsewhere in these rules, the Committee Presidents shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the committee, direct the discussions towards consensus, and ensure observance of the Rules.

The President may rule motions judged not to be constructive to the course of debate as dilatory with the exception of motions to appeal the decision of the President. The President may temporarily transfer duties to assistants at his or her discretion.

The President is required to hand over the duties to a designated member of the Secretariat upon the request of the Secretary-General. In case of repeated breach of the rules the Secretary-General may remove the President or Vice President and appoint Acting President or Acting Vice President.

The President may propose an alteration from the provisional agenda with the approval of the Secretary-General. In exercising these functions, the President will at all times be subject to the Rules of Procedure and responsible to the Secretary-General.

Rule 3 – Appeal

A delegate may appeal any decision of the President unless otherwise stated in the rules in the form of a motion to appeal the decision of the President. This motion requires a second. The President may make an oral statement to the Committee in defence of the ruling. The committee will then move directly to vote on the motion. A two-thirds majority is required to overrule the President’s decision. Any decision of the Secretary- General or members of the Secretariat acting with his or her authority cannot be appealed.

Rule 4 – Languages of the conference and courtesy

English will be the official and working language of the Conference. No representative may address any forum or submit a document in a language other than English.

Rule 5 – Participation of Non-members

Representatives of accredited observers will have the same rights as those of full members, except that they may not sponsor or vote on resolutions. They may distribute working papers.

Delegates shall show courtesy to other delegates, the Secretariat, Committee Presidents and the professional staff of the venue and shall at all times present themselves in formal business attire.

The Committee President will immediately call to order any delegate who fails to comply with this rule. The Secretary-General may expel any delegate for failing to adhere to this rule.

Rule 6 – Attendance and Quorum

  1. The President may declare a session open and permit debate when at least one third of the committee is present. The presence of a majority of those Member States in attendance at the opening session shall be required for any decision on the substantive question to be taken. A quorum will be assumed to be present unless specifically challenged by a roll call, triggered by a point of order.

  2. At the beginning of any session, the President will call on Member States and Non-Members in alphabetical order to state that they are ‘present’ or ‘present and voting’, where ‘present and voting’ means the Member State declares not to abstain on substantive votes.

Rule 7 – Setting the Agenda

A motion to set the agenda is in order as the first motion during the opening session of the committee or once debate on other items is concluded. The delegate making the motion will state the agenda item to be debated first. This motion requires a second.

Rule 8 – Debate and the Speakers’ list

After the agenda has been determined, one continuously open speakers’ list will be established for the purpose of general debate of the agenda item under consideration. Speaker’s time will be set at the discretion of the President. The motion to change the speaker’s time requires a second, and a simple majority of present and present and voting to pass. The speakers’ list will be followed for all debate on the agenda item, except when superseded by procedural motions or debate on amendments.

Delegates may speak generally on the agenda item being considered and may discuss any resolution or working paper currently on the floor. Any Member State or Non-Member may add its name to the speakers’ list by submitting a request in writing to the President or, at the discretion of the President, by raising their placards when asked. Once the end of a speakers’ list has been reached, debate is considered automatically closed.

If there are no objections to a motion, the motion shall be considered as automatically adopted by the committee. If there are seconds and objections, voting will be in order.

On closure of debate, the committee will move directly to a voting procedure. A simple majority is required to set the agenda. If the motion fails, the Committee will automatically move to debate the second agenda item.

After the Committee has adopted, rejected or tabled a resolution on the first agenda item, the Committee will automatically proceed to discuss the second agenda item. All motions for caucus shall be ruled dilatory during the consideration of the agenda. The delegates will not be allowed to yield their time before the agenda is set.

Rule 9 – Unmoderated and Moderated Caucus

A motion to enter either unmoderated or moderated caucus is in order at any time when the floor is open. The delegate proposing the motion must briefly explain its purpose and specify a time limit for the caucus, not to exceed thirty minutes. A motion to enter moderated caucus additionally requires a specified topic and a speaker’s time limit.

These motions require a second. A majority of members present and present and voting is required for passage. Once the time limit for the caucus has elapsed, a further motion to extend debate time on the caucus may be proposed by the delegates and requires a second and simple majority of members present and present and voting to pass. A single caucus can be extended only twice and time for any of the extensions may not exceed the time limit for the original caucus. The President’s decision not to allow a motion for an extension of a debate is not subject to appeal.

Rule 10 – Closure of Debate

A delegate may propose a motion to close debate on the item currently under discussion at any time when the floor is open. This motion requires a second. Permission to speak may only be granted up to two delegates opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be put to a vote. Closure of debate requires a two-thirds majority.

Rule 11 – Suspension or Adjournment of the Meeting

  1. Whenever the floor is open, a delegate may move to suspend the meeting of the Committee until its next scheduled meeting. This motion will usually be in order only in situations specified in the schedule of the Conference. The President may rule such motion dilatory and this decision is not subject to appeal. Such motion will not be debated and will require a simple majority to pass.

  2. The Secretary General may suspend or adjourn the meeting at any time at his or her discretion.

Rule 12 – Speeches

A delegate must address the committee referring to themselves only in the third person.

No delegate may address a session without having previously been recognised by the President. The President may call a speaker to order if his or her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion, does not follow correct parliamentary convention or is otherwise discourteous. The President may limit the time allotted to each speaker. When a delegate exceeds the time limit, the President may call the speaker to order. Delegates who commit a serious breach of rules can be permanently removed from the Committee by the Secretary-General or a designated Secretariat member.

Rule 13 – Yields

Once the speaker has completed his or her speech, the delegate may yield the remaining time in one of the three ways:

  1. Yield to points of information. The President, who has the right to call to order any delegate whose question is rhetorical, leading and/or not designed to elicit information, may select questioners. Follow-up questions will be allowed only at the discretion of the President. Only answers to questions will be deducted from the speaker’s remaining time. The delegate may refuse to answer the question.

  2. Yield to another delegate. His or her remaining time will be given to that delegate, who may refuse to take the floor.

  3. Yield to the President. The President will then move to the next speaker on the speakers’ list.

Rule 14 – Right to Reply

A delegation whose national honour or integrity has been insulted by another delegate may request a right to reply by raising his/her placard. The request must be made directly after the delegate making the offensive comment ends his/her speech. The decision to grant the right to reply is at the discretion of the President and is not open to appeal. A right to reply will not be granted solely in order to correct a perceived inaccuracy in a speech. The President shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply, not exceeding 1 minute. A right to reply to a right to reply is out of order. ## Rule 15 – Point of Personal Privilege Whenever a delegate experiences personal discomfort, which impairs his or her ability to participate, he or she may ask for a point of personal privilege by raising his/her placard. A point of personal privilege may not interrupt the speaker unless it is due to audibility.

Rule 16 – Point of Order

A delegate may ask for a point of order to indicate an instance of improper parliamentary procedure. A delegate shall, in asking for a point of order, clarify the substance of the point. The President, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, will immediately rule upon the point of order. The President may rule out those points that are dilatory or improper; such a decision is not subject to appeal. Points of order may not interrupt the speech of a delegate or President.

Rule 17 – Point of Parliamentary Procedure

A delegate may ask for a point of parliamentary procedure to request clarification from the President regarding the Rules. A point of parliamentary procedure shall not relate to a substantial issue under discussion and it may not interrupt a speaker.

Rule 18 – Working Papers

Delegates may propose working papers for consideration by the Committee. Working papers are intended to aid the committee in its discussion and need not to be written in resolution format. Working papers are not official documents, but do require the approval of the President before the delegate submitting the paper can move for its introduction. This motion requires a second and a simple majority of delegates present and present and voting to pass. Working papers do not require additional sponsors or signatories. Amendments to working papers are not in order and more than one working paper may be on the floor at any one time.

Rule 19 – Draft Resolutions

A draft resolution may be introduced when it receives the approval of the President and is signed by at least 4 Member States present and present and voting. Signing a resolution need not indicate support of the resolution and the signatory has no further obligations or ownership of the resolution.

Once a resolution has been approved and distributed and a motion to introduce it is entertained, a delegate may read the operative closes out loud; yields are out of order. The motion to introduce a draft resolution requires a second and a simple majority to pass. More than one resolution may be on the floor at any one time, but no more than one resolution may be passed per agenda item.

Rule 20 – Amendments

An amendment is a proposal that adds to, deletes from or revises part of a draft resolution. Delegates may amend any draft resolution that has been introduced. Amendments shall normally be submitted in writing and are subject to the approval of the President.

Amendments to amendments are out of order; however, an amended part of a resolution may be further amended. Perambulatory phrases may not be amended, unless at the discretion of the President. A delegate may motion to introduce an amendment when the floor is open, which requires a simple majority to pass. Upon successful introduction of an amendment, the general speakers’ list will be temporarily suspended and a new speakers’ list established with equal numbers for and against the amendment.

Once debate is closed on the amendment, the committee will move to an immediate vote. A passed amendment shall be treated as an integral part of the draft resolution under debate. Amendments that do not alter the substance of a draft resolution, i.e friendly ammendments, and are proposed in order to rectify spelling errors or other minor errors can be incorporated into the resolution without a vote at the discretion of the President and the draft resolution submitters.

Rule 21 – General Voting Procedure

  1. All members of the committee, including observers, shall have one vote on procedural motions including votes on amendments. No abstentions are permitted on procedural matters.

  2. The only substantive question concerns the adoption of resolutions, where only full Member States may vote. Each vote may be a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘abstain’. Members present and voting will be defined as members casting an affirmative or negative vote only. Voting shall normally be by a show of placards, except when the President has authorized a roll call vote or where a motion for a roll call vote has been passed by a simple majority of the committee. A roll call vote shall be taken in English alphabetical order of the names of the Members. Members will respond ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘abstain’.

  3. Only a point of order or a point of personal privilege may interrupt voting procedures and must be made in connection to the actual voting.

  4. If two or more proposals relate to the same question, they shall be voted on in the order in which they were submitted.

  5. The General Voting Procedure may be altered by the specific rules relating to committees provided elsewhere in the Rules.

Rule 22 – Motion To Reorder Draft Resolutions

A motion to reorder draft resolutions will be in order immediately after closure of debate on an agenda item, but prior to entering voting procedures. The motion requires a second, and a simple majority to pass. If the motion to reorder draft resolutions passes, the President then will subsequently accept motions specifying the order in which the draft resolutions should be voted on. Once this is done, the committee will vote on the motions in the order they were submitted, until all fail or one of them passes. The motion specifying the reordering of draft resolutions requires a simple majority for passage.

Rule 23 – Division of the Question

After the debate on an agenda item has been closed, but before a substantive voting, a delegate may ask for the operative clauses to be voted on separately. Perambulatory clauses and suboperative clauses may not be separated in a division of the question. If there are calls for multiple divisions, those shall be voted upon in an order to be set by the President where the most radical division will be voted upon first.

A motion to divide the question requires a second and shall be voted upon, requiring a simple majority to pass. Permission to speak on the motion shall be given only to two speakers in favour and two against. If the motion passes, the resolution will be divided accordingly, and a separate procedural vote will be taken on each divided part to determine whether or not it is included in the final draft.

Parts of the resolution that are subsequently passed will be recombined into a final document and then put to a substantive vote.

Rule 24 – Order of Precedence, Special Voting Procedures and Annexes

The order of precedence regarding points and motions listed in the Rules of Procedure shall constitute part of the Rules and be applied to proceedings in all committees of the Conference as outlined in the Annex. However, unless otherwise specified in the Rules, motions that require a vote shall be considered by the Committee in order of their disturbance to the proceedings, with the most disturbing motions being voted on first.

Rule 25 – Security Council

  1. Decisions on procedural and substantive matters on the Security Council shall be made by an affirmative vote of 9 out of 15 of the members present.

  2. Veto power is only valid for substantive vote for the 5 permanent members. Members directly involved in the dispute are only committed to abstain.


Order of Precedence Points and motions shall be considered in the following, descending order of preference:

  1. Parliamentary points
    1. Points that may interrupt a speaker
      1. Point of personal privilege
    2. Points that are in order only when the floor is open
      1. Point of order
      2. Point of parliamentary inquiry
  2. Parliamentary motions
    1. Motion to adjourn the meeting
    2. Motion to suspend the meeting
    3. Motion to close the debate
    4. Motion to postpone the debate (tabling)
    5. Motion to introduce a draft resolution
    6. Motion to introduce an amendment
    7. Motion to question the competence of the committee
    8. Motion to introduce a working paper
    9. Motion to extend a moderated or an unmoderated caucus
    10. Motion for an unmoderated caucus
    11. Motion for a moderated caucus
    12. Motion to appeal the decision of the President
  3. Motions after the debate has been closed
    1. Motion to reorder draft resolutions
    2. Motion to divide the question
    3. Motion for a roll call vote