SEASAC Model United Nations: Parliamentary Rules for Debate

  1. Lobbying takes place within the Committee sessions. In the lobbying period delegates must try and gather support for their resolutions. They may merge their resolutions with those of other countries and combine clauses from their resolutions. 
  2. Co-Submitters are countries that together support a resolution. A resolution must have at least five co-submitters to present the resolution to the Approval Panel. Delegates can only co-submit two resolutions. As soon as the resolution has been approved by the Approval Panel it is sent to the Chair of the appropriate committee.
  3. Whenever a delegate wishes to speak they raise their country placard.
    - The Chair calls upon the delegate saying: To what point do you rise?
    - The Delegate responds: I rise to a….. Point of Order, Point of Information etc… Also delegates are required to use formal language at all times
  4. A Roll Call will be called at the opening of the committees and General Assembly. Each country must respond with present and voting.
  5. After the formal roll call one delegate for each country will be invited to give an Opening Speech of one minute maximum. Each country must make an opening speech.
  6. Debate in Committees begins with the Chair calling for a reading of the operative clauses of the resolution. The Chair will usually call upon one of the co-submitters of the resolution to read the clauses.
  7. The Chair then decides on how long the debate time for and against the resolution will be. For example, the Chair may say: There will be debate time of ten minutes for the resolution. There will be debate time of ten minutes against the resolution.
  8. If a delegate wishes to take time out to discuss a resolution or amendment they must raise their placards and ask: The Delegation of X requests a Motion for Recess. The Chair has the right to refuse the motion. If the Chair accepts the Motion for Recess there will be a vote taken. If a majority of delegates vote for a recess, then caucusing shall be allowed at a time limit set by the Chair, with a minimum of 5 minutes.
  9. Debate speeches for and against the resolution must be no longer than two minutes.
  10. The Chair will ask all speakers if they are open to Points of Information. This means that the speaker is open to questions from the floor. The speaker can respond with either:
                No, country x is not open to Points of Information.
               Yes, country X is open to Points of Information.
  11. If a delegate wishes to ask a question after the speaker has addressed the floor he/she must raise their placard.

    The Chair will say: To what point do you rise?
    The delegate says: Point of Information to the Speaker.
    The delegate will then be invited to state their question to the speaker. The delegate must always pose a question not a statement.
    The Chairs will then ask: Are there any more Points of Information to the Speaker? Follow up Points of Information are limited to one and at the discretion of the Chairs.

  12. Amendments to the resolutionare changes to the wording or phrases in the resolution’s operative clauses. Amendments must be voted on by the committee members.

    If a delegate wishes to amend a resolution, the amendment must be written clearly and submitted to the Chair. The Chair will then present amendments electronically (inputting the amendment and showing it to the whiteboard). The Chair acknowledges a proposed amendment by saying: There has been an amendment proposed by the Delegation of X. We will now go into debate time for the amendment. Is there a delegation that would like to speak in favour of the proposed amendment? We will now go into debate time against the amendment. Is there a delegation that would like to speak against the proposed amendment?

    The debate time is at the discretion of the Chair-but should not extend beyond 5 minutes.

    A vote is then taken on the amendment.

    The Chair says: We will now go into voting procedures. Those in favour of the proposed amendment raise your placards. Those against the amendment raise your placards.

    If the amendment receives a simple majority it is added to the resolution. The Chair says: The amendment has been passed.

    If the amendment does not receive a simple majority it is not added. The Chair says: the amendment has failed.

  13. Voting on a resolution will be either by roll call or by raising placards-at the discretion of the Chair. There are three types of vote: For or in favour; against; abstain-which may indicate a country’s reluctance to support, or uncertainty about some of the resolution’s clauses. Delegates must vote for, against OR abstain. A delegate may propose to the Chair that another delegate explain their vote by rising to a motion to request an explanation. The Chair will ask why the request has been made and if the Chair feels the reason warrants the request, can allow it. The delegate is then asked to explain their vote.
  14. If a delegate wishes to make a statement they may request a Right to Statement. A Right to Statement can only be allowed when no other business is being addressed (i.e. in between resolutions etc...). The Chair says: Are there any Rights of Statement on the floor? If the Chair does not ask for Rights of Statement a delegate can rise to a Point of Order and say: The Delegation of X requests a Right of Statement.
    All Rights to Statement are allowed at the Chair’s discretion. A Right to Statement will allow a speaker one minute to address any topic related to his/her country and the Committee or Council’s agenda.
    Rights of Statement are not meant to be dilatory digressions-wasting the time of both the committee and the chairs.
  15. A Point of Personal Privilege is made if: a delegate cannot hear the speaker. The delegate raises his/her placard and says (without being recognised by the Chair): Point of Personal Privilege. The Chair then recognises the delegate and says: What is the delegate from X’s Point of Personal Privilege? The delegate then states his/her Point of Personal Privilege by saying: The delegation of X is unable to hear the speaker. 
  16. When the debate and amendments on a resolution are completed a delegation may feel they agree with certain clauses in the resolution but not other clauses. In this instance the delegate may MOVE TO DIVIDE THE QUESTION. The delegate raises his/her placard and says when recognised: The Delegation of X moves to divide the question.
    The Chair then invites the delegate to address the floor saying: Will the Honourable Delegate from X explain why he/she requests to Divide the Question? The delegate explains reasons.
    The Committee then votes on whether to divide the question. Following the explanation the Chair says: We will now vote on whether to divide the question.
    If a majority of delegates vote for dividing the question each clause or group of clauses shall be voted on separately.
  17. Move to Close Debate: If a delegate wishes to close a debate at the end of a round, feeling that all the key issues have been covered and further debate would not be useful, the delegate may raise their placard saying: Will the Honourable Delegate from X explain his/her reasons to moving to close the debate?
    If the Chair agrees there will be a placard vote. Two-thirds of delegates in the committee or General Assembly must agree to the proposal to Close the Debate. Following the two-thirds vote the floor goes directly to voting procedures. If there is not a two-thirds majority the Chair says: We do not have a two-thirds majority and therefore will continue debate time.
  18. The Chair has the discretionary right to accept as many Points of Information, Rights of Statements and Amendments as they wish. The Chairs may stop or curtail any parliamentary procedure if pressed for time or if they feel debate is being obstructed.
  19. If a delegate is not following parliamentary procedure or being deliberately obstructive they may be given a warning. There is no penalty for the first warning. If a second warning is given the speaker will lose speaking and voting rights for an amount of time to be decided by the Chair in consultation with the Secretary-General. A third warning will cause the delegate to be removed for a fixed amount of time decided by the Chair in consultation with the Secretary-General.
  20. Resolutions passing committee with a simple majority vote are sent on to a General Assembly. A resolution passes in the General Assembly with a two-thirds majority.
  21. The evening before the General Assembly meets (and altered if needed on the day the General Assembly convenes) the Secretaries-General will draw up a list of resolutions to be debated along with a speaker’s list for each resolution.
  22. If a delegate feels parliamentary procedure has been breached they may say: Country name or The Delegation of X rises to a Point of Order. Points of order can be entertained at the discretion of the Chair.
  23. Grievances are serious offences to a particular delegation. If a delegate feels that the country they represent has been seriously offended he/she may say: The Delegation of X rises to express their grievances.  The delegate may only speak however when he/she has been recognised by the Chair. Chairs can either request an explanation of the grievance saying: Will the Delegate from X please state your grievances. Once the grievances have been stated the Chair says: Country X’s grievances have been noted. The delegate then sits down.
  24. The Secretaries-General will serve as arbitrators and interpreters of the procedures set for SEASAC MUN. If there are disputes arising from committees OR if there are questions regarding Parliamentary Procedures, their rulings are considered final.