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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
As a simulation of the United Nations, the MUN board sets high standards for its delegates to respect when obtaining the role. There are some simple rules and procedures that all Model United Nations conferences follow, although they may vary depending on the conference. Whilst at first they may seem very confusing here is a breakdown of the need-to-know MUN rules so you can be excel as a MUN delegate and, who knows, maybe even win yourself the best delegate award!
During a conference you can only address yourself and other students as delegates. For example when I was representing Germany in New York I had to refer to myself as ‘the delegate of Germany’ or ‘the delegation from the Federal Republic of Germany’ and I would call other students my ‘fellow delegates’. If you want to vote or raise a point then always raise your placard, and remember never to forget the delegate’s lanyard given to you when entering the conference! Time management is also regarded highly by the MUN board and if late you risk not being able to attend the conference for that day; if you run slightly late however and are able to get in but have missed roll call – where the chair will take the register and call out countries to see who is present – then just pass a note to the chair. When present during roll call you usually stand up or raise you placard and say ‘the delegate from France is present’, or ‘the delegate from France is present and voting’ which means not only are you present but you have also committed yourself to casting a vote at the end of the conference and are no longer allowed to abstain from doing so!
Here are some important points and motions that will help you throughout the conference:
- Motion to adopt the agenda: this is the motion used when you need to set the order you want your topics in on the first day of the conference. For example ‘The delegation of France motions to set the agenda’.
- Point of order: you raise a point of order when you notice rules aren’t being followed or want to correct something, it is not used often so make sure you are right if you do call someone out!
- Motion to set the speaker’s time limit: the motion to extend or reduce time per speech. Of course the time limit can change to a minute longer or a few seconds shorter but the chair would not allow ten minutes per speech when some committees have over 100 delegates!
- Motion to suspend the meeting: used when you wish to suspend the meeting for a limited time for caucus. For example ‘The delegate of France motions to suspend the meeting for the purpose of caucus for 15mintues’ and it is usually then voted on
- Adjournment of the meeting: the motion to end of conference
- Adjournment of debate: the procedure taken to ditch the current topic and move onto the next one
- Closure of debate: used if you wish to move immediately into voting procedure
The only points of motion which are valid during voting procedure are motion for a roll call and motion to divide the question. The first motions to call all countries again to see if they are present and the second, which is much more complicated, is when a delegate wishes to draw out a specific clause in a resolution and highlight it. The clause is then voted on independently from the rest of the resolution, but this rarely happens in a conference.
NOTE: Some MUN conference also have ‘points of clarification’ and many of these procedures are subject to change depending on the conference!
AMENDMENTS are ways to modify a resolution and can be either:
- Friendly: if all the allies that signed the paper agree to it
- Unfriendly: when not all the sponsors (those who contribute to writing the resolution) agree with it
TYPES OF VOTE
A vote can be casted by:
- Placard: You vote either ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘abstain’ by raising your country’s placard
- Roll call: You can motion for this long tedious way of voting but it will not gain you many friends! Basically the chair calls each state one by one and they say their vote, do not be that one person who asks for roll call during the voting procedure!
- Acclamation: You can also motion for this and it means that no country opposes the resolution and it will be adopted unanimously. Only do this if you are quite sure everyone agrees with the resolution.
Don’t worry if you are fazed by all of these rules – I sure was! I got my friends to test me until I had learned the ropes and it really helped raise my confidence during the conference, so don’t be intimidated if you can’t remember everything, after all practise makes perfect. Once you have these rules covered you needn’t worry at the conference and can enjoy the experience to its fullest!
IMAGE: Author's own, MUN debate in New York.