Rules of Procedure
- These Rules of Procedure are considered adopted by the Assembly prior to its first meeting.
- Interpretation of these Rules shall be reserved exclusively to the Secretary General and his or her designate(s).
Dates of Convening and Adjournment
The Assembly shall meet every year in regular session commencing and closing on the dates designated by the Secretary General.
Place of Sessions
The Assembly shall meet at a location designated by the Secretary General.
Invitation to Silent Prayer or Meditation
Immediately after the opening of the Assembly, the Director may invite the representatives to observe one minute of silence dedicated to private prayer or meditation.
Composition of the Secretariat
The Secretariat will be composed of the Secretary General, the Director General, the Conference Director, all Undersecretaries General, all Directors of committees, and all Assistant Directors of committees.
Statements by the Secretariat
Any member of the Secretariat, at any time, may make oral or written statements to the body concerning any question under consideration.
Composition of the Dais
The Dais shall be comprised of the Director and all Assistant Directors of the committee.
The Secretary General or his or her designate shall appoint a Director who shall hold office and chair the committee for the duration of the session, unless otherwise decided by the Secretary General. If the Director finds it necessary to be absent during a meeting or any part thereof, the Secretary General, or his or her designate, shall designate an Acting Director to take his or her place, unless otherwise decided by the Secretary General. Alternatively, if the Director is unable to perform his or her functions, a new Director shall be appointed for the remainder of the term at the discretion of the Secretary General or his or her designate.
General Powers of the Director
In addition to exercising powers conferred upon him/her elsewhere in these Rules, the Director shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting of the session, direct the discussions, ensure observance of these Rules, accord the right to speak, put questions to a vote, and announce decisions. He or she shall rule on points of order and, subject to these rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings at any meeting and over the maintenance of order. The Director may, in the course of discussion of an item, propose to the Assembly the limitation of the time to be allotted for speakers, the limitation on the number of times each representative may speak, the closure of the list of speakers, or the closure of debate. He or she may also propose the suspension or the adjournment of the meeting or the adjournment of debate on the item under discussion. The Director may also, for any reason, rule any points or motions dilatory or out of order.
The Assistant Director
The Secretary General or his or her designate shall appoint at least one Assistant Director who shall hold office and co-chair the committee for the duration of the session, unless otherwise decided by the Secretary General or his or her designate. The Assistant Director shall serve as Acting Director in the absence of the Director, unless otherwise decided by the Secretary General or his or her designate. Alternatively, if the Assistant Director is unable to perform his or her functions, a new Assistant Director shall be appointed for the remainder of the term at the discretion of the Secretary General or his or her designate.
Conduct of Business
Official and Working Language
English shall be the official and working language of each committee. Any representative wishing to address the body or submit a document in a language other than English shall provide simultaneous translation into English and, for a speech, be afforded an equal amount of time to introduce the translation in addition to the original speech.
The Director may declare a meeting open and permit debate to proceed when representatives of at least one-third of the members of the committee are present. The presence of a majority of the members shall be required for any decision to be taken.
The provisional agenda shall be drawn up by the Secretary General and communicated to the members of the Assembly at least forty-five days before the opening of a session.
Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda provided by the Secretary General shall be considered adopted as of the beginning of the opening session. Motions to reorder the agenda shall be accepted and debated in each committee. The Director may limit the allowed number of speakers for debate upon the order of the agenda. At any time, delegates may move to set the agenda and each motion shall immediately be put to vote. Majority vote of those present in the body shall determine the order of the agenda items.
No representative may address the committee without having previously obtained the permission of the Director. The Director shall call upon speakers in the order in which they signify their desire to speak. The Director may call a speaker to order if his or her comments are not relevant to the subject under discussion.
List of Speakers
Members may be on the list of speakers once but may be added again after they have spoken. After the initial establishment of the list of speakers by the Director, any representative wishing to be added to the list must submit, in writing, their request. Any representative has the right to make a motion that the list of speakers be closed or, if already closed, reopened. This motion is not subject to debate, and requires the support of the majority of members present to pass. If the list of speakers becomes exhausted, formal debate automatically concludes and the committee proceeds directly into voting procedure.
Time Limit on Speeches
The Director may determine the initial time limit for speakers. The committee may, by a majority vote, limit the time allotted to each speaker and/or the number of times a representative may speak on a question. Before a decision is taken, however, two representatives may speak in favor of, and two against, a proposal to set such limits. When a delegate exceeds the allocated time, the Director shall call him or her to order without delay.
If a speaker concludes his or her substantive speech before the allotted time has expired, he or she may yield the remaining time to the Director.
Points of Order
To correct an error in procedure, a representative may rise to a point of order during the discussion of any matter. The Director, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, shall immediately decide on the point of order immediately. A representative may appeal against the ruling of the Director to the Director General by informing the Director in writing. A representative rising to a point of order may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.
Points of Personal Privilege
Any representative may rise to a point of personal preference if the noise in the chamber is too loud, the speaker cannot be heard, if the temperature of the room is uncomfortable, or for some similar reason. If and only if a question requires immediate action may a representative exercising a point interrupt the current speaker.
Points of Information
Any representative may rise to a point of information to direct a question, concerning procedure, to the chair. The point may concern a clarification regarding the Rules of Procedure, the United Nations, or the direction of the proceedings. This point is in order only when the floor is open to formal debate.
Rights of Reply
If a remark impugns the integrity of a representative’s State, the Director may permit a right of reply following the conclusion of the controversial speech, and shall determine an appropriate time limit for the reply. No ruling on this question shall be subject to appeal. Requests for any rights of reply must be submitted to the Director in writing.
Suspension of the Rules (Moderated Caucus)
During the discussion of any matter, a delegate may move for the suspension of the rules, specifying a time limit and a topic. Such motions shall not be debated upon, but shall be immediately put to a vote, requiring the majority of the members present, or present and voting, to pass. The Director shall moderate the committee and set all limitations during the specified time period.
Suspension of the Meeting (Unmoderated Caucus)
During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move for the suspension of the meeting, specifying a time for reconvening. Such motions shall not be debated upon, but shall be immediately put to a vote, requiring the support of a majority of the members present, or present and voting, to pass.
Adjournment of Debate
During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move for adjournment of debate on the item under discussion on the floor. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded only to two representatives favoring and two representatives opposing the adjournment, after which the motion shall be put to an immediate vote. If a motion for adjournment of debate is passed by two-thirds of the members present, or present and voting, the topic is considered dismissed and no action will be taken. The committee shall immediately proceed to consider the next agenda topic.
Closure of Debate
A representative may, at any time, move for the closure of debate on the item under discussion. Permission to speak on the motion shall be accorded only to two representatives opposing the closure, after which the motion shall be immediately put to a vote. Closure of debate shall require a two-thirds majority of the members present, to pass. If the committee favors the closure of debate, the committee shall immediately move to voting procedure on all proposals introduced under that agenda topic.
Adjournment of the Meeting
During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move for the adjournment of the meeting. This motion requires no debate and shall be put to a vote, requiring the support of a majority to pass. After adjournment, the committee shall reconvene at its next regularly scheduled meeting time; adjournment of the final meeting shall adjourn the session.
Order of Motions
Motions before the committee shall have precedence in the following order:
- To suspend the meeting,
- To adjourn the meeting,
- To adjourn the debate on the item under discussion,
- To close debate on the item under discussion, and
- To suspend the rules.
Working papers shall be submitted to the Director, with the names of at least four sponsoring members and a minimum total of ten members recognized by the Secretariat who would like to see the committee consider a working paper. A working paper shall retain the required number of sponsors to remain in debate and shall be written in the correct format. The Secretariat may, at its discretion, approve the working paper for circulation of copies to the delegates. The Director, however, may permit the discussion and consideration of working papers without such working papers having been circulated. The Director, at his or her discretion, may also set a limit to working papers that may be introduced.
Sponsorship of Working Papers
Working papers must have a minimum of four sponsoring members and a minimum of ten signatory members wishing to see the committee consider the proposal. Observer delegations may not be counted as sponsoring members of proposals; observer delegations may be counted as a signatory member.
Withdrawal of Motions and Working Papers
Any motion made may be withdrawn, by its sponsoring representative, from the floor before it is entertained by the Director and action taken upon it. Likewise, the sponsors of a working paper may withdraw their working paper at any time before voting procedure has commenced, provided that no amendments have been submitted for the working paper. A motion or working paper thus withdrawn may be reintroduced by any representative.
Once a working paper has been approved by the Dais, it shall be numbered and distributed to the committee as a draft resolution. Only draft resolutions, alongside any amendments to the draft resolution, may be considered during voting procedure.
Amendments to Draft Resolutions
Substantive amendments to draft resolutions may be submitted to the Director. The Secretariat may, at its discretion, approve the amendment for circulation of copies to the delegations. The Director, however, may permit the discussion and consideration of amendments without such amendments having been circulated.
Procedure for Amendments to Draft Resolutions
If all of the sponsors agree to the adoption of a proposed amendment, the draft resolution itself shall be modified accordingly and no vote shall be taken on the adoption of the proposed amendment. A document modified in this manner shall be considered as the proposal pending before the body for all purposes, including subsequent amendments.
Each Member State with full membership of each committee shall have one vote on all substantive and procedural matters. Each Observer Delegation of each committee shall have one vote on all procedural matters. Observer Delegation members do not have a vote on substantive matters.
Unless specified elsewhere in these Rules, procedural decisions of the committee shall be made by a majority of the members in attendance of the committee. Substantive decisions of the committee shall be made by a majority of the members in attendance who cast an affirmative or negative vote with all abstentions disregarded from the majority calculation.
Meaning of the Phrase `Present and Voting’
For the purpose of these Rules, the phrase “members present and voting” shall mean the members casting an affirmative or negative vote. All members must cast an affirmative or negative vote on all procedural motions. However, on substantive motions members may abstain from voting, provided they are not recorded on the roll as “present and voting.” Members who abstain from voting are not considered as voting.
Method of Voting
Committees shall normally vote by a show of placards, but any member may request a roll call vote on any item of substantive consideration. The roll call vote shall be taken in the English alphabetical order of the names of the members. The name of each member shall be called in any roll call, and one of its representatives shall reply, “Yes,” “No,” “Abstain,” or “Pass.” The results of voting shall be listed in the record in the English alphabetical order of the names of the members. Only one pass is allowed per delegation per vote, and any member wishing to pass relinquishes their right to abstain from the vote.
Any member may also request to adopt an item of substantive consideration by acclimation. Such motions shall not be debated upon, but shall be put to a vote, requiring no opposition to pass. However, a motion for a roll call vote during voting procedure shall take precedence over a motion to adopt by acclimation.
Conduct During Voting
After the Director has announced the beginning of voting, no representative shall interrupt the voting except to a point of order in connection with the actual process of voting. The Director may permit members to explain their vote, either before or after the voting if a request has been submitted, in writing, before the commencement of voting procedure. The Director may limit the time to be allowed for such explanations. The Director shall not permit any sponsor of a proposal or amendment to explain his or her vote on his or her own proposal or amendment. Explanations shall be permitted only if a member has voted in a manner contrary to what was made apparent during debate.
Assembly During Voting
At the beginning of voting, the page system will be suspended and entry into the chamber will be prohibited. The permitted assemblage in the committee room during voting procedure will be composed of the Dais of the committee, all full members of the committee, all observer delegation members of the committee, and any members of the Secretariat.
Voting on Draft Resolutions
If two or more draft resolutions are related to the same topic, the committee shall vote on the proposals in the order in which they have been submitted.
Voting on Amendments
When an amendment is moved to a draft resolution, the amendment shall be voted upon first. When two or more amendments are moved to a draft resolution, the committee shall vote on the amendments in the order they are received. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended draft resolution shall then be voted upon. A motion is considered an amendment if it adds to, deletes from, or revises part of the draft resolution without having the full support of all sponsors of the draft resolution.
Division of Draft Resolutions and Amendments
Immediately before a draft resolution comes to a vote, a representative may move that sections of a draft resolution or amendment be voted on separately. The motion for division shall be voted upon, requiring the support of a majority of the members present and voting to pass. Permission to speak on the motion for division shall be given only to two speakers in favor and two speakers against. The Director may limit the time allowed for these speeches. At the completion of these speeches, the committee shall move to an immediate vote.
If the motion for division is carried, each section of the draft resolution or amendment that has been divided shall be substantively voted on separately. If a majority of the members present vote in favor of the divided sections of the draft resolution or amendment, the sections are returned to the draft resolution or amendment as an annex. If a majority of the members present vote against the divided section of the draft resolution or amendment the section will be considered rejected by the committee. If all operative sections of the draft resolution or amendment have been rejected, the entire draft resolution or amendment shall be considered rejected.
Security Council Working Papers
Working papers in the Security Council must have a minimum of at least three sponsoring members, including at least one permanent member, and a minimum of five signatories.
Security Council Voting
Passage of any substantive item of consideration in the Security Council shall require the approval of at least nine members with no negative votes from all permanent members.
Rules of Procedure of Non-Traditional Committees
Non-traditional committees may operate under modifications of these Rules of Procedure. The modified Rules of Procedure will be made available prior to the first committee session. Delegates to these committees are obligated to refer to the modified Rules of Procedure for their respective committee.