General Information

Chapter 1 – General Information

This chapter provides representatives with the logistical information needed to attend the American Model United Nations (AMUN) International Conference. Questions about this information should be directed to the AMUN Executive Office at the mail@amun.org or 773.777.AMUN (2686).

2018 Conference Simulations

In 2018, AMUN will simulate the General Assembly (GA) Plenary, four Main GA Committees, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), Committee for Development Policy Expert Group (CDPEG), the World Health Organization Executive Board (WHO), the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice(ICJ). AMUN also simulates three historical bodies: the Historical Security Council of 1948 (HSC48), the Historical Security Council of 1993 (HSC93) and the Historical Commission of Inquiry of 2005 (COI05). Finally, AMUN features a simulation of the International Press Delegation (IPD), which produces the Conference newspaper, maintains AMUN Twitter during Conference and covers all simulations’ work

The General Assembly First (Disarmament & International Security), Second (Economic & Financial), Third (Social, Humanitarian & Cultural) and Sixth (Legal) Committees, the Concurrent General Assembly Plenary, World Health Organization Executive Board and United Nations Environment Assembly will meet for the first three and a half days of the Conference (i.e., from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning). These six committees will then come together for a plenary session of the General Assembly during the afternoon session on Tuesday. Up to four representatives may be seated at the country’s placard for the combined plenary session, and students may change out as required.

The purpose of the General Assembly combined plenary session will be twofold. First, for the General Assembly Main Committees (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA6), the plenary body will consider and vote on one of the body’s resolutions; the purpose here is to build consensus among Member States and to ratify the work of the General Assembly Main Committees. While a small amount of additional debate is typical, it is expected that the work done by each Committee will be respected. It is rare for significant changes to be made or for a resolution to fail in the Plenary session after passing in Committee. Second, for the remaining bodies, whose resolutions are not sent to the General Assembly Plenary for further consideration, the plenary session will hear the reports of and take questions on the work of these bodies. Each of these committees will have an opportunity to present their work and answer questions in front of the larger group, but no vote will be taken.

The Commission on Population and Development and Committee for Development Policy Expert Group will meet for the first three and a half days of the Conference (i.e., from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning). The purpose of these two committees is to build consensus and to write and ratify reports submitted to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). These two committees, along with the 54 Member States of the Economic and Social Council will convene for a plenary session on Tuesday afternoon.

The purpose of the Economic and Social Council plenary session will be to hear the reports of and take questions on the two subsidiary bodies submitting a final report to the Economic and Social Council. The Members of the Economic and Social Council will receive the reports of its commissions and will vote on resolutions that recognize the bodies for their work and accept the work of their commissions. It is expected that the Members of Economic and Social Council will ask questions and read a short abstract about the commissions’ work and then will generally pass a resolution adopting these reports with consensus or at least overwhelming support. While a small amount of additional debate is typical, it is expected that the work done by each commission over the first three days of the Conference will be respected.

The Contemporary Security Council will be responsible for dealing with international peace and security issues as they stand at the opening of the Conference. A tentative list of topics will be provided for preparation, but representatives should be prepared to discuss any and all security issues that might arise. The Historical Security Councils (1948 and 1993) will simulate the events of those years; they will use contemporary rules of procedure but will roleplay the viewpoint of their delegation at the time of the simulation. The Security Council and the Historical Security Councils will meet all four days of the Conference, including an emergency session on Monday night and a debrief on Tuesday afternoon.

The International Press Delegation (IPD), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Historical Commission of Inquiry of 2005 (COI 05) are unique simulations that will meet all four days of the Conference. Individuals must apply for positions on these simulations on the AMUN website. The International Press Delegation will provide journalistic cover for the Conference, producing at least one newspaper each day. The International Court of Justice will hear cases brought to the Court by Member States. The Historical Commission of Inquiry of 2005 will simulate a fact-finding investigation of two international incidents as requested by the Security Council

Safety at AMUN

AMUN places extreme importance on the safety of our participants and guests. We hope that you have an excellent and fun learning experience while at the Conference but encourage everyone to consider safety issues in and around the Conference hotel. Safety should always be more important than avoiding minor embarrassment to you or another person.

We suggest that you follow several common-sense rules to keep all participants safe during the Conference, including the following guidelines:

  • As a general rule, do not leave the hotel grounds without letting your group know how to find you.
  • Always let one of the leaders of your group (faculty, club officer, etc.) know where you are going prior to leaving the area around the hotel (to visit local friends or relatives, etc.).
  • Never leave any hotel alone after dark, and always travel with at least one person that you know.
  • Always remove your credentials prior to leaving the hotel so as not to advertise yourself as a tourist.
  • Help other participants to be safe by encouraging them to not travel outside of the hotel alone.
  • Inform one of the leaders of your group or an AMUN Secretariat Member immediately if you have a safety concern, or if any emergency situation occurs to you or another participant, regardless of the time.

AMUN encourages all faculty advisors and other group leaders to take time before the Conference to reinforce these and any other relevant safety instructions based on the rules of your schools. In case of an emergency, hotel security may be reached by dialing 0 on any hotel phone and requesting the security office. Also, please feel free to contact the AMUN Secretariat at any time during the Conference, day or night, if any emergency event occurs in which we can be of assistance.

Conference Policies

Minimum and Maximum Delegation Counts

AMUN strongly recommends delegations place two representatives on the following committees: the Security Council, the Historical Security Council of 1948 and the Historical Security Council of 1993. Each delegation may place one or two representatives on the following committees: General Assembly Concurrent Plenary, General Assembly First, General Assembly Second, General Assembly Third, General Assembly Sixth, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the Committee for Development Policy Expert Group (CDPEG) and the World Health Organization Executive Board (WHO). Each delegation may place only one representative on the Special Committee, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). Seats on the International Court of Justice, International Press Delegation and the Historical Commission of Inquiry of 2005 (COI05) are assigned by application. Generally, only one person from a school can be assigned to each of these simulations.

Delegations may also designate a floating permanent representative to assist with coordination across the delegation. Representatives may also have part-time assignments at Conference as an advocate for the International Court of Justice, as a party to the dispute in the Security Council or a Historical Security Council or as a witness to the Historical Commission of Inquiry simulation.

Schools may register up to four faculty advisors.

Dress Code

The appearance of AMUN participants provides the first impressions of their delegation to other representatives. Attention to proper appearance sets an expectation for professionalism and competence. In order to demonstrate respect to fellow representatives, Secretariat members and distinguished guests of the Conference, AMUN requires conservative Western business attire for all representatives and Secretariat during all formal sessions, including the final sessions on Tuesday.

Western business attire is a business jacket or suit, dress slacks or skirt, dress shirt (with a tie for men), and dress shoes. Attire should follow the rule of being appropriate for visiting an embassy. Revealing dress shirts that expose excessive bare skin are not appropriate. Sweaters or leggings are generally considered too casual for Western business attire. Clothing that reveals undergarments in any way, including being too tight, is not appropriate. AMUN will not consider any manner of dress appropriate which includes T-shirts, jeans, shorts, hats, athletic shoes or any form of commercial advertising.

Participants shall not wear the traditional or religious garb of any State or organization. The only exception to this is required traditional or religious garb of a student’s personal religion or culture. Additionally, participants should not affect the mannerisms, linguistic characteristics or any other perceived traits of a State or culture that they are representing. These affectations are inappropriate and may be seen as offensive by other students, or by natives of that State or culture. Small lapel pins representing the delegation’s flag or other national symbols are appropriate.

Please be aware that representatives who are not appropriately attired or who do not follow these rules may not be recognized during formal debate in any AMUN simulation. Further, AMUN reserves the right to refuse admittance to the Conference floor to any representative who is inappropriately attired or who violates the above provisions. Decisions about appropriate attire and professional behavior are at the discretion of the AMUN Secretariat.

Conduct

Representatives are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting international diplomats. This means that every courtesy, both in speech and behavior, should be extended to all representatives, faculty members, hotel staff members, guests and AMUN Secretariat members at the Conference. AMUN expects the same level of diplomatic courtesy in written communications, including notes passed during formal session and posts to social media sites. AMUN reserves the right to expel any representative not acting in a courteous and professional fashion. Please refer to Rule 2.2, Diplomatic Courtesy, for more information.

To provide all participants, including representatives, Faculty Advisors, exhibitors, hotel staff, and AMUN Secretariat, the opportunity to benefit from Conference, AMUN is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, language, physical appearance, race or ethnicity, religion or other group identity. AMUN seeks to provide a conference environment in which diverse participants may learn and enjoy an environment of mutual human respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and foster that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, language, physical appearance, race or ethnicity, religion or other group identity.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including persistent and unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening others (verbally or physically).

Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. All participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all conference venues, including online. Participants asked to stop one of the aforementioned behaviors are expected to comply immediately. Any final rulings on violations of the Code of Conduct are subject to determination by the Executive Office with consultation as needed with the Board of Directors.

If anything happens throughout the conference that makes you feel unsafe, or that prohibits you from fully participating in the AMUN experience, please let us know so that we can help you understand your options and decide what steps need to be taken to address the issue. You can contact us anytime by stopping by the Ohio Room, asking to speak to a member of the Executive Office at Conference Services, emailing, calling, or sending a message through the Guidebook app.

Accessibility and Accommodation

AMUN makes every effort to ensure that all attendees are able to fully participate in their respective roles. If you or any member of your delegation requires any accommodations or modifications to get the most out of the AMUN experience, please contact Shannon Dunn, the Executive Director, at mail@amun.org as soon as possible, so we can discuss appropriate arrangements. Should you realize once Conference starts that you need an additional accommodation or modification, please visit the Ohio Room on the office level and a member of the AMUN Secretariat will be happy to assist you.

Use of Electronic Devices

The use of electronic devices, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and cell phones, is permitted in committee rooms provided they are silenced. All electronic devices must be set up and powered in a manner which does not create a safety hazard for other representatives. During formal session, groups may not congregate around said devices; all caucusing must take place outside committee rooms. Any use of electronic devices in committee rooms should relate to the purposes of the Conference and must comply with the expectation of Diplomatic Courtesy as outlined in Rule 2.2. All representatives are expected to comply with the directions of the AMUN Secretariat regarding the use of electronic devices.

Plagiarism

AMUN strives to create a simulation of the United Nations which is as realistic as possible while still allowing for the fulfillment of our participants’ and the organization’s educational goals. As such, the AMUN policy regarding plagiarism focuses on an educational rather than a punitive goal. At AMUN, plagiarism involves the substantial, verbatim or near-verbatim copying of language, without attribution, in published or unpublished texts, speeches or documents. Representatives should adhere to their country’s policies at all times, but this does not give license to plagiarize existing materials. Thus, parts of speeches or position papers may be derived or paraphrased from previous speeches or papers, but should not be copied verbatim. Additionally, representatives should not copy and represent as their own the work of another representative or group of representatives. Collaboration and consensus-building is encouraged and appropriate, but representatives should take care that the authors of resolutions, reports and other documents are fully represented in the discussion of the body’s work. Collaborative work remains the work of the collaboration even when not all representatives are able to sign on to the final product.

Similarly, AMUN expects that all representatives are familiar with past resolutions at the United Nations, but the work of the United Nations should be expanded on in representatives’ work, not copied verbatim. There are some exceptions: for example, representatives are not necessarily expected to expand upon a phrase that is often or always used when a country gives a formal speech or a clause that is repeated verbatim through several years of resolutions on a topic. Generally, it is not necessary to explicitly credit such sources, although if substantial language is quoted, it should be acknowledged and cited. Final determinations on plagiarism and its consequences are at the discretion of the AMUN Secretariat.

The goal of any Model UN conference is to work toward the resolution of a problem facing the world. The documents created to this end are inevitably the work of a collaborative process; without that collaboration, consensus would never be achievable. The goal of a Model UN conference is not and should never be to be the Member State that submitted or sponsored a draft document. The collaborative process that results in the drafting and submission of draft documents is always expected to be conducted with the utmost level of respect and diplomatic courtesy.

Credentials

Name badges act as representatives’ credentials for the Conference. Credentials will list a representative’s name, country and the Committee to which they are assigned. Credentials for permanent representatives will state “Permanent Representative” regardless of whether they are assigned to a particular simulation. Representatives, faculty advisors and Conference guests will be required to wear their assigned credentials at all times while in the Conference area. This includes social events after normal Conference hours. No one will be admitted to any Conference area, including social events, without approved credentials.

Representatives must also wear their credentials at all times while in the common areas of the hotel. This will allow representatives to be easily recognized by both Conference and hotel staff and will help to alleviate any potential problems that may arise within the hotel. Representatives should always remove their credentials immediately before leaving the hotel. A convention badge worn on the streets of a large city advertises you as a tourist and is an open invitation to potential trouble. Please exercise caution in this area.

Seating and Placards

A placard with the name of each delegation will be placed at that delegation’s seat in each Committee. These are the property of AMUN; the placard should not be defaced or removed from the location assigned by the Secretariat or removed from the room. Placards of Member States are always placed in alphabetical order, but the exact position of the placards changes at the beginning of each session to ensure equality in seating delegations. Observer States are always seated at the end of the Member States, but will also rotate positions when the room is re-set. Exceptions to this rule are made to accommodate differently abled representatives. Representatives are welcome to take their placard with them as a souvenir after their committee has convened for the last time (for delegations in report-writing bodies, after the ECOSOC Plenary session.)

Lost and Found

Any found unclaimed property can be turned in to the Lost and Found located at Conference Services. Items will be held until the end of the closing session, at which time they will be turned over to hotel security.

  • The Conference Services staff will make every attempt to contact the owner if an email, phone number, country name or address is located on the item.
  • In order to claim a lost item from the Lost and Found, the owner must describe as closely as possible the lost item.
  • A log book is available to customers with missing items. They may list the lost item along with their name, email or phone number and they will be contacted if their item is turned in.
  • Conference Services’ hours are listed in the Conference Program.

Post-Conference Surveys

The AMUN Secretariat works year-round to prepare and run a premiere Model UN Conference. With your feedback we are able to improve the educational and administrative experience for our participants. Please take a moment to complete a post conference survey. Your feedback is invaluable to us as we plan for an even more successful Conference the following year. Surveys can be completed online.

Special Conference Events

Keynote Speaker

American Model United Nations International strives to bring quality keynote speakers to the Conference. AMUN keynote speakers are usually individuals with extensive background in international affairs and have included ambassadors, United Nations employees, speakers from NGOs and notable personalities. The date and time of a keynote speaker will be dependent on the speaker’s schedule, and the conference agenda will be adjusted accordingly to accommodate the speaker and to maximize representatives’ time in committee. Biographical information on the keynote speaker will be made available in the Conference Program. If you have a suggestion for (and, ideally, a connection to) a keynote speaker at AMUN, please email the Executive Office at mail@amun.org.

After-hours caucusing space

One of the draws of any Model UN conference is the after-hours informal caucusing. An informal meeting area is available in the River rooms of the Conference hotel, which representatives will be encouraged to use after hours. Gatherings in hotel sleeping areas are strongly discouraged; these could very easily disturb other guests in the hotel, reflecting poorly on both participating schools and on the Conference.

Representative Dance

AMUN encourages all participants to attend our representative dance on Monday evening of the Conference. The dance theme will be revealed on AMUN’s website and publications in the fall. Attire matching the dance theme is encouraged, although not required.

As the dance is hosted by AMUN, only representatives wearing appropriate attire and their current conference credentials will be allowed to enter the dance. Due to security and safety concerns, NO bags, glassware, bottles, or other containers will be allowed on the level of the dance. Representatives bringing any of these items will be asked to take them to their rooms. Representatives participating in the overnight crisis session for the Security Council or Historical Security Councils simulations will be provided storage space, which they can access at the start of the emergency session. AMUN is not able to provide storage space for other personal belongings. This policy requires planning and special attention, especially for representatives staying at area hotels rather than at the Sheraton. While attending the dance, representatives are guests of the Sheraton hotel and must remain in approved areas of the hotel at all times. Representatives must remain diplomatically courteous during and after the dance. AMUN and hotel security reserve the right to expel any participant acting in a discourteous or disruptive manner.

Security Council Emergency Session

Representatives in each Security Council will work to resolve a simulated crisis during the Conference. This unique simulation occurs late Monday evening, during and after the representative dance. It is strongly encouraged that all members of the Security Council stay at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel during their participation at AMUN. Attendance at the emergency session by each Member of the Council is mandatory per the rules of procedure. Attendance at crisis sessions is limited to Security Council and Historical Security Council representatives, requested parties to the dispute, International Press Delegation reporters, and their faculty advisors. Observers must secure the permission of the AMUN Secretariat members in charge of the session. Secretariat members have the authority to request anyone they determine is being disruptive to leave the area and return to other areas of the Sheraton or to their hotel.

Events for Faculty Advisors and Permanent Representatives

AMUN hosts several Conference-related events for permanent representatives and faculty advisors during each Conference. They are:

  • Delegation Lottery: The Delegation lottery is conducted at Conference and allows the current year’s attendees to select countries for the following year. A deposit for next year’s Conference is required to participate.
  • Committee on the Agenda: The Committee on the Agenda is the chance for schools to voice their opinions on topics for the next Conference. This input is highly valued by the AMUN Staff and is used by the Secretariat when deliberating on the topics for the next year.
  • Permanent representative and faculty advisor meetings: Held on Sunday and Monday of Conference, these meetings allow you to share comments and concerns on this year’s Conference and any hotel issues your school may be experiencing.
  • Roundtables and workshops for faculty advisors: Guest speakers discuss running and advocating for Model UN with Faculty Advisors in round robin discussions. Consult the Conference Program for times and locations.

Graduate School and Career Expo

The Expo is a great opportunity to meet with representatives from graduate schools and organizations across the country and plan your future. The Graduate School and Career Expo will be held this year on Monday, 19 November 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event and exhibitors will be announced and highlighted both in our Conference Program, the Conference Guidebook and the AMUN Chronicle. The Expo will be located in the main corridor on the Ballroom level, outside of the primary meeting rooms that hold most of the Conference events. Students will be introduced to the Expo area on their way to and from the open Monday morning meeting sessions.

Simulations, Roles and Roleplaying

Simulations, Roles and Roleplaying

The AMUN Conference is a simulation of the United Nations. By its very nature, the quality and tone of debate will be different than at the United Nations in New York. AMUN’s policies, topics, and rules of procedure are all designed to enhance the educational value of the simulation. Each person involved at AMUN, from representatives to faculty advisors to members of the Secretariat, has a role to play in ensuring a successful simulation. This chapter outlines the various roles and responsibilities of Conference participants.

AMUN Philosophy and the Realism of Simulations

One of the core principles of AMUN is to mirror the practice and dynamics of the United Nations as much as possible. To that end, AMUN strives to create and conduct simulations that are a realistic representation of diplomacy at the United Nations and the international system more broadly. We believe this commitment furthers AMUN’s aims to create a fair and fun experience for all representatives and that it enhances the educational mission of the organization.

For any issue before the United Nations, each Member State or Observer State will have a variety of responses available to it; however, a realistic simulation will consider only those options that would have reasonably been on the table for a State at a particular moment in time. In other words, there will always be options States do not consider or dismiss out of hand because they have limited capabilities or due to historical, cultural or political constraints; in a realistic simulation, these options are not appropriate.

In conjunction with our policy on delegations that are “Out of Character,” AMUN members of the Secretariat will work with representatives to ensure the highest-quality, most realistic simulation of the United Nations as possible while still allowing room for innovative and creative thinking to open up new possibilities for the United Nations and the international community.

The AMUN Secretariat

The AMUN Secretariat is made up of college students, graduate students and professionals from a variety of fields. All staff are highly experienced in Model UN-ing, both as representatives and staff members at previous AMUN simulations or other Model UN Conferences. Secretariat members will chair the committees, serve as Simulation Directors, Rapporteurs and Special Rapporteurs; direct the International Press Delegation and the International Court of Justice; and run the Home Government, Delegate Services Lab, Conference Services and Executive Offices. Secretariat Members will be able to answer any questions that representatives or faculty members have about AMUN or direct them to someone who will be able to answer their questions.
The Secretariat will also be available at after-hours functions. They will encourage all representatives to move all gatherings to designated areas and to not become disruptive. They will intervene with the hotel, when possible, in disputes between the representatives and the hotel. In the interest of an orderly conference, please follow all directions of Secretariat members.

Executive Office

The AMUN Executive Office includes the Executive Director and other senior members of the AMUN Secretariat. This is the primary point of contact for participating schools throughout the year. At the Conference, the Executive Office handles all financial and registration issues, makes changes to credentials as needed, is available at Faculty and Permanent Representative meetings and conducts the lottery for country assignments for the next year’s Conference.

Home Government

The AMUN Home Government Secretariat is available to help representatives provide an accurate roleplaying experience at Conference. See Chapter 2 for a detailed list of how Home Government can assist representatives during the course of the Conference.

Delegate Services

Delegate Services provides logistical support and document processing for the AMUN Conference. These services include the production of draft resolutions and other official documents for distribution in the simulations; the copying of any materials needed by representatives during the Conference (note that there is a small fee for this service); and the use of computers to type draft resolutions and other official documents during the Conference.
Delegate Services will produce documents in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. While we aim for a speedy turn-around in returning documents to committees, representatives should expect that resolution and document processing can take up to two hours at busy times, when all simulations are submitting documents. Your Dais Staff can provide more information on the busiest times for production.

Conference Services

Conference Services is the all-purpose information hub for representatives and faculty. Visit Conference Services, on the Ballroom level, to find helpful information about the Chicago area and all things related to the Conference.
The staff will answer your Conference-related questions and provide Conference handouts. Conferences Services is the place to purchase AMUN memorabilia to commemorate your AMUN experience. Conference Services also prints replacement credentials for representatives and faculty advisors. Those applying for AMUN staff can submit their applications at Conference Services.

Dais Staff

Members of the AMUN Secretariat assigned to all simulations except the International Court of Justice and the International Press Delegation are referred to as Dais Staff. The specific makeup of a Dais team will vary depending on the type of committee. Generally, resolution-writing bodies will have chairs or presidents who facilitate debate through the use of the AMUN rules of procedure and rapporteurs who assist the committee with the resolution process. Report-writing bodies that submit a report to a plenary body will have presidents to facilitate debate and special rapporteurs who will guide the body through the reporting process and who are experts on both content and the required structure for the reports. In the Historical Commission of Inquiry, which writes reports but does not formally submit it to a plenary body at AMUN, simulation directors will serve as the primary resource for information in the commission, assisting representatives with matters of both content and the reporting process. In the Security Council and Historical Security Councils, presidents and vice presidents will facilitate debate through the use of the AMUN rules of procedure and assist representatives with the processing of resolutions and presidential statements, and simulation directors will act as the primary source of information for the Councils, including acting as the Home Office for the Councils’ participants.

International Court of Justice Staff

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is run quite differently than other simulations. The Court is structured and directed by the Justices who participate in the simulation. The AMUN Secretariat assigned to the International Court of Justice is staffed by the Director and Registrars who guide the simulation by providing advice about the structure of the simulation and supplemental research to the Justices.

International Press Delegation Staff

The International Press Delegation (IPD) is staffed by a Director, Editors, and a Publisher who work to produce AMUN’s Conference newspaper, the AMUN Chronicle and keep participants informed about the functions of AMUN via social media and the AMUN guidebook app. Editors are responsible for assisting reporters in reviewing articles and for suggesting any corrections to spelling, grammar, or style for all articles in each issue. The Publisher is responsible for the physical layout of each issue of the Chronicle. The Director is responsible for making final corrections, passing articles to the Publisher for inclusion in the Chronicle, submitting the final version of the Chronicle to the Executive Committee and Executive Office for approval, and for providing the final Chronicle to Delegate Services for printing by the publication deadline.

Delegations

Delegations are, collectively, the group of people who represent a United Nations Member State or Observer State at the Conference. A school may field more than one delegation; delegations from the same school may share a faculty advisor and meet together after-hours, but their in-character actions during the simulation should be based on their countries’ respective policies. Delegations can range in size from five people to more than twenty.

The leeway allowed by roleplaying and simulation does not give delegations license to act “out of character.” Representatives should research and generally follow the policies of their State, modifying these as new circumstances dictate. Successful roleplaying involves walking a careful line on policy, avoiding the extremes of either reading verbatim a State’s past statements or creating an ad hoc policy with no previous basis.

The Representative

Well-prepared representatives are critical to the success of any Model UN conference. A delegation’s job is to research the positions of a United Nations Member State or Observer State, both on the specific topics that will be discussed at the conference and for a general overview of that country’s policies.

With adequate preparation, representatives should be ready to discuss the issues with their counterparts and to prepare draft documents that, based on the specifics of each simulation, codify solutions to problems. These draft documents may be submitted for debate at the Conference provided they meet the requirements for formatting and content as outlined in this handbook.

Finally, representatives attend the AMUN Conference to represent their State in discussing the various issues presented. When representatives enter the opening session of AMUN, they assume the role of Distinguished Representative from their country with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.

At AMUN, however, representatives will have only four days to assume the role of their State’s representative and simulate the actions of the United Nations. This consolidation of time leads to many different circumstances with which each delegation will have to contend. Among the considerations is the fact that representatives will rarely have the opportunity to give a pre‑written speech on a topic. Instead, they will often be forced to verbally react to circumstances as they arise, which may put them in a position where it is reasonable to reinterpret their country’s position in light of new facts. Representatives should not simply read from their country’s established record on the issues presented; they should be prepared to compromise with the other States represented and adapt their policies where needed to meet the current circumstances of the world as simulated at the Conference.

At the Conference, representatives (speaking on behalf of their governments) debate the issues on the agenda to seek solutions to the problems facing the world community by caucusing with representatives who are representing other States and by drafting and discussing resolutions, reports and statements. In the United Nations today, Member States and Observers often discuss an agenda item to reach a solution that can be agreed to by all, or at least by most, Member States. Draft documents can be amended, combined, accepted, adopted by consensus, or rejected, and occasionally, a body will engage is significant discussion and debate and still produce no final document on an issue.

Consensus-building is one of the most important goals for representatives in a Model United Nations simulation. At the United Nations, more than seventy‑five percent of the United Nations General Assembly’s resolutions are adopted by consensus. Adoption by consensus shows solidarity and strong support within the body for a decision or course of action. Passing resolutions by consensus is not possible on every issue, but this figure illustrates the importance of consensus-building in the international community. By aiming for universal agreement on written work, AMUN simulations strive to emulate this aspect of international diplomacy.

At the United Nations, representatives and their consular staffs spend months in preparation, caucusing behind closed doors and interacting with other delegations before an issue is brought to a vote. A United Nations representative, or Head of State, rarely makes a prepared speech that would be surprising to the other representatives present.

The Permanent Representative

Each delegation must appoint one person to act as the primary representative for that delegation who will assume the role of permanent representative when the delegation is on the floor for meetings. Schools with more than one delegation must appoint one permanent representative per delegation.

The permanent representative has a number of responsibilities including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Being responsible to the Secretariat for the delegation and its actions
  • Acting as the leader of the delegation for substantive matters
  • Coordinating the delegation across Committees and during the move from General Assembly Committees into the Combined General Assembly Plenary and the ECOSOC Committees and Commissions into the ECOSOC Plenary session
  • Coordinating and monitoring the delegation’s submission of draft documents
  • Representing the delegation at general meetings of Permanent Representatives called by the Conference
  • Acting as liaison to the Secretariat for any administrative matters at the Conference.

The permanent representative may sit in any committee at AMUN on which that delegation is seated in addition to the two regular representatives allowed in any body, The permanent representative may be assigned to a specific committee or may float throughout the various simulations at the Conference, helping where needed. The permanent representative may not be assigned to a Historical Security Council or the Historical Commission of Inquiry. If they are assigned to the Security Council (Contemporary) they must have a partner. If the permanent representative is not assigned to a specific committee, this person may be in the best position to represent the country if it is called as a party to the dispute in the Security Council or the Historical Security Councils or as a witness in the Historical Commission of Inquiry. Permanent representatives will be asked to provide their hotel room numbers, cellular phone numbers and primary committee assignment (if applicable) to the Secretariat during registration at Conference.

As the leader of the delegation, the permanent representative should be the focal point for coordinating the delegation’s efforts across the various simulations. This person should facilitate your delegation’s ability to maintain coherence in policy and statements across simulations.

Permanent representatives should maintain close contact with all committees to ensure that one representative is not acting inconsistently with their delegation. While the character of the delegation’s roleplaying should be thoroughly discussed in advance of the Conference, the permanent representative must ensure that individuals remain within that character at the Conference.

Permanent representatives should also review draft documents sponsored by the delegation. Each draft document should be considered carefully to ensure that it is within the State’s policies and is of sufficient content to not prove embarrassing to the country if submitted for consideration on the floor. The permanent representative may also lead the delegation in its preparations for the plenary sessions on Tuesday, again acting to ensure consistency and to note how the country wishes to vote on final proposals before the body.

Developing a Conference Strategy

As part of its preparation, each delegation should determine its strategy and goals for the Conference. All delegations should be involved in working toward solutions to the problems placed before the United Nations. This requires a great deal of negotiation and compromise, often at the expense of certain positions that may be of concern to an individual delegation. Each delegation’s representatives must therefore decide which items are of greatest importance to their country and set their strategies accordingly. Strategic areas to consider include the following:

  • What kind of role will your delegation play at the Conference (e.g., conciliatory, obstructive, aggressive, neutral or leading)?
  • Will your delegation seek informal leadership positions in each committee and in the Combined General Assembly Plenary?
  • How can your delegation achieve the goals and interests identified in your research and delegation strategy?
  • What other countries will your delegation attempt to work with? Note: these delegations may vary by committee or by topic.
  • Which countries may present adversarial positions to your delegation and how will your delegation respond?

Remember, passing resolutions and reports is not the only or even truest measure of success at the Conference. While each delegation is encouraged to propose solutions on the various issues and to secure passage of resolutions and reports that outline the solutions, representatives must stand ready to compromise to achieve any real solution to the problems being discussed.

The Faculty Advisor

If a school has a faculty advisor, AMUN suggests that their main role be in working with and preparing the school’s delegation(s) before the Conference. Faculty advisors can assist the delegation in both logistical and substantive  preparation for the Conference.

AMUN recognizes the important role faculty advisors have in a delegation’s preparation for and negotiating the logistics of attending the Conference. Faculty can act as a sounding board for their students during the Conference, but that advice and consult should generally be given outside of official session times. If consultation during sessions is required, it should take place outside of committee rooms. It is important to note that faculty are not delegates to the Conference. It is therefore inappropriate for faculty to participate in or interfere with the work of the body. Faculty will not engage in caucusing or resolution drafting and may not take a seat at the Member State’s placard. Faculty from one school should never engage representatives from another school in debate on issues relating to conference participation. Faculty are welcome to observe formal debate from the gallery seating provided at the back of committee rooms. Faculty should model the level of professionalism expected of all attendees of the conference.

Logistically, the faculty advisor may be the main contact with both the Conference and the school administration. This role could include working with finances and group organization, registering the school for the Conference, making hotel reservations, preparing travel arrangements and a host of other preparations. Alternatively, these roles could be delegated and assumed by the delegation leaders or club officers at a school.

In helping delegations prepare for the content issues they will face at the Conference, faculty advisors could either run a full-curriculum class or serve as a resource for a Model UN Club or other organization. They may use the well‑established, proven curriculum provided by the Model UN in a Box simulation guide, which contains resources to assist Model UN leaders in training delegations to participate at a Model United Nations conference. Also, the faculty advisor can coordinate and run preparatory sessions to better prepare students for the Conference.

Grading the Model UN Experience

AMUN strongly recommends that faculty advisors not grade students based on quantitative measures of performance at the Conference. This practice often leads to poor roleplaying as the students involved are working for their grade and not necessarily for the accurate portrayal of their country’s positions. Grading or evaluating students on quantitative measures such as these can also undermine collaboration and consensus-building that is at the core of the Model UN educational mission. Several areas where AMUN specifically discourages grading include the following:

  • Students getting “their” draft resolution or amendment to the floor or passed
  • Students speaking a certain number of times (stressing quantity over quality)
  • Students making a certain number or type of motions

If grading is necessary, AMUN suggests the following as possible areas for appraisal:

  • Pre‑Conference preparation, which may include papers or tests
  • Quality of position papers, either internal or those submitted to the Conference
  • Quality of resolutions drafted
  • Attendance at scheduled Conference simulations and being on time for session
  • Effectiveness of roleplaying based on direct observations
    • Clearly stating and basing all actions upon the delegation’s position
    • Effectively working with other delegations, both on the floor and in caucusing
    • Effectively working toward consensus, when appropriate
  • A post‑Conference reflection paper about the student’s learning and experience
  • A post-Conference paper analyzing the substantive discussion from the conference
  • Peer and self evaluation

The interactive nature of the Model UN experience provides incredible learning opportunities for students who attend and become immersed in that experience. AMUN requests that Faculty Advisors not dilute the students’ experiences by linking grades to quantitative performance at the Conference.

Additional simulation considerations

AMUN Home Government

Home Government is a resource center where representatives can obtain information to supplement their pre-Conference research. AMUN’s Home Government has specialized knowledge and training about the United Nations in general and the issues being discussed at AMUN in particular. They are expert researchers who excel at finding information about unexpected aspects of the topics. The Home Government staff will be available to give competent, general advice on many areas. They can also give country-specific advice if a representative is unsure of their State’s policy. While Home Government is happy to provide expertise on a representative’s country, it will not advise a representative how to vote on any issue.

Roleplayers in simulations

Representatives and members of the AMUN Secretariat may request roleplayers to represent a country, organization or entity that is not represented at AMUN. All requests for roleplayers should be directed to the Dais Staff. Roleplayers may be brought in to provide the following: a substantive report from the Secretariat; an export report from a relevant United Nations body; an informational source from a non-governmental organization; or the perspective of an unrepresented Member State, observer or other unrecognized group. Roleplayers may be used to clarify any points of confusion about the work or goals of a simulation or to provide additional technical information about the current status of United Nations efforts in a particular area. Based on the availability of the Home Government roleplayer and at the discretion of the dais staff, representatives may have the opportunity to raise points of inquiry to gain additional information about the subject.

Purview

Issues occasionally arise that are outside the scope of an AMUN simulation. In these cases, representatives should consult their Rapporteur or Special Rapporteur to determine whether the issue may be discussed at the Conference. Representatives in Security Councils or the Historical Commission of Inquiry should consult their Simulation Directors about such issues. All decisions of the Secretariat are final.

Delegations that Are “Out of Character”

Because students attending the Conference are not career diplomats representing their country and, in most cases, will not have lived in the country they are representing, questions do sometimes arise at Conference as to whether the actions of individuals are “out of character” in relation to their delegation’s policies in the real world. AMUN has several specific suggestions to address this issue.

First, and most importantly, being “in character” is the responsibility of each delegation and ultimately falls to the permanent representative or the faculty advisor. There is no possible substitute for extensive preparation on your country and the issues to be discussed before attending the Conference. AMUN operates under the expectation and assumption that the members of each delegation will enter the Conference prepared and more knowledgeable about their individual country and their country’s stance on the issues than any other representative present.

If you, or your delegation, believe that a representative has not done sufficient research and is misinformed or acting “out of character” on a particular issue, AMUN recommends several steps: First, please revisit, internally, the actions taken by the representative in question. Is the representative “out of character” given the particular resolution and situation on the floor? Have circumstances (either in the real world or at Conference) changed such that the representative could realistically modify their country’s stance on a particular issue? Are you certain that you know the actual stance of the country in question on the issue? Many cases of a representative appearing “out of character” are actually just misinterpretations of what was said or of a country’s previously stated policies.

If you still believe that a representative is “out of character,” AMUN asks that you talk to the representative about the issue before bringing the problem to the Secretariat. This can be easily done in a non-confrontational manner by stating something like, “I hadn’t realized that was your country’s position on the issue; where did you see that?”  -or-  “I thought I read something in [state your source] about your country having a different opinion on this issue; have you seen that information?” Directly confronting a representative to say, “You’re wrong on this,” will likely not succeed and could damage your diplomatic relations in the future.

The representative will likely respond in one of two ways to your question. The representative may respond with information to justify his or her position with a statement like, “I did the research and this is my country’s view on the issue,” or they may express interest in the new information you have provided. If this response answers your question, the issue is resolved. If a representative is interested in more information, please suggest that person visit the Home Government office or speak to a Simulation Director in Security Council and Historical Commission of Inquiry simulations. If the representative is non-responsive or chooses not to answer your question, you can bring the issue to the attention of the Dais Staff who may assist representatives in seeking further assistance from the Home Government Secretariat or Simulation Director.

AMUN Secretariat members have different roles within the simulations, and Chairs, Rapporteurs and Special Rapporteurs are specifically instructed to not investigate or determine whether representatives are acting in or out of character. Chairs are specifically trained on the Rules of Procedure. Rapporteurs and Special Rapporteurs are trained to assist with issues related to the drafting of resolutions and reports and ensuring that documents fall within the purview of a specific simulation. Chairs, Rapporteurs or Special Rapporteurs may arbitrate disagreements but will never render an opinion regarding an “out of character” situation. The Home Government Secretariat and Simulation Directors are trained to assist representatives in refining and managing the consistent and accurate representation of their country. If delegations or individuals are finding it difficult to remain in character, AMUN’s goal is to provide them with the information needed to correctly represent their country on a given issue. AMUN will work with the delegation’s permanent representative and committee representatives to resolve the situation.

Because all participants at AMUN are learning about the United Nations as they participate, these situations may occur. AMUN expects that all delegations will take the time necessary to prepare and correctly portray their countries on each issue under consideration. AMUN also asks that representatives not jump to conclusions about other delegations’ roleplaying without having a detailed background on the other countries’ positions on the issues. Finally, AMUN asks that representatives on all sides handle potential “out of character” situations with the utmost diplomatic courtesy for all parties involved. The AMUN Secretariat will be the final arbiter of any “out of character” disputes that arise at the Conference.

AMUN Rules of Procedure

While substantive discussions of the issues form the basis of any good simulation of the United Nations, the rules of procedure are essential to facilitating the substantive debate which occurs. In general, these rules are intended to provide an even playing field, allowing each country to accomplish its individual goals in advocating their policies, while also maximizing opportunities for the group to reach agreement, or even consensus, on the issues. Several levels of preparation are possible on the rules. For new Model UN participants, AMUN recommends that each person have a working knowledge of the principal motions that can be made during the simulation, encapsulated on the Rules Short Forms. The Dais Staff of each committee will assist representatives in using these rules and assist in bringing everyone onto an even playing field. For experienced representatives, especially those who have not attended AMUN in the past, we suggest reading AMUN’s rules in‑depth, both as a refresher on these rules of procedure and to note differences from other conferences a school might attend. Most Model UN conferences use slightly different rules of procedure, and in some cases, the contrasts are significant. In order to best facilitate everyone’s experience, it is incumbent upon every participant to learn and use the rules established for this Conference. All representatives are encouraged to attend the appropriate Rules and Roleplaying session on Saturday afternoon before Opening Plenary. These are led by senior AMUN Secretariat members and are designed to give representatives an overview of AMUN’s rules and procedures.

 

The International Press Delegation

Tthe International Press Delegation (IPD) is a unique simulation offered by very few Model UN programs that allows students to fill the role of reporters as they work to produce AMUN’s Conference newspaper, the AMUN Chronicle, and keep participants informed about the functions of the United Nations.

While at AMUN, the “International Press Delegation” is reflective of the work hundreds of reporters from news agencies around the world. Even though IPD does not exist at the United Nations in New York, there are reporters, who cover the work of the United Nations, publishing essays, opinion pieces, articles and videos on the debates and activities of the United Nations, which reach people around the world. By doing so, the members of the International Press Corps assist the United Nations in fulfilling one of its fundamental objectives: the dissemination of information about the United Nations and world events to all people.

Recognizing the critical role the press plays at the United Nations, AMUN’s IPD simulation has three major goals:

  • To expand the education experience for students with an interest or background in strategic communications and journalism by simulating the public affairs environment at the United Nations.
  • To keep all AMUN participants informed about newsworthy events from each simulation with social media and a high-quality newspaper (the AMUN Chronicle) each day of Conference.
  • To provide representatives the opportunity to present their country’s positions through press releases and press conferences and to gain familiarity with the challenges of strategic communications.

 

AMUN Secretariat Members will serve in the following roles:

  • The Under-Secretary-General for the International Press Delegation (USG-IPD), who is responsible for overseeing all IPD activities and for the content of the published AMUN Chronicle.
  • The Publisher, who is responsible for taking the articles and laying them out into the template for the AMUN Chronicle.
  • Editors who are responsible for helping reporters plan each issue of the AMUN Chronicle and write their articles, lead press conferences, assist representatives with submitting press releases and press conference requests, and manage IPD’s social media networks.

 

What do IPD Reporters do?

Participants will be issued specific press credentials that will identify them as IPD reporters to the AMUN Secretariat and representatives. Each IPD reporter will be assigned to at least one beat, which is a specific simulation (e.g., Security Council, ICJ, General Assembly Third Committee) that they will have primary responsibility for reporting on throughout the Conference. Reporters are assigned to beats to ensure consistent and thorough reporting of how each committee functions. All IPD reporters will submit content covering their assigned beats for each issue of the AMUN Chronicle.

Reporter content will include a short ticker story for their beat and, depending on the newsworthy events in a simulation, reporters may also submit a committee feature (100-125 words) or a general feature (200 words). Reporters will create their own content, review their peer’s content and assist with the production and distribution of the paper as needed. Additionally, reporters will be asked to schedule tweets via the @AmunIPD Twitter handle and be assigned to cover press conferences and other Conference events, such as interviews with guest speakers.

Ticker stories will offer brief coverage of high-level events in a simulation. Each simulation should have a ticker story in every edition of the AMUN Chronicle. Tickers should be no more than 50 words and must be tightly constructed and edited to briefly convey the main point. A ticker story for General Assembly Second Committee might read as follows:

Although GA 2nd continues debate concerning revised guidelines for alleviating sovereign debt crises, several representatives from Latin America seek more impactful regulation to mitigate capital flows to violent extremists.

General features will cover the primary, newsworthy events that occurred on a reporter’s beat. When drafting features, reporters should investigate the motivations for and representatives involved in the notable event. By conducting thorough interviews and seeking accurate primary and secondary sources, features can clarify the various activities of the United Nations. Reporters are advised to build in-depth relationships with representatives on their beat. Reporters should strive to feature two to three quotations from different representatives. To assist in planning and drafting articles, fellow reporters and editors will provide feedback on reporters’ content.

The content of each edition of the AMUN Chronicle is set in a budget meeting that reporters attend in their assigned work space. At each budget meeting, in consultation with IPD Secretariat staff, reporters assess the type and length of article(s) they will draft for the next edition of the AMUN Chronicle. Reporters’ content will be published to all participants at Conference; therefore accurate reporting is critical to ensure unbiased information is disseminated.

Publishing the AMUN Chronicle

Reporters are allotted at least two and half hours to draft, edit and submit content for each edition of the AMUN Chronicle. An example of how time is allocated is provided below. This example timeline is based on the production schedule for the Sunday evening Chronicle, usually the third issue of the Conference.

  • 5:30 p.m. Reporters will submit a word-processed, preliminary copy of content (including tickers, features and tweets as needed) for the third issue.
  • 5:30–8:00 p.m. Reporters receive edits from peers and editors, investigate his or her beat in anticipation of their articles for the fourth issue, and revise content.
  • 8:00 p.m. Reporters submit final copy of content and attend the budget meeting to discuss their assignment with AMUN Secretariat for the fourth issue, share ideas for feature articles and review notable events on their beats.
  • 8:00–9:00 p.m. IPD Secretariat will commence final review of content and Publisher will lay out copy of the AMUN Chronicle for duplication by Delegate Services.
  • 9:45 p.m. Once duplication has been completed, IPD personnel and any other available Secretariat members will collate and distribute the Chronicle.

Joining the International Press Delegation

Any interested student can join the IPD. However, IPD reporters cannot also be members of their school’s delegation(s). In other words, participation in the IPD as a reporter is a mutually exclusive, duration-of-the-Conference assignment. Up to two students from any school may become IPD reporters. Students from schools that are not sending a delegation to AMUN are also welcome to apply to participate in the IPD. Students not attending with a school delegation must pay only the AMUN delegate fee.

Due to the resource-intensive and specialized nature of this simulation, AMUN will accept up to 14 IPD reporters positions will go to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.  The application is available on the AMUN website; please contact the AMUN Executive Office (mail@amun.org) for more information. For the best chance of being accepted as a reporter, apply by mid-October.

IPD will also accept qualified applications to fill one position as a photojournalist. This position will be evaluated based on the applicant’s background and experience in photography. Applicants may apply for a reporter position as well as the photojournalist position.

Pre-Conference Preparation

To prepare for conference, reporters will be provided with an IPD Procedures and Style Guide. The guide will include sample interview questions, sample tweets, committee hashtags and guidelines for journalistic writing (e.g. “the 5 W’s & H,” the Inverted Pyramid, beat reporting and tips on brevity). In advance of conference, reporters will submit a draft article in accordance with the IPD Procedures and Style Guide. The due date and subject of the articles will be provided in released in the IPD welcome letter that reporters will receive between late-October and early-November. At conference, AMUN Secretariat will provide feedback and training before publishing the revised copies in the AMUN Chronicle.

Connect with IPD at Conference

All AMUN representatives and delegations are encouraged to explore the news-coverage possibilities offered by the IPD. In particular, representatives should get to know the reporter(s) covering their simulations, make themselves available for interviews and provide background information when it is requested or when it is in their country’s interest to seek press coverage. Also, representatives and delegations are strongly encouraged to call press conferences and to submit press releases, personal ads and letters to the editor.

Press conferences allow representatives a chance to give an oral statement and to answer questions from reporters and other conference participants. Representatives request press conferences using the IPD Request Form. They are asked to provide three specific pieces of information: (1) the requested time for the press conference, (2) the first and last names and countries of the participating representatives and (3) the topic(s) that will be discussed. Representatives have a maximum of 20 minutes to complete the press conference, including the question-and-answer session. Time slots are made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Press Releases are official statements from a representative’s country that explain a country’s stance on one of the topics under debate at AMUN. Press releases are a maximum of 150 words and are included in every edition of the AMUN Chronicle, contingent upon available space. Press releases must be typed and submitted in the IPD Office. Press releases are edited by IPD Secretariat members for content and clarity.

Personal Ads are informal messages that can be submitted by any individual attending the AMUN Conference. Personal ads must be no longer than 30 words and are included in the AMUN Chronicle contingent upon available space. Personal ads must be submitted in writing (forms are available at the documents table in each simulation) or emailed to personals@amun.org after the Opening Plenary Session has ended.

Letters to the Editor may be submitted by any attendee and can be on any topic germane to the Conference. Letters to the editor are limited to 250 words. Letters to the editor must be must be typed and submitted in the IPD Office.

Social Media offers an opportunity to concisely communicate a country’s position in a more interactive manner. All IPD reporters will have the ability to tweet newsworthy updates via the AMUN official Twitter account. Each committee will have a designated hashtag, so all representatives can participate in the online conversation by commenting on AMUN’s official Twitter account or responding to posts in the Guidebook App newsfeed. Follow AMUN IPD on Twitter at @AmunIPD.

The decision to include material submitted to the IPD office in the AMUN Chronicle is left to the discretion of the USG-IPD and the AMUN Executive Committee. AMUN Secretariat will screen and edit all content submitted to the IPD for clarity and adherence to rules for diplomatic courtesy.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), sometimes referred to as the World Court, is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It sits in The Hague, Netherlands and is composed of fifteen independent Justices from around the world. The ICJ is the only court in the world with general and near-universal jurisdiction; countries may bring cases before the Court even without becoming United Nations Member States, as long as both countries have consented to be subject to the Court’s jurisdiction. It may entertain any question of international law, subject to the provisions of its founding statutes.

The Court’s role is to examine international law and to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states. It also dispenses advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies. Since 1946, the Court has heard more than 160 cases, including more than 25 advisory proceedings. ICJ opinions, unlike most national legal systems, do not create binding legal requirements on other United Nations Member States, and cases are generally treated independently of one another.

The Justices are nominated by regional groups and elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. Justices must receive a majority vote in each body to be named to the Court, and one third of the Court is elected every three years. When a state is party to a case before the ICJ, it enjoys the right to appoint an ad hoc justice. The ad hoc Justice does not need to be from that State. The ad hoc Justice enjoys the same privileges and responsibilities as the other Justices, but his or her obligation is limited to proceedings in that case.

Unlike most other international organizations, the members of the Court are not representatives of governments; they are independent judges whose first duty is to exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously in the Court.  

Proceedings before the Court can last for years, involving complex issues of international law as well as difficult political questions. The States party to the case submit pleadings, or memorials, in writing along with extensive records supporting their cases. The States also participate in oral arguments, which allow States to explore the case and respond to questions from the Justices. The Justices deliberate in private, then read the judgment in an open forum.

Common Types of Cases

The Court hears two types of cases, all involving nations rather than individuals. First, there are contentious cases between two States where there is a legal dispute and the States parties are bound to the Court’s decision. States may institute proceedings by mutual agreement or by unilateral application against a respondent State. This is different from the International Criminal Court, which hears cases against individuals for crimes such as genocide.

Many of the Court’s cases—historical and contemporary—are border or territorial disputes, where two States agree to let the ICJ decide where the border should be. Other cases are highly charged and quite political in nature—it is rare that the interpretation and application of the law operates entirely outside of the realm of political discourse, and in the international arena, this is especially true.

Second, the Court can issue advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by other agencies, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. This opportunity is open to the five major organs of the United Nations and 16 other specialized agencies. Unlike the rulings in contentious cases, advisory opinions are not binding on the parties that request the opinion; the organization is under no legal obligation to follow the Court’s recommendation. The Court requests written and oral proceedings for the case, although these processes may be truncated when compared to the process used for contentious cases.

Structure of the AMUN ICJ

In keeping with AMUN’s philosophy of simulating United Nations bodies as closely as possible, the AMUN ICJ closely resembles the ICJ in the Hague. The ICJ at AMUN is composed of student Justices who hear oral arguments, deliberate on the cases before them and collaboratively develop opinions of the Court. Students also participate as Advocates, presenting their case first in a written memorial and then in oral arguments, where they present their case in person and respond to questions from the Justices.

AMUN Secretariat members assist the Justices with any additional legal research the body may require and help facilitate the work of the Court through each of the three cases. Secretariat responsibilities also include researching cases for inclusion on the Court’s docket, reviewing memorials submitted to the Court, assisting in the preparation of the Court’s docket and providing any other assistance needed by ICJ Justices and Advocates.

The cases preselected by the AMUN Secretariat form the Court’s docket. This year the Court is deliberating three cases:

  • Advisory Opinion: Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence In Respect of Kosovo (Islamic Republic of Iran, Ireland, Kosovo, Serbia)
  • Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination – Georgia v Russia
  • Fisheries Jurisdiction – Spain v Canada

Additionally, the General Assembly or the Security Council may submit a request to the Court for an Advisory Opinion on a topic of international law. The Secretary-General, with the advice of the Director of the ICJ, will decide whether to include additional cases on the Court’s docket. The Court is in session to hear arguments and develop opinions throughout the Conference.

The Justices should expect to spend the first day setting the docket, electing officers, determining the final procedures of the Court and reviewing the substantive issues in each case before the Court. The rest of Conference will be spent hearing cases, deliberating and rendering opinions on those cases.

Although the Secretariat strives to give the Justices as much freedom as possible in setting the docket, some restraints do exist in the interest of promoting a fair and equal experience for the advocates as well as the Justices. All advocates will receive an equal amount of time in the docket to present their arguments and respond to questioning. Although advocates will not know the order of the cases and arguments prior to the first evening of the simulation, the Secretariat, in conjunction with the Justices, will strive to communicate the order as soon as it is set to the advocates.  The docket is also published in the AMUN Chronicle. After the docket is set, the Court elects a President and Vice President by secret ballot. Their duties are to moderate and time the oral arguments and facilitate the closed deliberations.

Joining the International Court of Justice

Permanent Justices

Justice positions are assigned by application on a first-come, first-served basis until the fifteen seats on the Court are filled. Note that no school will be allowed more than one Justice on the Court unless additional seats are open just prior to the Conference. It is not a requirement for Justices to be a member of a delegation. Permanent Justices are full time Conference assignments, and representatives serving as Justices shall not be assigned to another simulation.

Ad Hoc Justice Application and Role at Conference

States involved in a case before the Court are strongly encouraged to place a Justice on the Court. States wishing to do this may do so in two ways: (1) they may apply to be a permanent Justice (see above); or (2) they may appoint an ad hoc Justice. Ad hoc Justices sit on the Court only for the case in which their country is involved and must be assigned to another simulation. If States wish to appoint an ad hoc justice they must contact the Secretary-General and the Director of the International Court of Justice by 1 October by e-mailing icj@amun.org. Ad hoc Justices should, whenever possible, be paired with another representative in committee, so the State is fully represented in the committee while the ad hoc Justice participates in the Court’s proceedings.

Advocates

Advocate positions are not full-time Conference assignments. ICJ Advocates are assigned as members of the delegations who have cases before the court. Generally, Advocates should expect to spend two to three hours presenting their case and hearing the Court’s opinion during the Conference. Advocates must also serve as representatives in another AMUN simulation or as a delegation’s permanent representative. ICJ Advocate teams are limited to two people. ICJ Advocates should, whenever possible, be paired with another representative in committee, so the State is fully represented in the committee while the Advocate participates in the Court’s proceedings.

Preparation

Preparing as a Justice

As with any position at AMUN, reading the Issues at AMUN handbook is the required starting point for preperation. Justices should familiarize themselves with the factual and legal disputes at hand, as well as the international treaties involved. Another helpful resource is previous ICJ opinions that are similar. While reading opinions, note the tone and style used by the Justices. Pay special attention to the way the Court addresses questions of jurisdiction; often this is the crux of the winning argument for the Court. Memorials written by the Advocates are available on the AMUN website in November. Reviewing these resources is key to a successful experience.

Each Justice, while independent, will still have a roleplaying function. ICJ Justices retain their citizenship with the state their school represents at the Conference. Justices not affiliated with a delegation will be assigned citizenship with a state; while ICJ Justices are supposed to be independent advocates for the law, they often come to the Court with inherent biases based on their home country’s history, culture, religion and laws. Similar to the ICJ in The Hague, a Justice’s citizenship is important as it can sometimes cause a Justice to favor or side with the position advocated by their country of origin when that State comes before the Court.

All Justices will be expected to hear arguments and question the Advocates in all cases on the docket. Any Justice not present during the Court’s Oral Arguments may not participate in the subsequent deliberations and opinion writing for that case. After each case is argued, the Justices retire to deliberate and to draft the opinion of the Court. Justices discuss the case in depth, pulling from their research prior to the Conference, the Advocates’ memorials and the points raised during oral argument. If the Justices require any additional information, they are welcome to request that from the Registrars. Justices collaborate to write a majority opinion and as many concurring and dissenting opinions as the body requires. Justices use their persuasive writing and speaking skills to sway additional Justices to their position throughout the drafting process.

Preparing as an Advocate

Advocates’ opportunity to present their case is twofold: written memorials and oral arguments. Advocates must thoroughly understand the legal principles that support, and those that oppose, their position, and be able to articulate them in the face of strict scrutiny from the Justices. The research and creation of an Advocate’s Memorial is one of the most important parts of preparation for an Advocate’s at-Conference role. Time spent thoroughly researching your State’s positions and arguments provides Advocates with the vital information necessary to respond to questions at Conference and helps them effectively craft a memorial to present their arguments to the court before the Conference.

Prior to oral arguments, Advocates have the opportunity to consult with an ICJ Secretariat member about their oral argument. To take advantage of the opportunity, Advocates should attend the Advocate meeting on the first evening of Conference, where the Registrars will share information about the simulation time and give Advocates the opportunity to set up a practice session.

Written Memorials

ICJ memorials should contain:

  • Jurisdictional statement and arguments (outlining whether your country recognizes the Court’s jurisdiction in this case)
  • Statement of facts (what are the relevant facts in the case?)
  • Statement of law (what treaties, customs or laws apply?)
  • Argument section (detailing how the law and facts apply to the merits of the case – how do the laws and facts support your case?)
  • Summary and prayer for relief (what do you want the Court to do?)

The Court does not require these sections to be in any particular order, although they are typically laid out in the order shown. As you draft your memorial, think carefully about how best to use these sections to your advantage to advocate your position.

The plaintiff, or party bringing the case, is called the Applicant. The defendant is called the Respondent. Due to time constraints, both the Applicant and Respondent in any AMUN ICJ case must prepare their memorials without seeing the memorial of their opponent. However, each side should anticipate and seek to counter the arguments opposing Advocates might make. All memorials must be submitted by 25 October to the AMUN Secretariat at icj@amun.org.

Oral Arguments

Oral arguments provide Advocates with an opportunity to explain to the Justices the factual and legal merits of their case. In each case, the Applicant will argue first. The Respondent will then have the same amount of time to reply. Finally, the Applicant will have the opportunity to present a brief rebuttal. Advocates presenting amicus curiae arguments will then be accorded no more than five minutes each to speak. The Justices will create the docket and define the amount of time for oral arguments. Advocates, with the exception of amicus curiae, should prepare between 10 to 20 minutes for arguments. The oral argument is not simply an opportunity to give a prepared speech; Justices often interject with multiple questions throughout the presentation. At least the first five minutes of each Advocate’s presentation will be uninterrupted, to allow each side the opportunity to freely present the key issues of their arguments. After the initial five minutes, the Advocates may continue with their presentations, but the Justices may also interject and question the Advocates on the merits of their case. Therefore, Advocates must be prepared to both answer questions and defend their positions. The following steps should be taken to prepare for oral arguments:

  1. Identify the critical issues in the case. You should try to have at least three main points to your argument.
  2. Develop a theme which incorporates your best arguments on the critical issues. Keep it simple. Remember, the best arguments are structured around a story that has a unified theme, which explains why your country has been wronged, and what the Court can do to provide a fair and just solution.
  3. Prepare an outline. The outline should include your theme, your best arguments on the critical issues, your responses to your opponent’s best arguments and ideas about answers to any other questions you think the Justices might ask. Try to make your memorial and oral argument outline consistent, so the first issue addressed in the memorial is the first issue addressed in the oral argument.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! There is no substitute for practicing oral arguments: your presentation is likely to be smoother and more persuasive. Have your Faculty Advisor or other students fire questions at you. Learn to field those questions and then transition back to the point you were making prior to the question.
  5. Learn proper courtroom demeanor. Remember to be polite and deferential to the Justices at all times. While argument is the method, persuasion is the goal.

Though each Advocate will have more than five minutes to present oral arguments, keep in mind that only the first five minutes of the presentations will be uninterrupted. Focus on the main points and key issues during the first five minutes. AMUN suggests that you follow a pyramid format; present the crux of the argument first and then use the remainder of the allotted time to expand on those issues in a more thorough and complete manner. This format can also allow for a quick means of referencing issues during the remaining period of presentation and questions. It is also wise to conclude the presentation by again summing up the key points.

Try to anticipate questions the Justices might ask and develop answers. Do not write out answers verbatim. Do, however, write out catch phrases or legal terms you will want to remember precisely. Simple, concise answers that repeatedly stress the same points are persuasive and will be remembered by the Justices. Oral arguments will involve extemporaneous speaking and responses, not the presentation of a memorized speech.

Outline the specific names of conventions, treaties and cases in your memorial and your outline. Your oral argument requires these citations to maintain your credibility with the Justices, and articulate the reasons your side of the case is stronger.

Note: Remember that the AMUN ICJ is a simulation. No one expects participants, who are not lawyers or Justices, to make presentations, decisions or render opinions with the same level of sophistication as actual ICJ Justices or Advocates. The participants’ job is to gain a basic understanding of what considerations are taken into account when presenting or presiding over a case and to prepare to argue their cases before the Court.

 

Historical Commission of Inquiry

Commissions of Inquiry conduct in-depth investigations into conflicts and disputes. The United Nations Security Council establishes each Commission of Inquiry individually via a resolution. Commissions of inquiry are tasked with providing reports that clarify the issues involved in the dispute and, if necessary, identify which party or parties involved in the dispute bear responsibility for particular facets of the issue (e.g., the breaking of a ceasefire or violation of a border). Often, Commissions are also tasked with providing “good offices” to the parties in dispute by acting as a mediator in negotiations.

Each Commission is unique and created to address a specific conflict or dispute. While Commissions’ reports and recommendations are not binding, they often form the basis for actions by the United Nations Security Council and the parties involved in the dispute.

The Historical Commission of Inquiry(COI) simulates two Commissions in a given year. The same group of representatives will form both of the separate Commissions, although this would be unlikely in practice at the United Nations in New York. The Historical Commission of Inquiry will operate primarily as an investigative body, with a mandate from the Security Council to provide clarity on the nature, causes and events within the disputes it has been asked to investigate; keep the Security Council apprised of new developments; and provide the Security Council with recommendations for a path toward a peaceful and final resolution of the dispute. If the Commission see fit and the parties to the dispute agree, the Commission may act as a mediator to help peaceably resolve the conflict.

Historical Commission of Inquiry Membership

The Historical Commission of Inquiry is limited to 10 participants. These positions are for the duration of the Conference, and representatives serving as experts shall not be assigned to other simulations. Only one student per school may be seated on the Commission.

The delegations eligible to appoint an expert to the Commission are additionally limited by several elements specific to the inquiries before the Commission in a given year. Additional background about this year’s simulation is available in the Issues at AMUN handbook.

The Commission is a historical simulation. Only States that were Members of the United Nations at the time of the simulated year may apply for a position on the Commission. Successor States will be identified for historical Member States that are no longer recognized as United Nations Members. This limitation is to preserve the integrity of the simulation and to encourage realistic historical research and simulation dynamics.

Several seats are determined by the States involved in the inquiries before the Commission. Each party to the dispute of each inquiry has the opportunity to nominate a Commission representative from another Member State. Because these positions are essential to the simulation and are also limited, a Commission seat designated for the nominated Member States will be assigned as part of the Delegation Lottery in the preceding year. For more information about the unique role of the nominated experts, please see the “Duties of Commissioners” section later in this chapter.

The remaining positions are assigned by application on a first-come, first-served basis until the 10 seats on the Commission are filled.

Some States may not seat an expert on the Commission. In addition to those who were not Member States of the United Nations in the simulation year, any State involved in the conflicts being discussed by the Commission may not seat a representative. However, these delegations should anticipate having to represent their interests as Parties to the Dispute should the Commission wish to speak with them and should prepare accordingly. Finally, the Permanent Five or P5 (China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States) may not appoint an expert to the Commission. This limitation is to provide expanded opportunities for non-P5 countries to participate in a premier simulation and to limit the size of the delegation required to represent a P5 State.

Structure of AMUN’s Commission of Inquiry

As a historical simulation, many facts are known now that were not available at the time to anyone outside of the immediate dispute. To maintain the historical accuracy of the simulation, we strive to use only the material which would have reasonably been known to participants at the time. A start date, as well as a general overview of the dispute to that point, is provided for each inquiry in the Issues at AMUN handbook. Events, up to the start date, are static, though events may not be widely known or their import understood by all parties as of the start date. After the start date, all historical events may be preempted by the actions of the Commission and the responses thereto. This element of change and contingency separates the Commission’s work from a simple historical research project.

COIs are fact-finding instruments of the Security Council, established to deliver timely analysis of highly volatile situations. How the Commission chooses to conduct itself, the conclusions it draws and what it chooses to report back to the Security Council all will have a direct impact on current events and subsequent lines of inquiry. Immediate and direct reactions will be observable throughout the work of the body, from particulars like the amenability of a witness, to more sweeping changes such as the Security Council expanding or curtailing the Commission’s mandate.

At AMUN, members of the Secretariat called Simulation Staff are responsible for moderating how the world responds to the Commission’s actions, tracking the simulation, guiding the report-writing process and keeping the simulation as realistic as possible. Simulation Staff will play many roles throughout the simulation. They function as the Security Council receiving the COI’s reports and requesting more information from the Commission; they act as each expert’s home office, providing, upon request, supplemental research and general information to representatives; they are the clearinghouse for Commissioners to call parties to the dispute and witnesses before the COI; and they are general Secretariat members who can speak to the simulation and AMUN in general.

Commissions of Inquiry at AMUN simulate two historical inquiries established by the Security Council, which are addressed sequentially during Conference by the COI’s Commissioners. The Simulation Staff sets the order in which the inquiries are to be addressed; this order will be the order the topics are covered in the Issues at AMUN handbook. At AMUN, the members of the COI remain the same for both inquiries.

Throughout each inquiry, the Commission can make periodic reports back to the Security Council, and the Security Council may ask for additional information or focus on particular elements of the dispute. The Commission will also be able to take testimony of representatives of the parties to the dispute, as well as take testimony from additional witnesses such as inhabitants of the region, nongovernmental organizations on the ground, and other United Nations bodies and States. For each inquiry, the Commission will elect a President and Vice President to help conduct its business. Each inquiry will conclude with a final, written report of the Commission’s findings to the Security Council.

The final Commission session (Tuesday afternoon) will be a debrief by the Simulation Staff. This is a unique opportunity for Simulation Staff and Commissioners to discuss how and why the simulation differed from historical events, the behind-the-scenes consequences of the Commission’s actions which may have been only indirectly visible to the COI as a whole, and the historical diplomatic themes of the inquiries and how those themes wound through the simulation.

Duties of the Commissioners At Conference

The first task of the Commission will be to elect a President and Vice President of each inquiry from among its members. The President and Vice President will help facilitate discussion, coordinate oral and written reporting requirements and moderate the Commission’s experts taking testimony for the duration of the inquiry. Elections are by secret written ballot at the beginning of each inquiry. Commissioners may self-nominate for these positions, and the Commission will be encouraged to discuss the decision before balloting takes place. Commissioners’ pre-conference Preparatory Statements (see below) outline thoughts on the initial direction of the inquiry and may be especially useful in this discussion.

By its mandate, the Commission is authorized to take its decisions by majority vote and otherwise determine its own procedures. General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and Security Council rules of procedure do not apply to Commissions. The Commission will need to informally adopt procedures that it feels best facilitate its work. That said, Rule 2.2, Diplomatic Courtesy, applies at all times at AMUN.

The Commission will gather information primarily by taking testimony from the parties to the dispute and other witnesses. The Commission, through its own processes, will decide who to call to give testimony. However, there will be time between the formal request of testimony and the arrival of the party to the dispute or witness. Commissioners will need to consider the criticality and urgency of testimony against the volatile dispute it is investigating as they decide which parties to the dispute or witnesses they call and in what order.

Before the final report of an inquiry is submitted, the Commission will make interim reports to the Security Council. Interim reports provide more frequent updates on the status of the Commission’s work and can be especially useful diplomatic tools to open previously closed lines of inquiry or to ensure access and talks continue unimpeded. The Security Council may also request interim reports on specific elements of the dispute or in response to prior interim reports or events. These less formal reports are drafted as short letters to the Secretary-General and adopted by majority vote.

Throughout each inquiry, the Commission will compile a report on the dispute. While taking testimony, and throughout the evolving dispute, the report will be a living document. The Commission will need to establish the processes and responsibilities of its members for recording testimony and general note-taking. Commissioners are given wide latitude on the format of the report; however, to be accepted by the Secretariat each report must contain the following elements:

  • An overview of the work and actions of the Commission.
  • Analysis of the dispute, including a judgment of fault or an explanation of its absence.
  • Recommendations to the Security Council to move forward.

The inquiry will conclude upon the formal adoption by majority vote of the final report.

Preparing for the Historical Commission of Inquiry at AMUN

Commissioners will need to read the COI section in the Issues at AMUN handbook and further research the background of each of the disputes. This research should focus on acquiring a working knowledge of the historical context of the Commissions that will be simulated by the Commission  at Conference.

The Commission is a historical simulation, similar in some respects to the Historical Security Council simulations. History will be as written until the moment the Commission convenes at the beginning of Conference, but from that moment forward the events that transpire will be affected by the decisions and actions of the Commission, as well as those of the Simulation Staff. Critically for the Commission, many of the facts which we know today about the disputes may not have been known or were understood differently at the time of the Commission’s operations. Representatives should endeavor to find timely materials in order to learn not just about the events themselves but also about the worldview of that time. First and foremost, Commissioners will need to understand what facts were known or not known by the Commission at the time of its actual proceedings, not just the facts of the dispute as they are understood now.

While Commissioners are intended to render to the Security Council objective reporting and are expected to act as unbiased observers and mediators, they often come to the Commission with inherent biases based on their home country’s history, culture, religion and laws. Specifically, experts should understand whether their State historically preferred a particular outcome over another. Representatives from certain States, particularly those chosen by a Party to the Dispute to serve on the Commission, may be expected by their State or other actors to advocate certain courses of action or lines of inquiry. Clear understanding of these expectations as they were known and understood historically is critical for effective roleplayers. Regardless of State motives or expectations, experts should keep in mind that they are independent actors and not officials representing their respective States. As such, they are free to take positions which are merited by their own understanding of the inquiry.

Preparatory Statements

Commissioners will need to submit Preparatory Statements prior to Conference. These Statements will differ substantially from a conventional Position Paper and from a Memorial prepared for the International Court of Justice.

The purpose of the Commission is to act in an investigative and mediating role in a dispute rather than in a legislative capacity (such as in the General Assembly) or as an operational body (such as in the Security Council). The role of the Commission is more aligned with other report-writing bodies, such as the regional or functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council. Thus, Preparatory Statements should be seen as an opportunity to develop lines of inquiry and identify areas of interest to the Commission as a whole prior to Conference, rather than as declarations of intent or policy preference.

Preparatory Statements are a vital element of preparation for Conference. The potential witnesses, areas of interest and key questions identified by Commissioners in their Preparatory Statements will play a critical role in shaping the direction, and ultimately the success, of the Commission of Inquiry. The quality of Preparatory Statements will likely be taken into account by the Commission when deciding who to choose as the President and Vice President. These statements must be submitted by 25 October. Preparatory Statements will be considered when determining Position Paper awards: any delegation seating an expert on the Commission must submit a Preparatory Statement for each inquiry in order for the delegation to receive a Position Paper Award.

When preparing Preparatory Statements, consider the following questions:

  • What are the major unanswered questions in the dispute? How would the answers to these questions affect the resolution of the dispute?
  • Are there any major obstacles to the Commission fulfilling its mandate? Are there any steps the Commission can take or recommend to the Security Council to address those obstacles?
  • What witnesses, experts or representatives could be called to address the Commission and answer questions to best assist the Commission in fulfilling its mandate? What information can those persons provide to best assist the Commission in fulfilling its mandate?

Introduction to United Nations Documents

Resolutions are the primary tools for action at the United Nations. Debate at the United Nations focuses on solving, at least in part, the many problems facing the global community. After months of debate and behind-the-scenes discussion on a topic, Member States try to come to an agreement about how to proceed on an issue. This agreement is then codified in the form of a draft resolution. The text of a draft resolution is usually developed and agreed upon well in advance of its being brought to the floor, with many States making suggestions and changes behind the scenes. When a draft resolution is brought to the floor, it may be formally discussed, amended, rejected or adopted as circumstances dictate. It is very rare for a United Nations resolution to be rejected after being brought up for consideration; most Member States prefer to bring a draft resolution to the floor only if they are sure it will be adopted. In fact, sponsoring Member States will often wait to bring a resolution to the floor until they are sure that all Member States present will agree to the resolution and adopt it by consensus.

Resolutions usually express a policy that the United Nations will adopt or implement, and they may be included in the body of reports, treaties, conventions and declarations. Resolutions range from general to very specific in content and, depending on the body involved, may call for or suggest a course of action, condemn an action or require an action or sanctions on behalf  of Member States. The General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, special committees and commissions may either call for or suggest actions. However, only the Security Council can require action from or place sanctions on Member States. In some cases, conventions and treaties may also require action, but such requirements would be applicable only to the States Parties (i.e., those States which have ratified or are otherwise party to the convention or treaty).

Resolutions are formal documents adopted by a United Nations body that follow a standard format and include at least one preambular and one operative clause. Any body may issue a resolution, but in practice most are adopted (often by consensus) by the General Assembly, its main Committees and the Security Council.

Reports and presidential statements are similar to resolutions in that they state a United Nations policy or objective, but they have different purposes and utilize different formatting. Reports, which are typically written by long-standing commissions and committees composed of experts on the topics being discussed, advise and inform decision-making bodies of a committee’s work and are divided into chapters and sections that cover the various topics under discussion. Presidential statements comparatively offer a less formal pronouncement of some United Nations action or position and are often used when the Security Council cannot come to agreement or deems that the issue does not necessitate a formalized resolution. Both resolution-writing and report-writing bodies are simulated at the American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference.

 

Draft Documents

AMUN simulations will accept draft resolutions, reports and other documents only during the AMUN Conference. Draft documents may not be submitted in advance of Conference. Drafting documents is a collaborative process that begins with an idea about how to approach a problem and then incorporates ideas and concepts contributed by a group of delegations. The authors of draft documents obteain signatures from sponsors through caucusing and discussion, and eventually the draft may be moved to the floor for debate. The debate process brings the entire body into the discussion; often, the debate identifies areas where the draft must be amended to bring about a final document that the body may support by consensus.

AMUN strongly discourages delegations from bringing pre-written resolutions, as is common practice at some conferences. These are fully-formed draft resolutions that a delegation brings to the conference with the intent to immediately circulate the draft for signatures and bring it to the floor. This approach fails the body in a number of ways. Any draft document that is not created with the input and assistance of other committee members will not reflect the will of the body and cannot hope to achieve consensus. Pre-written resolutions (and even pre-written clauses) do not create the sense of ownership necessary for members to advocate for the resolution and its proposals. Pre-written resolutions detract from the educational experience for all delegations, but it particularly affects those who intentionally forego the collaborative process. Delegations may bring working documents with them to assist in starting their deliberations but should keep the aforementioned purpose and process in mind when doing so.

Draft resolutions are not eligible for formal consideration on the floor of General Assembly Committees or the Concurrent General Assembly Plenary until they receive the sponsorship of at least 35 percent of the total delegations in attendance at the Conference. The specific number of sponsors needed is announced at the first session of each committee. For reporting bodies, draft resolutions and reports require the sponsorship of at least 35 percent of total delegations registered for that simulation. In the Security Council and the Historical Security Councils, only one sponsor is required. In all bodies additional sponsors may be added as the document is written until the document has been moved to the floor; at that point, a delegation may only become a sponsor with the consent of the original sponsors. Once a substantive vote has been taken on a draft resolution or report, or on a contested amendment to the draft resolution or report, no new sponsors may be added to or removed from the draft resolution or report, as it has become the property of the body.

Chairs and presidents will entertain motions for a suspension of the meeting to facilitate the process of discussing, creating, combining and changing draft documents. It is recommended that representatives use this time to discuss the problems facing their committee and begin creating documents or combining existing drafts as proposed by Members of the body. These sessions offer representatives an opportunity to enter the United Nations political process of working with others in an attempt to build consensus, but in a less formal setting.

The process of using drafts and requiring more than one sponsoring delegation is intended to replicate the United Nations practice of gaining near-universal support for drafts before they are brought to the floor for debate and decision. Further, it should push delegations away from looking at a proposal as “theirs” and toward working with others to find a solution and to gain consensus on the topic being discussed. AMUN requires a relatively high number of sponsors in order to encourage the body to work together on proposals, rather than individual delegations or small blocs working on separate proposals in isolation. States that sponsor (or sign) a resolution should be in general agreement with its content at the time it is submitted, such that they would vote “yes” on the resolution. This sponsorship, however, is non-binding. Member States may exercise their sovereign right to vote in any way on any matter that affects the outcome of the resolution.

To this end, representatives will need to work together and most likely combine clauses from a number of drafts or subsequent proposals made by other Member States at the Conference. Representatives are strongly encouraged to undertake this process before a draft is brought to the floor. As with the United Nations in New York, building support for one draft that encompasses the entire topic will be a much better use of the representatives’ time than trying to work on multiple draft resolutions, many of which will overlap. AMUN suggests that representatives not contend over which draft will come to the floor, but rather caucus and compromise to determine how best to combine drafts into a coherent, whole product that all Member States can accept, either through friendly amendments or through the drafting of a new, all-encompassing document. Rapporteurs are available in General Assembly committees, special committees and reporting bodies to assist with this process.

After a draft receives the requisite sponsorship, two copies must be brought to the Dais for approval. Once an approved draft is printed and distributed, the Dais Staff will announce that the draft has become available for consideration. Although AMUN strives to print draft resolutions as quickly as possible, it may take up to several hours for copies to be delivered to the body, depending largely on the printing needs of the rest of the Conference.

Points to Consider in Writing Draft Resolutions

The following list includes important points to consider when writing a draft resolution. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but should provide a good starting point to make draft resolutions as realistic as possible.

  • In the preambular clauses, describe the recent history of the situation and the issue as it currently exists.
  • Refer to specific past United Nations actions and previous resolutions passed on the topic, when available.
  • In the operative clauses, include actions or recommendations that will address or solve the problem, not just make a statement.
  • Avoid blatantly political language in the content of the draft resolution—this may damage efforts to reach a consensus on the issue.
  • Take into account the points of view of other States whenever possible.
  • Write the draft resolution from an international or United Nations perspective, not just from a single country’s point of view.
  • Consider whether the substance of the draft resolution is within the purview of the committee and refer relevant parts to other bodies where appropriate.
  • Refer issues which need further discussion to appropriate, existing bodies.
  • Do not create new committees/councils/commissions/working groups/etc. without first considering if other similar bodies already exist.
  • Always consider previous United Nations resolutions on the topic; do not duplicate what other resolutions have done without referencing the appropriate sources.

Purview and Submission Requirements for Resolutions

While representatives are free to circulate unofficial drafts, no draft resolution will be accepted for discussion on the floor unless it has been entered into the AMUN Document Processing System (DPS) located in the Delegate Services Lab and has been approved by the Dais Staff in the corresponding simulation. When a draft resolution is approved, it will be copied and distributed to the entire body, a process which may take several hours. Once copies of the draft resolution are printed, it can be moved to the floor for formal discussion. The body will not formally act on a draft resolution until the entire body has been given ability to review it.

As noted above, one point to consider when drafting a document is whether the document’s content is within the purview of the committee. Each body within the United Nations has a particular purview, or subject-matter jurisdiction, over which that body is particularly concerned. A body will not address subject matter that is outside its purview, because another body almost always has purview over that subject matter. The Issues at AMUN handbook identifies the purview for each United Nations body simulated at AMUN. Rapporteurs in the committees and reporting bodies and Simulation Directors in the Security Councils will review submitted documents to determine whether they are within the purview of the body. If possible, Dais Staff will offer suggestions as to how to modify a draft document to bring it within the purview of the body, rather than simply rejecting a submission.

As part of our educational mission, AMUN strives to simulate the United Nations as realistically as possible, within the confines of a four-day simulation. Accordingly, for all simulations outside of the Security Council and Historical Security Council simulations, AMUN limits the topics that may be discussed. These topics are identified in depth in the Issues at AMUN handbook. In committees with limited agendas, Rapporteurs will not accept resolutions unless they are directed to one of the topics described in the Issues at AMUN handbook and can assist in migrating work in this direction as needed.

The Dais Staff will not accept draft resolutions or other documents that it views as disruptive to the work of the body or the Conference as a whole. Disruptive resolutions and other documents are those that are only tangentially related to a topic in the Issues at AMUN handbook or contain language, proposals or solutions that are generally not seen in actual United Nations resolutions. Such disruptive resolutions detract from the educational experience of all AMUN’s participants. Accordingly, the submission of disruptive resolutions is considered diplomatically discourteous, and will be addressed by the Dais Staff in accordance with Rule 2.2., Diplomatic Courtesy. Decisions of the Secretariat on these matters are final.

Draft Resolution Guidelines and Format

Draft resolutions will consist of the standard heading section followed by preambular and operative clauses. Preambular clauses are listed first; they are used to justify action, denote past authorizations and precedents for action, or denote the purpose for an action. Operative clauses are the statements of policy in a resolution. Each operative clause is numbered, begins with a verb to denote an action (or suggested action) and usually addresses no more than one specific aspect of the action to be taken.

Draft resolutions must be submitted using AMUN’s Document Processing System (DPS), which formats resolutions in accordance with AMUN guidelines. The draft resolutions must also comply with the following additional formatting requirements:

  • During the processing of draft resolutions, do not use italics, bold or underlined print to highlight words. Italic text should only be used as shown in the Sample Draft Resolution.
  • Clauses must begin with proper introductory words/phrases in italics.
  • Information in the header (the topic and the name of the committee) will be automatically generated when you input the draft resolution into AMUN’s DPS.
  • See the Sample Draft Resolution for additional requirements.

Rapporteurs and Dais Staff are available to assist representatives with any questions you may have about format, grammar and entry into the AMUN DPS.

Sample Draft Resolution

Amendments

An amendment is a written statement that adds to, deletes from or otherwise modifies a draft resolution, report or other document. An amendment may be as small as changing the word “and” to the word “or” in a sentence, or as large as the deletion or addition of numerous clauses in a document. Both preambular and operative clauses in draft resolutions may be amended.

Member States typically propose informal changes to draft documents during the drafting process. If a sponsor of a draft document does not approve of the proposed changes, they will not be incorporated into the draft document. However, the proposed changes may be introduced via a formal amendment after the document is officially introduced to the body for discussion. Otherwise, a sponsor may choose to withdraw its sponsorship from the draft document into which the proposed changes are incorporated.

Once a document is approved by the body’s Dais Staff, amendments must be made through a formal process. This involves writing the proposed changes on an Amendment form (available in each simulation) and submitting it to the appropriate Dais Staff for approval. See the Sample Amendment Form. A minimum of 15 percent of delegations must sponsor each amendment, although only one sponsor is required in the Security Council and Historical Security Councils. If all of the sponsors of a resolution are also sponsors on an amendment, an amendment is considered “friendly” and automatically becomes part of the draft resolution without a vote. If all of the resolution sponsors have not agreed to the amendment, it must go through the standard amendment process. This includes moving the amendment to the floor, discussion and voting procedure. If the body takes any substantive vote on an amendment or any part of the draft resolution, the document becomes the official product of the body and the friendly amendment process is no longer available. Any subsequent amendments must be voted on by the body to be incorporated into the resolution.

Formally submitted amendments should be written legibly, provide exactly what language is to be amended and identify where the current language exists in the draft document or where the newly proposed language should go.

Sample Amendment

Reports

A report is another type of formal document at the United Nations. Reports of functional commissions, standing committees, regional commissions or other bodies that make reports to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) or the General Assembly generally follow the United Nations format for annual reports. At AMUN the reporting body may write only one report for each topic that is presented. The reports summarize the body’s discussion of the topic and make recommendations of actions to be taken by the appropriate body. At this year’s Conference, the following simulations will write reports: the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and the Committee for Development Policy Expert Group (CDPEG).

The report format is outlined here, and a sample Table of Contents for the report follows. A more detailed description and sample reports are available online here. The Dais Staff in each report-writing body will provide additional details to the commission on the first day of Conference and will assist representatives throughout the report-writing process. Please note that in this section “commission” refers to the reporting body and “council” refers to the body that receives the report.

The first item in the report will be an executive summary, not exceeding one page, that outlines the major points of the report, including the commission’s findings and its recommendations to the council. Copies of the executive summary, rather than copies of the full report, will be distributed to all council delegations before the presentation of reports during the General Assembly or ECOSOC Plenary sessions on Tuesday afternoon. Thus, it is important that the executive summary contains all the critical information for the body hearing the report. Rapporteurs will guide representatives through the report-writing process and the chairs will guide the body through the formal acceptance of the report. The executive summary is written last to encompass all parts of the compiled report once actions are determined and deliberations finalized.

Chapter I of the report will be titled “Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention.” (For bodies reporting to the General Assembly, the chapter titles should be changed accordingly.) First, this chapter will contain the text of draft resolutions recommended by the commission for adoption by the council. With the exception of the title and numbering, the resolutions should follow standard resolution format as detailed in this handbook. Second, this chapter may contain a short statement on any other matter that requires action or attention by the council but has not been included in a draft resolution. Take care when including other matters that require action to ensure that there is consensus within the body for addressing these matters. Further, although Chapter I contains the text of draft resolutions recommended for adoption, the entire report should include substantially more material. The body should focus its efforts on drafting the report, rather than passing draft resolutions, which are merely recommendations, for inclusion in the report.

Chapter II of the report will be titled according to the official agenda item before the commission. This chapter should contain a brief account of the proceedings that the commission considers essential to transmit to the council and should focus on the decision making process that the commission followed in order to make its recommendations. This chapter is typically written throughout the entire time the commission is in session, taking into account all essential proceedings and decision making processes as they occur. Essential proceedings often include statements made by delegations regarding the topic at issue.

Chapter III, if necessary, should be titled “Decisions adopted by the Commission at its [year] session” and should contain those decisions, if any, adopted by the commission that do not require further action and that the commission takes in its own name. This practice is rare because ECOSOC Resolution 1623 (LI) states that resolutions of functional commissions and subsidiary bodies should normally be in the form of drafts for approval by the council. Generally, resolutions the body recommends (in other words, those that require further action) would not be incorporated in this chapter, but rather in Chapter I.

The last chapter should be titled “Adoption of the report.” The chapter should detail the manner in which the commission adopted the report, including the voting record, if any. Following the substantive chapters of the report, the commission may choose to include additional information as appendices for the council, including statements regarding the financial implications of the council’s recommendations; other relevant publications or statements; and relevant data, charts or graphs.

Reports will be heard, as appropriate, by the Combined General Assembly and by the Economic and Social Council during plenary sessions on Tuesday afternoon of the Conference. Reporting bodies should conclude their substantive work by Monday evening, and they should finalize and accept the reports and compose the executive summaries for the reports during the morning session on Tuesday. All States are encouraged to attend the plenary session, but only those States which are Members of the Council—and whose attendance is required—will vote on the adoption of the reports.

After hearing the report and asking any questions, representatives in the body receiving the report will decide how it wishes to accept the report—this is usually done by consensus. This vote is an acknowledgment of the reporting body’s work, rather than an endorsement of it. Generally, if a State has strong negative feelings about the content of a report or feels the report is inadequate, it will abstain from such a vote, rather than voting no, as a “no” vote would be seen as diplomatically discourteous to the work of the reporting body.

Sample Table of Contents for Reports

Resolution Introductory Phrases

The following phrases/words are a partial list of appropriate introductions in resolutions.

Preambular Phrases (single verb in present participle or other introductory phrase):

Affirming Emphazing Keeping in mind
Alarmed by Expecting Noting with approval
Approving Fulfilling Noting with concern
Aware of Fully alarmed Noting with regret
Bearing in mind Fully aware Noting with satisfaction
Believing Fully believing Observing
Confident Fully deploring Reaffirming
Convinced Guided by Realizing
Declaring Having adopted Recalling
Deeply concerned Having considered Recognizing
Deeply convinced Having examined Seeking
Deeply disturbed Having heard Taking into consideration
Deeply regretting Having received Viewing with appreciation
Desiring Having studied Welcoming

Operative Phrases (verb in third person present indicative tense):

Accepts Emphasizes Reaffirms
Affirms Encourages Recommends
Approves Endorses Regrets
Authorizes Expresses its appreciation Reminds
Calls Expresses its hope Requests
Calls upon Further invites Solemnly affirms
Condemns Further proclaims Strongly condemns
Confirms Further recommends Supports
Congratulates Further reminds Takes note of
Considers Further requests Transmits
Declares accordingly Further resolves Urges
Deplores Has resolved Welcomes
Designates Notes
Draws the attention Proclaims

 

Lending Emphasis to Resolution Phrasing

Diplomatic communication relies heavily on connotation and nuance, and United Nations resolutions and decisions are no exception. When resolutions are constructed, they often contain language that actually conveys the very precise attitudes and intentions of the authors. At AMUN, representatives are urged to select words carefully when drafting resolutions. The introductory phrases listed above also carry significant emotional and diplomatic meaning. Accurate use of these introductory terms is of paramount importance at the United Nations, and should also be emphasized in AMUN simulations.

A more useful method for listing introductory phrases, rather than the alphabetical listing above, might be in order of the phrases’ emotional weight, described by United Nations practitioners as crescendos. Each of the following crescendos begins with a neutral phrase at the top (conveying little emotion) and concludes with a strongly worded phrase (conveying strongly positive or negative emotion). Some of these opening phrases also have common uses in the language of United Nations resolutions; when applicable, this information has been included parenthetically with each phrase. Some phrases that express strong insistence or negative emotion are typically only used in Security Council resolutions and even then are selected with great care—these are noted where appropriate.

Sample Preambular Phrase Crescendos

All lists of sample phrase crescendos presented below start with the most neutral/weakest phrase and end with the strongest phrases.

Noting (by being neutral, this term actually can connote negativity; for example, a resolution “noting the report of the Secretary-General” actually insults the Secretary-General’s work by not being more approving)

Noting with appreciation (this is the typical way to recognize a report or other document)

Noting with satisfaction

Noting with deep satisfaction

Alternatively, there can be further detail added to connotate a more negative context for the point that is about to be made as shown in the following example:

Noting

Noting with regret

Noting with deep regret

 

Sample Operative Phrase Crescendos

Notes (See comments on “noting” above)

Notes with appreciation

Notes with satisfaction

Welcomes

Recommends (suggests that other United Nations organs take an action)

Invites (suggests that Member States take an action)

Requests (suggests that the Secretary-General take an action)

Appeals (suggests that Member States take an action, more emotional)

Calls Upon (suggests that Member States take an action, very emotional)

Urges (strongest suggestion by the General Assembly)

Demands (rarely used outside of the Security Council)

Notes with concern

Expresses its concern

Expresses its deep concern

Deplores

Strongly deplores

Condemns (rarely used outside of the Security Council)

Commonly Misunderstood Terms

Declares (used to make a statement)

Decides (used to indicate an action to be taken)

For sample usage of the phrases, see the Sample Draft Resolution and the Checklist for Resolution Formatting.

 

Security Council Presidential Statements

While the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies usually speak through reports and resolutions, the Security Council has another option: the presidential statement. At the United Nations, the Security Council adopts presidential statements more frequently than resolutions.

A presidential statement is a written statement issued by the President, noting that the Council has been discussing a specific topic and stating the general course of that discussion. These documents are frequently made at the beginning of or after a significant event in a crisis situation, but can be used at any point in the simulation. These statements can be as short as a sentence or two in length, but they can be longer if the situation dictates. Presidential statements are usually simple enough that they are agreed to by the entire body. This also means they often do not prescribe action and have little weight, unlike resolutions, which are technically binding on Member States. Presidential statements are often used when Members want to make a strong statement, but when one or more Member States, often Permanent Members, find it politically inexpedient to pass a binding resolution on the subject.

At AMUN, presidential statements are not written by the body’s President as they are at the United Nations in New York. Instead, presidential statements are written by the Council as a whole; the Council must enter an informal session and reach consensus to adopt a draft presidential statement. While draft statements, like draft resolutions, may be constructed by individuals or small groups during suspensions, AMUN recommends that representatives collaborate as much as possible on the creation of presidential statements and suggests entering into a consultative session for this purpose. For more information, please see Rule 7.7 Consultative Sessions.

Representatives are free to circulate unofficial drafts, but a draft statement cannot be adopted until it has been entered into the AMUN Document Processing System located in Delegate Services, has received approval by the Dais Staff and copies have been distributed to the Council. To adopt an approved draft statement, the Council must enter a consultative session. Once it appears consensus on the statement has been met, the president will ask if there is any objection to consensus on the document. If there are no objections to consensus, the statement will be adopted. If there are objections, the Council may wish to discuss the draft further and make changes. Once consensus is reached, the statement is considered adopted; the Dais Staff will update the document with any agreed to changes and copies of the final presidential statement will be made available to the Council.

Sample Security Council Presidential Statement

 

Security Council Rules of Procedure

1.0 Administrative

1.1 The Secretariat. The Secretariat consists of the volunteer staff members of American Model United Nations (AMUN).

1.2 Rules Committee. The President of the General Assembly, the Director of Rules and Procedures, the Director of Security Council Procedures, and one other person as appointed by the Secretary-General shall compose the membership of the Rules Committee.

1.3 Credentials. All questions concerning the validity of representative credentials shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat,

  • The Secretariat has sole authority to decide all questions concerning credentials, and
  • Representatives must wear approved credentials at all times while on the Conference premises.

1.4 Quorum. A quorum is made up of all Member States; to begin a Council session all Members must be present,

  • The Secretariat reserves the right to adjust quorum as it deems necessary.

1.5 Security Council Officers. The Secretariat shall appoint the President and Vice President of the Security Council and shall select any other positions necessary to help conduct the sessions of the Council.

1.6 General Authority of the Security Council President. In addition to exercising such authority conferred upon the President elsewhere in these rules, the President shall:

  • Declare the opening and closing of each session,
  • Ensure the observance of the rules,
  • Facilitate the discussions of the Council and accord the right to speak,
  • Advise the Council on methods of procedure that will enable the body to accomplish its goals, and
  • Rule on points and motions and, subject to these rules, have complete control of the proceedings of the Council and the maintenance of order at its meetings.
  • During the course of the session the President may propose Suspension of the Meeting (rule 7.1), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), Closure of Debate (rule 7.5), Consultative Session (rule 7.7), and Limits on Debate (rule 7.11). The President is under the direct authority of the Rules Committee and may be directed to inform the Council on matters of procedure if such action is deemed necessary by the Rules Committee.

1.7 Absence of Council President. If the Council President should find it necessary to be absent during any part of a Council session, the President shall  designate an individual, normally the Vice President, to chair the Council session with the same authority.

1.8 Attendance at Security Council Sessions. Each Security Council Member delegation assumes the responsibility to have present a minimum of one accredited representative at each Council session.

1.9 Emergency Council Sessions. Emergency Security Council Sessions may be called by the Secretariat at any time international conflicts require immediate Council attention, as established in the Charter of the United Nations.

1.10 Provisional Agenda. The Secretariat shall distribute a provisional agenda to all delegations prior to the start of the Conference,

  • This agenda in no way limits the Council’s topics.

1.11 Daily Order of Consideration of Agenda Topics. The Council will establish the daily order of consideration of agenda topics at the start of each daily session. Once established, this will become the working agenda for the duration of that day,

  • Agenda topics will be discussed in the order in which they appear on the working agenda (rule 7.10), and
  • A delegation wishing to change this order may move to add an agenda topic (rule 7.8) and change the order of consideration of the working agenda (rule 7.9).

1.12 Participation by Non-Council Member States and International Organizations. When an issue before the Security Council involves a non-Council United Nations Member State or Observer, the Council may request that the delegation be represented during Council sessions in which the issue is being discussed,

  • To do this a Council Member must move that the Member or Observer be brought as a Party to the Dispute (rule 7.15).
  • A non-Council United Nations Member or Observer that has been requested to attend Council sessions will usually be given debating privileges, allowing the delegation to be recognized by the President during debate,
  • A non-Council United Nations Member State or Observer may submit draft resolutions or amendments, but may not move these to the floor or vote at any time, and
  • A non-Council Member requested to attend a Council session, but not given debating privileges, will be subject to a question and answer period.

When discussing any issue, if the Security Council finds it necessary to have present a representative of a non-United Nations Member State, an international organization or any other persons it considers competent for the purpose, the Council may request one by means of Party to the Dispute (rule 7.15). A representative will be made available to the Council in a timely fashion,

  • These representatives may not be given debating privileges, but will be subject to a question and answer period, and
  • The Secretariat will assume full responsibility to certify representatives’ credentials prior to their appearance before the Council.

If it is determined that many Member or Observers outside of the Contemporary Security Council have an interest in a specific issue, the Council may declare an Open Meeting on any issue being discussed,

  • In order to allow all delegations time to prepare their comments, an open meeting in the Council should be announced at least two hours in advance of the open debate session (rule 7.15), and
  • Any United Nations Member State or Observer may participate in an open meeting.

1.13 Security Council Priority Relating to Issues Concerning the Maintenance of International Peace and Security. The Security Council, as established in the United Nations Charter, shall have priority over the General Assembly on issues that pertain to the maintenance of international peace and security,

  • Issues of this type, while under discussion in the Security Council, shall be seized from General Assembly action,
  • General Assembly draft resolutions that deal with a seized issue may be discussed and amended, but no final vote on the draft resolution may be taken, and
  • Accordingly, any General Assembly draft resolution pertaining to a seized issue may be discussed and amended but cannot be put to a final vote in the General Assembly until the Security Council has completed its deliberations on the issue.

If no resolution has been adopted, the Security Council will be considered to have completed its deliberations on a seized issue once that agenda topic is no longer under discussion. The Council may declare itself actively seized on a topic by stating this in a resolution; this seizure will prevent the General Assembly from taking action until a two-hour time period has elapsed. Throughout the General Assembly, representatives will be kept informed by the Secretary-General of any seized issues.

2.0 General Rules

2.1 Statements by the Secretariat. The Secretary-General or any member of the Secretariat may make verbal or written statements to the Security Council at any time.

2.2 Diplomatic Courtesy. All participants in the AMUN Conference must accord Diplomatic Courtesy to all credentialed representatives, Secretariat Members, Faculty Advisors, Observers and Hotel staff at all times,

  • Representatives who persist in obvious attempts to disrupt the session shall be subject to expulsion from the Council by the President,
  • The Secretariat reserves the right to expel any representative or delegation from the Conference, and
  • This decision is not appealable.

2.3 Speeches. No representative may address the Council without obtaining the permission of the President,

  • Delegations, not representatives, are recognized to speak; more than one representative from the same delegation may speak when the delegation is recognized,
  • Speakers must keep their remarks germane to the subject under discussion,
  • A time limit may be established for speeches (rule 7.11),
  • Representatives, at the conclusion of a substantive speech, will be allowed, if they are willing, to answer questions concerning their speech,
  • A delegation that desires to ask a question of the speaker should signify by raising a Point of Inquiry (rule 6.3),
  • All questions and replies are made through the President,
  • A speaker who desires to make a motion may do so after speaking and accepting points of inquiry, but prior to yielding the floor, and
  • By making a motion the speaker yields the floor.

2.4 Recognition of Speakers. Delegations wishing to speak on an item before the body will signify by raising their placards,

  • The exception to this rule occurs on any Point of Order (rule 6.1), Information (rule 6.2), or Inquiry (rule 6.3), at which time a representative should raise their placard and call out “Point of ___________” to the President,
  • Points will be recognized in the order of their priority,
  • Motions may not be made from Points of Order (rule 6.1), Information (rule 6.2) or Inquiry (rule 6.3), except
    • A motion to Appeal the Decision of the President (rule 7.6), may be made when recognized for a Point of Order.
  • The President shall recognize speakers in a fair and orderly manner, and
  • Speakers’ lists will not be used, except during an open meeting (rule 1.12).

2.5 Right of Reply. The President may accord a Right of Reply to any representative if a speech by another representative contains unusual or extraordinary language clearly insulting to personal or national dignity,

  • Requests for a Right of Reply shall be made in writing to the President,
  • Requests shall contain the specific language which was found to be insulting to personal or national dignity,
  • The President may limit the time for reply,
  • There shall be no reply to a reply, and
  • This decision is not appealable.

2.6 Withdrawal of Motions. A motion may be withdrawn by its proposer at any time before voting on it has begun,

  • A withdrawn motion may be reintroduced by any other delegation.

2.7 Dilatory Motions. The President may rule out of order any motion repeating or closely approximating a recent previous motion on which the Council has already rendered an opinion,

  • This decision is not appealable.

2.8 Open Debate on Motions. Representatives wishing to speak to a motion may do so for any motions which are subject to open debate,

  • The President shall declare the opening and closing of debate on motions,
  • Points of Inquiry are not in order during this debate,
  • Motions of higher priority than the one being debated may be made from the floor during open debate,
  • The President will declare debate closed when no other delegation raises its placard to signify desire to speak,
  • Closure of open debate may not be moved by a delegation from the floor, and
  • The body will move to an immediate vote on the motion following the President’s declaration of closure.

2.9 Consultative Session. The Council may choose to suspend its rules and enter an informal, consultative session moderated by the Council President if the Members determine that this process will better facilitate the discussion of a particular issue,

  • The Council will move immediately into a formal session once the time period or topic set for the Consultative Session has expired (rule 7.7).

3.0 Rules That Relate to the Rules

3.1 Rule Priority and Procedure. The rules contained in this handbook are the official rules of procedure of American Model United Nations and will be used for all Council sessions. These rules take precedence over any other set of rules.

3.2 Precedence of Rules. Proceedings in the Security Council of AMUN shall be conducted under the following precedence of rules

  1. AMUN Rules of Procedure,
  2. AMUN Security Council Order of Precedence of the Rules Short Form (see page 40),
  3. Rulings by the Rules Committee,
  4. Historical usage of the AMUN Rules of Procedure,
  5. Historical usage of the United Nations Rules of Procedure,
  6. The Charter of the United Nations.

3.3 The Order of Precedence of Motions. The order of precedence of motions is listed in order of priority in both the Security Council Precedence Short Form (see page 40) and in these rules under Section 7, Motions in Order of Priority. These motions, in the order given, have precedence over all other proposals or motions before the Security Council.

3.4 Rule Changes. The Rules Committee reserves the right to make changes to these rules at any time. Should a change occur, it will be communicated to the representatives in a timely manner.

4.0 Draft Resolutions, Amendments & Statements

4.1 Definition of Draft Resolutions. A draft resolution is a written proposal consisting of at least one preambular and one operative clause.

4.2 Draft Resolutions. Draft resolutions may be submitted to the Security Council President/Vice President for approval at any time during the Conference,

  • For a draft resolution to be considered it must be organized in content and flow, in the proper format and approved by the Council Dais, and
  • After acceptance, draft resolutions shall be processed in the order in which they are received and distributed to all delegations as soon as feasible.

A draft resolution that has been distributed may be proposed when the Council considers the agenda topic that is the subject of the draft resolution,

  • Only one draft resolution may be considered at any time during formal debate,
  • Once a draft resolution is on the floor for discussion, additional sponsors may only be added to that draft resolution with the consent of the original sponsor(s),
  • Once a vote has been taken on a contested amendment to a draft resolution, no additional sponsors may be added, and
  • Friendly amendments (rule 4.4) do not limit the addition of sponsors as noted above,
  • See also Closure of Debate on an Agenda Topic (rule 7.4), Closure of Debate (rule 7.5), and Consideration of Amendments (rule 7.14).

4.3 Definition of Amendments. An amendment to a draft resolution is a written proposal that adds to, deletes from, or revises any part of a draft resolution.

4.4 Amendments. All amendments must be submitted on an official amendment form to the President/Vice President for approval,

  • For an amendment to be considered it must be organized in content and flow, be in the proper format, and be approved by the Council Dais,
  • Approved amendments will be assigned an identification letter by the Vice President, and
  • Typographical errors in a draft resolution will be corrected by the Council Secretariat and announced to the body.

One or more amendments may be considered on the floor at any given time (see also Closure of Debate on an Agenda Topic (rule 7.4), Closure of Debate (rule 7.5), and Consideration of Amendments (rule 7.14)).

An amendment will be considered “friendly” if all sponsors of the draft resolution are also sponsors of the amendment,

  • A friendly amendment becomes part of a draft resolution upon the announcement that it is accepted by the dais,
    • No vote is required to add a friendly amendment to a draft resolution,
  • The President shall announce the acceptance of a friendly amendment on the first opportunity at which no speaker has the floor, and
  • Friendly amendments cannot be accepted after a vote has been taken on a contested amendment, or after closure of debate on the resolution has been moved.

4.5 Withdrawal of Sponsorship. Sponsorship of a resolution or amendment may be withdrawn at any time before entering into voting procedure on the item,

  • Sponsorship of a resolution may not be withdrawn after a vote has been taken on a contested amendment,
  • If a draft resolution or amendment has all sponsorship withdrawn, any delegation may take up sponsorship of that draft resolution or amendment by informing the President,
  • If all sponsors withdraw from a draft resolution or amendment, it is automatically removed from consideration.

4.6 Definition of Presidential Statements. The Security Council may choose to issue a Presidential Statement on issues which do not warrant a resolution. This statement is formally issued by the President of the Council, but is drafted by the body, or its designees.

4.7 Presidential Statements. Presidential Statements are discussed, drafted and accepted in informal debate or outside of a formal Council session,

  • This statement must be accepted by a consensus of the Council,
  • As this type of statement does not represent a formal decision of the Council, no formal vote is recorded on a Presidential Statement, and
  • Unlike resolutions, Presidential Statements are not binding on Member States.
  • A Presidential Statement may be submitted to the Security Council President/Vice President for approval at any time during the Conference,
  • For a Presidential Statement to be considered it must be organized in content and flow, be in the proper format, and be approved by the Council Secretariat.

5.0 Voting

5.1 Voting Rights. Each Security Council Member is accorded one vote,

  • No delegation may cast a vote on behalf of another Member State.

5.2 Votes Required for Passage. Unless otherwise specified in these rules, decisions in the Council require nine affirmative votes for passage,

  • Historical Security Councils occurring prior to 1965, consisting of eleven members, require seven affirmative votes for passage of decisions.

5.3 Adoption by Consensus. The adoption of amendments and draft resolutions by consensus is desirable when it contributes to the effective and lasting settlement of differences, thus strengthening the authority of the United Nations,

  • Any representative may request the adoption of an amendment or draft resolution by consensus at any time after closure of debate has passed,
  • The President shall then ask whether there is any objection to consensus,
  • If there is no objection, the proposal is approved by consensus,
  • If any representative objects to consensus, voting shall occur as otherwise stated in these rules.

5.4 Method of Voting. The Council shall normally vote on motions by a show of raised placards,

  • The votes of Council Members on all substantive matters shall be officially recorded, and all substantive matters are subject to the Consent of the Permanent Members, regardless of the means by which they are voted upon (rule 5.8),
  • Any delegation may request a roll call vote on substantive matters, unless adopted by consensus; this request shall then automatically be granted by the President,
  • When applicable, roll shall be called in English alphabetical order beginning with a Member selected at random by the Vice President,
  • Representatives shall reply “yes,” “no,” “abstain” or “abstain from the order of voting,”
  • A Member may abstain from the order of voting once during a roll call; a second abstention from the order of voting will be recorded as an abstention.

5.5 Conduct During Voting. Immediately prior to a vote, the President shall describe to the Council the proposal to be voted on, and shall explain the consequences of a “yes” or a “no” vote. Voting shall begin upon the President’s declaration “we are now in voting procedure,” and end when the results of the vote are announced,

  • Following Closure of Debate, and prior to entering voting procedure, the President shall pause briefly to allow delegations the opportunity to make any relevant motions,
  • Relevant motions prior to a vote include Adoption by Consensus (rule 5.3) Suspension of the Meeting (rule 7.1), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), Enter Consultative Session (rule 7.7) and Division of the Question (rule 7.12), and
  • Once in voting procedure, no representative shall interrupt the voting except on a Point of Order or Point of Information concerning the actual conduct of the vote.

5.6 Changes of Votes. At the end of roll call, but before Rights of Explanation (rule 5.7) are granted and the subsequent announcement of the vote, the Vice President will ask for any vote changes. Any delegation that desires to change its recorded vote may do so at that time.

5.7 Rights of Explanation. Rights of Explanation are permitted on all substantive votes after voting. The President may limit the time for Rights of Explanation.

5.8 Consent of the Five Permanent Members. As established in the Charter of the United Nations, each of the five Permanent Members (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) shall have the right to veto any substantive matter which comes to a vote before the Security Council,

  • A substantive matter which has a majority of votes in favor but receives a “no” by any Permanent Member fails due to lack of consent of the Permanent Members.

6.0 Points of Procedure in Order of Priority

6.1 Point of Order. During the discussion of any matter, a representative may rise to a Point of Order if the representative believes that the Council is proceeding in a manner contrary to these rules,

  • The representative must call out their point and will be recognized immediately by the President and the point ruled on,
  • A representative rising to a Point of Order may not speak substantively on any matter,
  • If a representative’s ability to participate in the Council’s deliberations is impaired for any reason, the representative may rise to a Point of Order,
  • A Point of Order may interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

6.2 Point of Information. A Point of Information is raised to the President if a representative wishes to obtain a clarification of procedure or a statement of the matters before the Council,

  • The representative must call out their point to be recognized,
  • A Point of Information may not interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

6.3 Point of Inquiry. During substantive debate, a representative may question a speaker by rising to a Point of Inquiry,

  • Questions must be directed through the President and may be made only after the speaker has concluded his/her remarks, but before he/she has yielded the floor,
  • The representative must call out their point to be recognized,
  • A Point of Inquiry may not interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

7.0 Motions in Order of Priority

7.1 Suspension of the Meeting. During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move to suspend the meeting. Suspending a meeting recesses it for the time specified in the motion,

  • The motion is not debatable,
  • The President may request that the delegation making the motion modify the time of suspension,
  • If the motion passes, upon reconvening the Council will continue its business from the point at which suspension was moved, unless otherwise stated in these rules.

7.2 Adjournment of the Meeting. The motion of adjournment means that all business of the Council has been completed, and that the Council will not reconvene until the next annual session,

  • The motion is not debatable,
  • The President may refuse to recognize a motion to adjourn the meeting if the Council still has business before it,
  • This decision is not appealable.

7.3 Adjournment of Debate. During the discussion of any draft resolution, amendment or agenda topic before the Council, a representative may move for adjournment of debate.

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall be put to a vote,
  • Adjournment of debate on a draft resolution or amendment has the effect of removing that item from consideration and allows the committee to move on to another draft resolution or amendment,
  • An adjourned draft resolution can be resubmitted to the floor by any delegation, at the discretion of the President as to the dilatory nature of such a motion,
  • Adjourning debate on an agenda topic has the effect of postponing debate on the topic and allowing the Council to move on to consideration of other topics or issues, and
  • The Council may return to discussion of an agenda topic by changing the order of consideration of the working agenda (Rule 7.9).

7.4 Closure of Debate on an Agenda Topic. A representative may move to close debate on an agenda topic at any time during the discussion of that topic. The effect of this motion, if passed, is to bring the draft resolution that is on the floor to a vote,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • If no draft resolution is on the floor, the effect of this motion is to end debate on this topic, removing it from the working agenda and moving to the next topic on the working agenda.

7.5 Closure of Debate. A representative may move to close debate on a draft resolution or amendment at any time during the discussion of that item. The effect of this motion is to bring the issue under discussion to an immediate vote,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • Representatives should specify whether the motion for closure applies to an amendment or a draft resolution,
  • If closure passes on a draft resolution or agenda topic, all amendments on the floor will be voted upon in the reverse order from which they were moved to the floor,  and
  • After voting on all amendments is completed, the draft resolution shall be voted upon in accordance with these rules.

At the conclusion of voting procedure, the draft resolution or amendment being voted on is removed from consideration, regardless of whether it passes or fails. Debate then continues on the current topic.

7.6 Appealing a Decision of the President. Rulings of the President are appealable unless otherwise specified in these rules,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • An appeal must be made immediately following the ruling in question,
  • This motion may be made by a delegation that has been recognized through a Point of Order,
  • The President shall put the question as follows: “Shall the decision of the President be upheld?” A “yes” vote supports the President’s decision; a “no” vote signifies objection,
  • The decision of the President shall be upheld by a tie, and
  • Rulings by the President on the following rules or motions are not appealable: Diplomatic Courtesy (rule 2.2), Right of Reply (rule 2.5), Dilatory Motions (rule 2.7), granting of a roll call vote (rule 5.4), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), and any time a ruling by the President is a direct quotation from these Rules of Procedure.

7.7 Consultative Session. A motion to enter consultative session is in order at any time,

  • The motion should specify a length of time or topic for the consultative session,
  • This can be set to a specific time, or based on the discussion of a specific amendment, draft resolution or agenda topic (rule 2.9), and
  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote.

7.8 Add an Agenda Topic. A motion to add an agenda topic to the working agenda is in order during any Council session,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • Once an issue is added as an agenda topic, it is placed as the last topic on the working agenda.

7.9 Change the Order of Consideration of the Working Agenda. A motion to change the order of consideration of topics on the working agenda is in order during any Council session. The effect of this motion is to change the order in which agenda topics are to be discussed by the Council,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • The delegation making this motion must state, in the motion, the new order in which the agenda topics are to be considered.

7.10 Set Working Agenda. At the start of each daily session the Security Council shall establish a working agenda (rule 1.11). A delegation may move to set the working agenda,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • The motion must include the order in which agenda topics are to be considered, and
  • A working agenda does not have to contain all agenda topics.

7.11 Limits on Debate. A motion to limit or extend the time allotted to each delegation, or limit the number of times each delegation can speak on any matter, is in order at any time,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • The time allotted for speakers on amendments, draft resolutions and agenda topics shall be no less than three minutes,
  • The time allotted for non-substantive speeches shall be no less than one minute,
  • This motion may limit the number of Points of Inquiry a speaker may accept to a minimum of one, and
  • A motion to limit the time of debate on an agenda topic, draft resolution, or amendment is also in order.

7.12 Division of the Question. A motion to divide the question, proposing that clauses of an amendment or draft resolution be voted on separately, is in order at any time prior to entering voting procedure on the amendment or draft resolution,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • No debate or vote is necessary if the sponsor(s) of the draft resolution does not object to the division,
  • If a vote has previously been taken on a contested amendment to the draft resolution, any Council Member may object to division and require a vote,
  • After a motion for Division of the Question passes, no other motion for Division of the Question is in order on that amendment or draft resolution,
  • Those clauses of the amendment or draft resolution which are approved shall then be put to a vote as a whole, and
  • If division causes a draft resolution to no longer be in proper format (rule 4.1), the proposal as a whole is rejected.

7.13 Consideration of Draft Resolutions. A draft resolution may be moved to the floor by any delegation that receives recognition by the President,

  • This motion is not debatable,
  • Only one draft resolution may be on the floor at any time, and
  • The delegation moving consideration will be allowed to speak first on the draft resolution, if desired.

7.14 Consideration of Amendments. To bring an amendment to the floor for discussion, a delegation must first be recognized by the President,

  • This motion is not debatable,
  • The Vice President will present the amendment to the body, and
  • The delegation moving consideration will be allowed to speak first on the amendment, if desired.

7.15 Party to the Dispute. When the Security Council discusses a topic/issue that involves a nation or international organization not represented on the Council, it may request a representative by moving for a Party to the Dispute,

  • This motion is subject to open debate. Upon closure of the open debate period, the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • The motion must state the United Nations Member State(s), Observer(s) or organization(s) whose representative is desired and the length of time requested and, if a Member State or Observer, whether debating privileges are to be granted,
  • If debating privileges are not granted, a formal “question and answer” period shall be instituted by the President, for the purposes of questioning the representative on the issue(s) at hand,
  • If it is determined that many  Members or Observers outside of the Contemporary Security Council have an interest in a specific issue, the Council may declare an “open meeting” on any issue being discussed, and
  • See also Participation by Non-Council Member States and International Organizations (rule 1.12).

General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Rules of Procedure

1.0 Administrative

1.1 The Secretariat. The Secretariat consists of the volunteer staff members of American Model United Nations (AMUN).

1.2 Rules Committee. The President of the General Assembly, the Senior Vice President of the General Assembly, the Director of Rules and Procedures, and one other person as appointed by the Secretary-General shall compose the membership of the Rules Committee.

1.3 Credentials. All questions concerning the validity of representative credentials shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat,

  • The Secretariat has sole authority to decide all questions concerning credentials,
  • Representatives must wear approved credentials at all times while on the Conference premises.

1.4 Quorum/Majority. A quorum is one-fourth of the member delegations in attendance for each Committee; a majority is one-half of the member delegations in attendance for each Committee,

  • A quorum must be present at all times during Committee sessions,
  • A majority must be present for a substantive question to be put to a vote,
  • Questions concerning quorum or majority should be directed to the Chair, and
  • It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that a quorum is present at all times.

1.5 Committee Officers. The Secretariat shall appoint the President/Chairperson, Vice President/Vice Chairperson, and Rapporteur(s) for each Committee, and shall select any other positions necessary to help conduct the sessions of the Committees,

  • Hereafter, in these rules, “Chair” will refer to both “Chairpersons” and “Presidents” and
  • Hereafter, in these rules, “Committee” will refer to any Committee, Council or Commission, unless otherwise stated in the rule.

1.6 General Authority of the Chair. In addition to exercising such authority conferred upon the Chair elsewhere in these rules, the Chair shall,

  • Declare the opening and closing of each session,
  • Ensure the observance of the rules,
  • Facilitate the discussions of the Committee and accord the right to speak,
  • Advise the Committee on methods of procedure that will enable the body to accomplish its goals, and
  • Rule on points and motions, and subject to these rules, have complete control of the proceedings of the Committee and the maintenance of order at its meetings.

During the course of the session the Chair may propose Suspension of the Meeting (rule 7.1), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), Closure of Debate (rule 7.4), Limits on Debate (rule 7.10), and, in Report-Writing Commissions, Consultative Session (rule 7.7). The Chair is under the direct authority of the Rules Committee and may be directed to inform the body on matters of procedure or the body’s topical competence if such action is deemed necessary by the Rules Committee.

1.7 Absence of Chair. If the Chair is absent during any part of a Committee Session, the Chair will designate an individual, usually the Vice Chair, to chair the session with the same authority.

1.8 Number of Accredited Representatives. Each delegation is allowed two representatives per Committee on which it is a member, plus one Permanent Representative,

  • This excludes the Special Committee to the General Assembly, which only allows one representative plus one Permanent Representative.

1.9 Selection of Agenda Topics. Agenda topics shall be selected by the Secretariat prior to the start of the conference. Once selected, these topics are fixed for the duration of the conference.

1.10 Observer Status. Those delegations recognized as having Observer Status by AMUN shall be accorded all rights in the Committee except the following,

  • They may not vote,
  • They may not make or second the following motions:
  • Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2),
  • Adjournment of Debate (rule 7.3),
  • Closure of Debate (rule 7.4), and
  • Decision of Competence (rule 7.8).

2.0 General Rules

2.1 Statements by the Secretariat. The Secretary-General or any member of the Secretariat may make verbal or written statements to a Committee at any time.

2.2 Diplomatic Courtesy. All participants in the AMUN Conference must accord Diplomatic Courtesy to all credentialed representatives, Secretariat Members, Faculty Advisors, Observers and Hotel staff at all times,

  • Representatives who persist in obvious attempts to disrupt the session shall be subject to expulsion from the Committee by the Chair,
  • The Secretariat reserves the right to expel any representative or delegation from the Conference, and
  • This decision is not appealable.

2.3 Speeches. No representative may address the Committee without obtaining the permission of the Chair,

  • Delegations, not representatives, are recognized to speak; more than one representative from the same delegation may speak when the delegation is recognized,
  • Speakers must keep their remarks germane to the subject under discussion,
  • A time limit may be established for speeches (rule 7.10),
  • Representatives, at the conclusion of a substantive speech, will be allowed, if they are willing, to answer questions concerning their speech,
  • A delegation that desires to ask a question of the speaker should signify by raising a Point of Inquiry (rule 6.3),
  • All questions and replies are made through the Chair,
  • A speaker who desires to make a motion may do so after speaking and accepting Points of Inquiry, but prior to yielding the floor, and
  • By making a motion the speaker yields the floor.

2.4 Recognition of Speakers. Delegations wishing to speak on an item before the body will signify by raising their placards,

  • The exception to this rule occurs on any Point of Order (rule 6.1), Information (rule 6.2), or Inquiry (rule 6.3), at which time a representative should raise their placard and call out “Point of ___________” to the Chair,
  • Points will be recognized in the order of their priority,
  • Motions may not be made from Points of Order (rule 6.1), Information (rule 6.2), or Inquiry (rule 6.3), or from any procedural speeches, except,
  • A motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair (rule 7.6), may be made when recognized for a Point of Order.
  • The Chair shall recognize speakers in a fair and orderly manner,
  • Speakers’ lists will not be used.

2.5 Right of Reply. The Chair may accord a Right of Reply to any representative if a speech by another representative contains unusual or extraordinary language clearly insulting to personal or national dignity,

  • Requests for a Right of Reply shall be made in writing to the Chair,
  • Requests shall contain the specific language which was found to be insulting to personal or national dignity,
  • The Chair may limit the time allowed for a reply,
  • There shall be no reply to a reply, and
  • This decision is not appealable.

2.6 Withdrawal of Motions. A motion may be withdrawn by its proposer at any time before voting on it has begun,

  • Seconds to a motion may also be withdrawn,
  • A withdrawn motion or second may be reintroduced by another delegation.

2.7 Dilatory Motions. The Chair may rule out of order any motion repeating or closely approximating a recent previous motion on which the Committee has already rendered an opinion,

  • This decision is not appealable.

3.0 Rules That Relate to the Rules

3.1 Rule Priority and Procedure. The rules contained in this handbook are the official rules of procedure of the American Model United Nations and will be used for all Committee sessions. These rules take precedence over any other set of rules.

3.2 Precedence of Rules. Proceedings in the Committees and General Assembly sessions of AMUN shall be conducted under the following precedence of rules;

  1. AMUN Rules of Procedure,
  2. AMUN General Assembly (GA) & Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Order of Precedence of the Rules Short Form,
  3. Rulings by the Rules Committee,
  4. Historical usage of the AMUN Rules of Procedure,
  5. Historical usage of the United Nations Rules of Procedure,
  6. The Charter of the United Nations.

3.3 The Order of Precedence of Procedural Motions.The order of precedence of procedural motions is listed in both the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council (GA/ECOSOC) Precedence Short Form and in these rules under Section 7, “Procedural Motions In Order of Priority.”

3.4 Rule Changes. The Rules Committee reserves the right to make changes to these rules at any time. Should a change occur, it will be communicated to the representatives in a timely manner.

4.0 Draft Proposals & Amendments

4.1 Definition of Draft Reports. A draft report is a formal written proposal consisting of sections and paragraphs that detail a committee’s deliberations and recommendations on a particular topic. The report may include resolutions that the reporting body recommends for adoption by the body that receives the report. Reports must include an Executive Summary (rule 4.7).

4.2 Draft Reports. Draft reports may be submitted to the Committee Dais for approval at any time during the Conference,

  • For a draft report to be considered, it must be organized in content and flow, have a minimum of 35 percent of the delegations in attendance listed as sponsors, and the approval of the Special Rapporteur,
  • The final required number of sponsors will be determined by the Rules Committee at conference registration and announced at the opening of each committee session,
  • After acceptance by the Special Rapporteur(s), draft reports shall be processed in the order in which they are received,
  • Limited copies of the full text of the draft report shall be issued to the committee, and a copy of the Executive Summary shall be distributed to all delegations as soon as feasible,
  • Only one draft report per topic area shall be accepted for consideration by the Special Rapporteur(s),
  • Once a draft report is on the floor for discussion, additional sponsors may only be added to that draft report with the consent of the original sponsors,
  • Any Resolutions adopted by the committee on the topic of the report will be automatically included in Section III of the report, including after the adoption of the report or Executive Summary,
  • Once a vote has been taken on any part of a draft report, including a contested amendment, it becomes the property of the body, and no additional sponsors or friendly amendments may be added or removed,
  • Friendly amendments (rule 4.6) do not limit the addition of sponsors as above,
  • See also Closure of Debate (rule 7.4) and Consideration of Draft Reports (rule 7.14),
  • Objections or reservations to the report shall be included in the text of the report, and
  • Objections to the report must be in writing and may be submitted before or after the final vote on the report, and
  • The default method of voting for reports shall be Adoption by Consensus (rule 5.3). If there is any objection, the Committee will proceed with a substantive vote, which requires a simple majority for passage.

4.3 Definition of Draft Resolutions. A draft resolution is a written proposal consisting of at least one preambular and one operative clause.

4.4 Draft Resolutions. Draft resolutions may be submitted to the Committee Secretariat for approval at any time during the Conference,

  • For a draft resolution to be considered, it must be organized in content and flow, in the proper format, have a minimum of 35 percent of the delegations in attendance listed as sponsors, and the signature of the Rapporteur,
  • The final required number of sponsors will be determined by the Rules Committee at conference registration and announced at the opening of each committee session,
  • After acceptance by the Rapporteur(s), draft resolutions shall be processed in the order in which they are received and distributed to all delegations as soon as feasible.

A draft resolution that has been distributed may be proposed when the Committee considers the agenda topic that is the subject of the draft resolution.

  • Only one draft resolution may be considered on the floor at any time during formal debate,
  • Once a draft resolution is on the floor for discussion, additional sponsors may only be added to that draft resolution with the consent of the original sponsors,
  • Once a vote has been taken on a contested amendment to a draft resolution, no sponsors may be added or removed,
  • Friendly amendments (rule 4.6) do not limit the addition of sponsors as noted above, and
  • See also Closure of Debate (rule 7.4) and Consideration of Draft Resolutions (rule 7.15).

4.5 Definition of Amendments. An amendment to a draft resolution or report is a written proposal that adds to, deletes from, or revises any part of a draft proposal.

4.6 Amendments. All amendments must be signed by 15 percent of the delegations in attendance,

  • The final required number of sponsors will be determined by the Rules Committee at conference registration and announced at the opening of each committee session,

An amendment is submitted on an official amendment form to the Rapporteur for approval.

Amendments will be approved if they are legible, organized in content and flow, and in the proper format,

  • Approved amendments will be assigned an identification letter by the Rapporteur, and
  • Typographical errors in a resolution or report will be corrected by the Rapporteur and announced to the body.

One or more amendments may be considered on the floor at any given time (see also Closure of Debate (rule 7.4) and Consideration of Amendments (rule 7.16)),

An amendment will be considered “friendly” if all sponsors of the draft resolution or report are also sponsors of the amendment,

  • A friendly amendment becomes part of a draft proposal upon the announcement that it is accepted,
  • A dais member shall announce the acceptance of a friendly amendment on the first opportunity at which no speaker has the floor, and
  • Friendly amendments cannot be accepted after a vote has been taken on a contested amendment or after closure of debate on the report/resolution has been moved.

4.7 Definition of Executive Summaries. The reporting body must issue an Executive Summary of the finalized report which will briefly summarize the contents of the report.

4.8 Executive Summaries. Executive Summaries are discussed, drafted and accepted outside of formal Committee sessions (during a suspension of the meeting or consultative session),

  • The default method of accepting the Executive Summary is through an informal consensus of the committee during suspension or Consultative Session. If there is objection to consensus the committee will proceed with an informal vote which requires a simple majority for passage.
  • The final Executive Summary must be presented to the dais for inclusion with the Report and distribution to the Committee receiving the Report.

4.9 Withdrawal of Sponsorship. Sponsorship of a resolution, report, or amendment may be withdrawn,

  • Sponsorship of a resolution or report may not be withdrawn after a vote has been taken on a contested amendment,
  • If a draft resolution, report, or amendment falls below the number of sponsors required for consideration, additional sponsors may be added to that proposal with the consent of the original sponsors, and
  • If a draft resolution, report, or amendment falls below the required number of sponsors, it is automatically removed from consideration.

5.0 Voting

5.1 Voting Rights. Each Member State is accorded one vote in each Committee on which it is represented,

  • No representative or Delegation may cast a vote on behalf of another Member State.

5.2 Simple Majority. Unless otherwise specified in these rules, decisions in the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of those Members present and voting. If there is an equal division between yes and no votes, the motion fails.

5.3 Adoption by Consensus. The adoption of draft resolutions, reports and amendments by consensus is desirable when it contributes to the effective and lasting settlement of differences, thus strengthening the authority of the United Nations,

  • Any representative may request the adoption of a report, amendment or draft resolution by consensus at any time after closure of debate has passed,
  • For reports, the default method of voting is adoption by consensus,
  • The Chair then shall ask whether there is any objection to a consensus and then shall ask if any Member States wish to abstain from consensus,
  • Delegations abstaining from consensus will be officially recorded,
  • If there is no objection, the proposal is approved by consensus, and
  • If any representative objects to consensus, voting shall occur as otherwise stated in these rules.

5.4 Method of Voting. The Committee shall normally vote by a show of raised placards,

  • The Chair may grant a request by a delegation for a roll call vote on any substantive matter, and the Chair’s decision on such a request is not subject to appeal,
  • When applicable, roll shall be called in English alphabetical order beginning with a member selected at random by the Vice Chair,
  • Roll Call Votes are not in order during Combined General Assembly Plenary,
  • Representatives shall reply “yes,” “no,” “abstain,” or “abstain from the order of voting” and
  • A member may abstain from the order of voting once during a roll call; a second abstention from the order of voting will be recorded as an abstention.

5.5 Conduct During Voting. Immediately prior to a vote, the Chair shall describe to the Committee the item to be voted on, and shall explain the consequences of a “yes” or a “no” vote. Voting shall begin upon the Chair’s declaration “we are now in voting procedure,” and end when the results of the vote are announced,

  • Following Closure of Debate, and prior to entering voting procedure, the Chair shall pause briefly to allow delegations the opportunity to make any relevant motions,
  • Relevant motions prior to a vote include Adoption by Consensus (rule 5.3), Suspension of the Meeting (rule 7.1), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), Decision of No Action (rule 7.5), Consultative Session (rule 7.7), Decision of Competence (rule 7.8), Division of the Question (rule 7.11), or Important Question (rule 7.13), and
  • Relevant requests prior to a vote include Adoption by Consensus (rule 5.3), Request for a roll call vote (rule 5.4), and
  • Once in voting procedure, no representative shall interrupt the voting except on a Point of Order or Point of Information concerning the actual conduct of the vote.

5.6 Changes of Votes. At the end of a roll call vote, but before Rights of Explanation (rule 5.7) and the subsequent announcement of the vote, the Vice Chair will ask for any vote changes. Any delegation that desires to change its recorded vote may do so at that time.

5.7 Rights of Explanation. Rights of Explanation are permitted on all substantive votes after voting. The Chair may limit time for Rights of Explanation.

6.0 Points of Procedure in Order of Priority

6.1 Point of Order. During the discussion of any matter, a representative may rise to a Point of Order if the representative believes that the Committee is proceeding in a manner contrary to these rules,

  • The representative must call out their point and will be recognized immediately by the Chair and the point ruled on,
  • A representative rising to a Point of Order may not speak substantively on any matter,
  • If a representative’s ability to participate in the Committee’s deliberations is impaired for any reason, the representative may rise to a Point of Order,
  • A Point of Order may interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

6.2 Point of Information. A Point of Information is raised to the Chair if a representative wishes to obtain a clarification of procedure or a statement of the matters before the Committee,

  • The representative must call out their point to be recognized,
  • A Point of Information may not interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

6.3 Point of Inquiry. During substantive debate, a representative may question a speaker by rising to a Point of Inquiry,

  • Questions must be directed through the Chair and may be made only after the delegation has concluded their remarks, but before the delegation has yielded the floor,
  • The representative must call out their point to be recognized,
  • A Point of Inquiry may not interrupt a speaker, and
  • See also Speeches (rule 2.3).

7.0 Procedural Motions in Order of Priority

7.1 Suspension of the Meeting. During the discussion of any matter, a representative may move to suspend the meeting. Suspending a meeting recesses it for the time specified in the motion,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • This motion is not debatable,
  • The Chair may request that the delegation making the motion modify the time of suspension,
  • If the motion passes, upon reconvening the Committee will continue its business from the point at which the suspension was moved.

7.2 Adjournment of the Meeting. The motion of adjournment means that all business of the Committee has been completed for the year, and that the Committee will not reconvene until the next annual session,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • This motion is not debatable,
  • The Chair may refuse to recognize a motion to adjourn the meeting if the Committee still has business before it, and
  • This decision is not appealable.

7.3 Adjournment of Debate. During the discussion of any draft report, draft resolution, or amendment, a representative may move for adjournment of debate.

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion, and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • An item upon which debate has been adjourned must pass a vote of Reconsideration before it may be brought back to the floor for consideration (rule 7.12).
  • The effect of this motion, if passed, removes the item from consideration and allows the Committee to move on to another draft report, resolution or amendment,

7.4 Closure of Debate. A representative may move to close debate on a draft report, draft resolution, or amendment before the Committee at any time during the discussion of item. The effect of this motion, if passed, is to bring a draft report, resolution or amendment that is on the floor to a vote,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak against closure; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • Representatives should specify whether the motion for closure applies to an amendment or a draft report/resolution,
  • If closure passes on a draft report/resolution, all amendments on the floor will be voted on in the reverse order from which they were moved to the floor, and
  • After voting on all amendments is completed, the draft report or resolution shall be voted upon in accordance with these rules.

At the conclusion of voting procedure, the draft report, draft resolution or amendment being voted on is removed from consideration, regardless of whether the proposal passes or fails. Debate then continues on the current agenda topic.

7.5 Decision of No Action. Applicable only in the General Assembly Plenary (rule 8.5).

7.6 Appealing a Decision of the Chair. Rulings of the Chair are appealable unless otherwise specified in these rules,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • An appeal must be made immediately following the ruling in question,
  • This motion may be made by a delegation that has been recognized through a Point of Order,
  • The Chair shall put the question as follows: “Shall the decision of the Chair be upheld?” A “yes” vote supports the Chair’s decision; a “no” signifies objection,
  • The decision of the Chair shall be upheld by a tie, and
  • Rulings by the Chair on the following rules or motions are not appealable: Diplomatic Courtesy (rule 2.2), Right of Reply (rule 2.5), Dilatory Motions (rule 2.7), granting of a roll call vote (rule 5.4), Adjournment of the Meeting (rule 7.2), and any time a ruling by the Chair is a direct quotation from these Rules of Procedure.

7.7 Consultative Session. Applicable only in the Economic and Social Council and designated reporting bodies (rule 9.4).

7.8 Decision of Competence. A motion calling for a decision on the competence of the Committee to discuss or adopt a draft report, draft resolution or amendment as outlined in the United Nations Charter is in order at any time prior to entering voting procedure,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • The effect is the same as Adjournment of Debate (rule 7.3) and requires a motion for Reconsideration of Proposals (rule 7.12) in order to discuss the item again.

7.9 Consideration of Agenda Topics. Agenda topics will be considered in the order in which they appear in the Issues at AMUN handbook, unless that order is altered by the passage of a motion for Consideration of Agenda Topics,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • This motion is not debatable, and
  • This motion is not in order during the Combined General Assembly Plenary session.

7.10 Limits on Debate. A motion to limit or extend the time allotted to each delegation, or limit the number of times each delegation can speak on a proposal, is in order at any time,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • The time allotted for substantive speeches shall be no less than three minutes,
  • The time allotted for procedural speeches shall be no less than one minute,
  • This motion may limit the number of Points of Inquiry a speaker may accept to a minimum of one, and
  • A motion to limit the time of debate on an agenda topic, draft report, draft resolution, or amendment is also in order.

7.11 Division of the Question. A motion to divide the question, proposing that clauses of an amendment or draft resolution or paragraphs of a draft report be voted on separately, is in order at any time prior to entering voting procedure on the amendment, draft resolution, or report,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • After a motion for Division of the Question passes, no other motion for Division of the Question is in order on that amendment, draft resolution or draft report,
  • Those clauses or paragraphs of the amendment, draft resolution, or report which are approved shall then be put to a vote as a whole, and
  • If division causes the draft resolution or report to no longer be in the proper format (rules 4.1 and 4.3), the proposal as a whole is rejected.

7.12 Reconsideration of Proposals.. A motion for Reconsideration of Proposals is in order on a report, amendment, or draft resolution which has passed or failed when put to a final vote. The motion is also in order for proposals on which Adjournment of Debate has passed (rule 7.3), on proposals on which a Decision of No Action was decided (rule 7.5) and on proposals upon which the Committee has decided it was not competent to discuss or adopt (rule 7.8),

  • This motion requires a second and a two-thirds majority vote for passage,
  • Two delegations may speak opposed to the motion, and
  • If the motion passes, the issue is brought back before the body for debate and may be voted on again.

7.13 Important Question. Applicable only in the General Assembly Plenary (rule 8.6).

7.14 Consideration of Draft Reports. Applicable only in the Economic and Social Council and designated reporting bodies (rule 9.5).

7.15 Consideration of Draft Resolutions. A draft resolution may be moved to the floor by a motion for Consideration of Draft Resolutions,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • The motion is not debatable,
  • Only one draft resolution may be on the floor at any time,
  • If the motion passes, the delegation moving consideration will be allowed to speak first on the draft resolution, if desired, and
  • This motion is not in order during the Combined General Assembly Plenary session.

7.16 Consideration of Amendments. To bring an amendment to the floor for discussion, a delegation must first be recognized by the Chair,

  • No verbal second is required,
  • The Committee Secretariat will present the amendment to the body, and
  • The delegation moving consideration will be allowed to speak first on the amendment, if desired.

7.17 Setting the Order of Consideration of Draft Resolutions for Combined GA Plenary Session. This motion is in order at the conclusion of General Assembly Committee sessions, prior to convening the Combined General Assembly Plenary session. Each main General Assembly Committee must set a priority order of consideration of the resolutions which have passed during its sessions for consideration by the Combined Plenary. The Combined Plenary will then consider these resolutions for ratification, as described in rule 8.4,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • This motion is not debatable,
  • This motion may list two resolutions considered by the Committee for consideration by the Combined Plenary, in the order the Committee wishes them to be considered,
  • The first motion to set the order of consideration of draft resolutions to receive a majority vote shall determine the order in which the draft resolutions are considered in the Combined Plenary. After a majority vote is received, no other motion to set the order of consideration of draft resolutions is in order for that Committee,
  • If a Committee session concludes and this motion has not yet passed, the order will be set by the Committee Dais Staff and the President of the General Assembly, and
  • This motion is not in order during the General Assembly Plenary sessions or the Economic and Social Council.

8.0 Rules Relating Only to the General Assembly Plenary Sessions

This section of the rules applies to both the Concurrent General Assembly Plenary session, which will convene at the same time as the main Committees, and to the Combined General Assembly Plenary session. Each rule below identifies the General Assembly session(s) to which it applies.

8.1 Interchangeability of Rules. All Committee rules apply to the conduct of business in the General Assembly Plenary, except where noted below:

  • Motions described under Consideration of Agenda Topics (rule 7.9), Consideration of Draft Resolutions (rule 7.15), and Setting the Order of Consideration of Resolutions for Combined GA Plenary Session (rule 7.17) are not in order during the Combined General Assembly session, and
  • Roll Call votes are not in order during Combined General Assembly Plenary.

8.2 Quorum. The Concurrent General Assembly will observe the quorum requirements of rule 1.4. In the Combined General Assembly Plenary session, a quorum will be one-third of the member delegations in attendance at the conference.

8.3 Officers. The President of the General Assembly shall act as the principal Chair of the Assembly, with the Assembly Vice President, Committee Chairs and Rapporteurs serving as supporting officers during the Combined General Assembly Plenary. The officers shall have all the powers, duties, and responsibilities, as described in Committee Officers (rule 1.5) and General Authority of the Chair (rule 1.6).

8.4 Order of Consideration of Committees in Combined General Assembly Plenary. The Secretary-General will randomly select an order for consideration of Committees in the Combined Plenary session. Each Committee will establish, in advance, the order in which its own passed resolutions are to be considered for ratification (rule 7.17). The Combined Plenary session will begin by considering the first resolution selected by the initial Committee. After considering this resolution, the Combined Plenary will then consider the first resolution selected by the next Committee on the list. Each Committee’s first resolution will be considered in turn. After the last Committee’s first resolution has been considered, the Combined Plenary will consider the second resolution prioritized by the next Committee in the order and move down the Committee list again,

  • Resolutions passed by a Committee are considered in the Combined Plenary with no additional signatures needed,
  • When a Committee resolution is brought to the floor of the Combined Plenary, an automatic limit of debate of 15 minutes is imposed on the discussion; after 15 minutes (including debate and suspension time) have expired, the draft resolution will come to an immediate vote as if Closure of Debate (rule 7.4), had been passed,
  • For the purposes of this rule, a Committee resolution has been considered when the Limit for Debate has expired or when any of the following motions is passed: Adjournment of Debate (rule 7.3), Closure of Debate (rule 7.4), or Decision of No Action (rule 7.5),
  • If a resolution before the Combined Plenary does not pass (either through a failed vote, Adjournment of Debate or a Decision of No Action), the Combined Plenary may move to reconsider that resolution (rule 7.12) when the Committee from which it originated is again under consideration. A successful vote for reconsideration of a resolution would have the effect of deferring all subsequent resolutions selected by that Committee for consideration in the Combined Plenary to the next available time for that Committee, and
  • Combined General Assembly Plenary will hear the reports of and consider resolutions accepting the work of its reporting bodies. The Secretary-General will place the relevant resolution(s) on the agenda for Combined General Assembly Plenary,
  • Combined General Assembly Plenary will also hear a summary of resolutions, and a discussion of work of those bodies that the Secretary-General placed on the agenda.

8.5 Decision of No Action. During the discussion of any draft resolution or amendment, a representative may move that the body take no action on that matter,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • The effect is the same as adjourning debate (rule 7.3) and requires a motion for Reconsideration (rule 7.12) in order to discuss the item again, and
  • This motion is in order during the Concurrent and Combined General Assembly Plenary sessions.

8.6 Important Question. An Important Question in the General Assembly requires a two-thirds majority vote of all members present and voting for passage. Amendments to draft resolutions dealing with Important Questions also require a two-thirds majority vote for passage. Decisions on Important Questions are applicable only to the General Assembly. When discussed in committees, these issues are debated and voted upon utilizing normal committee rules. Such questions shall include:

  • This motion requires a second and a simple majority to pass,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote,
  • This motion is in order only in the Concurrent and Combined General Assembly Plenary sessions,
  • Recommendations with respect to maintenance of international peace and security (only when the Security Council fails to act),
  • Admission of new members to the United Nation,
  • Suspension of rights and privileges of membership,
  • Expulsion of Member States,
  • Questions in relationship to the Trusteeship system, and
  • Budgetary questions,
  • Draft resolutions which fall into these categories are automatically Important Questions, and will be designated as such by the President of the General Assembly,
  • Determination of additional categories of Important Questions may be made by a simple majority vote of the Members present and voting, before a vote is taken on any part of a proposal dealing with the subject,

8.7 Security Council Priority Relating to Issues Concerning the Maintenance of International Peace and Security. The Security Council, as established in the United Nations Charter, shall have priority over the General Assembly on issues that pertain to the maintenance of international peace and security. Issues of this type, while under discussion in the Security Council, shall be seized from General Assembly action. Any General Assembly draft resolution pertaining to a seized issue cannot be put to a final vote until the Security Council has completed its deliberations on the subject,

  • General Assembly draft resolutions that deal with a seized issue may be discussed and amended, but no final vote on the draft resolution may be taken,
  • If no resolution has been adopted, the Security Council will be considered to have completed its deliberations on a seized issue once that agenda topic is no longer under discussion,
  • The Council may declare itself actively seized on a topic by stating this in a resolution; this seizure will prevent the General Assembly from taking action until a two-hour time period has elapsed,
  • General Assembly representatives will be kept informed by the Secretary-General of any seized issues, and
  • Note that this rule applies to only the Concurrent and Combined General Assembly Plenary sessions.

8.8 Applications for Admission of New Member States. Any State which desires to become a member shall submit an application to the Secretary-General prior to the start of the Conference and at a date communicated by the AMUN Secretariat. Applications shall contain a declaration, made in a formal instrument, that the State in question accepts the obligations contained in the United Nations Charter,

  • The Secretary-General shall inform the Security Council and the General Assembly of any applications.

8.9 Consideration of Applications and Decisions Thereon. If the Security Council recommends the application of a State for membership, the General Assembly may consider whether the applicant is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the United Nations Charter,

  • Any draft resolution on admission is automatically an Important Question,
  • If the Security Council does not recommend the applicant State for membership, or if it postpones consideration of the application, the General Assembly may, after full consideration of the special report of the Security Council, send the application back to the Council, together with a full record of the discussion of the General Assembly, for further consideration and recommendation, and
  • Note that this motion is in order only in the Concurrent and Combined General Assembly Plenary sessions.

8.10 Notification of the Decision and Effective Date of Membership. The Secretary-General shall inform the applicant State of the decision of the General Assembly. If the application is approved, membership shall become effective on the date on which the General Assembly takes its decision on the application.

9.0 Rules Relating to the Economic and Social Council, its Subsidiary Bodies and Special Committees

This section of the rules applies to the Economic and Social Council, its Plenary session, and all meetings of report-writing bodies.

9.1 Interchangeability of the Rules. All committee rules apply to the conduct of business in the Economic and Social Council, its subsidiary bodies, and special committees. The priority of rules for motions specific to the Council shall be the order in which they are listed under Section 9, and they shall follow all other GA/ECOSOC rules in overall precedence.

9.2 Participation of Non-Member States. The Council may invite a non-represented State or intergovernmental organization to participate in its discussions on any item before the body. This includes all United Nations Member States, recognized non-Member States, and any organization or individual recognized by the United Nations whose participation would enhance the proceedings of the Council,

  • Non-Members may be invited into the Council by a request made to the Chair from any Member State,
  • Non-Council United Nations Member States shall have the same rights as observers (rule 1.10) in the General Assembly, and
  • Organizations or individuals may speak and accept points of inquiry, but have no rights to make any motion or vote.

9.3 Consideration of Reports in ECOSOC Plenary Session. The Secretariat will announce an agenda for the ECOSOC Plenary session at the beginning of its meeting,

  • The agenda will establish the order in which Committees’ reports are to be considered, and the agenda will be made available at the dais for review,
  • The agenda order may be altered by a majority vote of the Council (rule 7.15). ECOSOC must consider one report or item from each Committee before considering a second report or item from any Committee,
  • When a draft resolution considering a committee’s report is brought to the floor of ECOSOC Plenary, an automatic limit of debate, as determined by the Secretary-General and announced by the Chair, is imposed on the draft resolution; after this time (including debate and suspension time) has expired, the draft resolution will come to an immediate vote as if Closure of Debate had been passed,
  • This limit may be lengthened, shortened, or repealed through the passage of a motion for Limits on Debate (rule 7.10),
  • For the purposes of this rule, a report has been considered when either Closure of Debate is successfully moved or the automatic limit has expired, and a vote, either passing or failing, has been taken on a draft resolution pertaining to the report, and
  • This motion is only in order during the ECOSOC Plenary Session.

9.4 Consultative Session. The Council may choose to suspend the rules and enter an informal, consultative session if the Members determine that this process will better facilitate the discussion of a particular issue,

  • The motion should specify a length of time and a moderator for the consultative session,
  • A moderator can be a representative or Secretariat Member,
  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote
  • The Council will move immediately into a formal session at the conclusion of the consultative session, and
  • See also Consultative Session (rule 7.7).

9.5 Consideration of Draft Reports. A draft report may be moved to the floor by a motion for Consideration of Draft Reports,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • This motion is not debatable,
  • Only one draft report may be on the floor at any time,
  • If the motion passes, the delegation moving consideration will be allowed to speak first on the draft report, if desired, and
  • See also Consideration of Draft Reports (rule 7.14).

9.6 Formation of Committees. A delegation may propose the formation of a committee to deal with any issue(s). The motion must be submitted in writing to the Chair prior to being made from the floor, and must contain the following:

  1. Membership of the committee,
  2. Issue(s) to be investigated,
  3. Objectives of the committee, and
  4. Duration of the committee’s existence.

A committee, once established, shall elect its own officers and determine its rules of procedure, within the bounds of the Council rules,

  • This motion requires a second,
  • Two delegations may speak in favor of the motion and two opposed; the motion shall then be put to a vote, and
  • Upon the conclusion of the committee’s work, it will report its findings to the Council.

9.7 Formation of Commissions. The Council has the authority to establish commissions on topics that require long-term consideration,

  • A commission may be established to develop a convention or treaty, or to deal with an issue that requires more in-depth deliberation than the Council can provide,
  • The motion to establish a commission should be in the form of a draft resolution, detail the commission’s membership, and establish the mandate for its formation, and
  • Upon the conclusion of the commission’s work, it will report to the Council as a whole for approval on its findings.

9.8 Creation of Conventions and Treaties. The Council may decide to draft a convention or treaty on any given topic. The Council shall determine the format of such a document,

  • Conventions and treaties, upon conclusion, shall be sent to the Combined General Assembly Plenary for approval and ratification by all Member States, and
  • This rule applies only to the Economic and Social Council and not its subsidiary bodies.

SC Short Form

Rule Debatable? Vote Required Description
6.1 Point of Order No None Point out a misuse of the rules
6.2 Point of Information No None Ask any question of the President, or gain a clarification
6.3 Point of Inquiry No None Ask a question of a speaker at the end of their  speech, prior to the Delegation’s yielding the floor
7.1 Suspension of the Meeting No Majority Recess the meeting for a specific period of time
7.2 Adjournment of the Meeting No Majority End the meeting for the year
7.3 Adjournment of Debate Yes Majority Remove from consideration any substantive issue open to debate without a vote on the content of that proposal
7.4 Closure of Debate on an Agenda Topic Yes Majority End debate on an agenda topic, bringing any draft resolution and amendments on the floor to an immediate vote
7.5 Closure of Debate Yes Majority End debate on any substantive issue open to debate and bring it to an immediate vote
7.6 Appealing a Decision of the President Yes Majority Challenge a ruling made by the President
7.7 Consultative Session Yes Majority Suspend rules and move to an informal debate session
7.8 Add an Agenda Topic Yes Majority Add an agenda topic to the working agenda
7.9 Change the Order of Consideration of the Working Agenda Yes Majority Change the order in which agenda items are set on the working agenda
7.10 Set Working Agenda Yes Majority Set the daily order for the working agenda
7.11 Limits on Debate Yes Majority Impose (or repeal) a limit on the length of debate
7.12 Division of the Question Yes Majority Divide a draft resolution or amendment into two or more clauses, each to be voted on separately after Closure of Debate
7.13 Consideration of Draft Resolutions No None Bring a draft resolution to the floor for discussion
7.14 Consideration of Amendments No None Bring an amendment to the floor for discussion
7.15 Party to the Dispute Yes Majority Request a non-Security Council member be invited to the session

Notes:

  1. A majority in the Security Council shall always be 9 votes.
  2. Historical Security Councils set before 1965 will require a 7 vote majority for passage.
  3. Any motion may be seconded, but no seconds are required in the Security Council.

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GA Short Form

Rule Second? Debatable? Vote Required Description
6.1 Point of Order No No None Point out a misuse of the rules
6.2 Point of Information No No None Ask any question of the Chair, or gain a clarification
6.3 Point of Inquiry No No None Ask a question of a speaker at the end of their speech, prior to the Delegation’s yielding the floor
7.1 Suspension of the Meeting Yes No Simple Majority Recess the meeting for a specific period of time
7.2 Adjournment of the Meeting Yes No Simple Majority End the meeting for the year
7.3 Adjournment of Debate Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Remove from consideration any proposal on the floor without a vote on the content of that proposal
7.4 Closure of Debate Yes 2 Con Simple Majority End debate on any proposal on the floor and bring it to an immediate vote
7.5 Decision of No Action Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Only in GA Plenary sessions; signify that no action will be taken on the matter
7.6 Appealing a Decision of the Chair Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Challenge a ruling made by the Chair
7.7 Consultative Session Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Only in ECOSOC and report writing bodies; suspend rules and move to an informal debate session
7.8 Decision of Competence Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Question whether the UN body is competent to act on a certain issue within the Charter and international law
7.9 Consideration of Agenda Topics Yes No Simple Majority Change the order in which agenda items are discussed
7.10 Limits on Debate Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Impose (or repeal) a limit on the length of any form of debate
7.11 Division of the Question Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Divide a draft resolution or amendment into two or more clauses, or divide a report into two or more paragraphs, each to be voted on separately after Closure of Debate
7.12 Reconsideration of Proposals Yes 2 Con 2 / 3 Majority Reconsider an item on which debate has been adjourned or upon which a vote has been taken
7.13 Important Question Yes 2 Pro
2 Con
Simple Majority Only in GA Plenary sessions; requires a 2/3 majority vote to adopt a draft resolution or amendment
7.14 Consideration of Draft Reports Yes No Simple Majority Only in report-writing bodies; bring a draft report to the floor for discussion
7.15 Consideration of Draft Resolutions Yes No Simple Majority Bring a draft resolution to the floor for discussion
7.16 Consideration of Amendments No No None Bring an amendment to the floor for discussion
7.17 Setting the Order of Consideration of Draft Resolutions for the GA Plenary Session Yes No Simple Majority Establish a priority order for draft resolutions passed in GA committees to be considered by the Combined GA Plenary

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Document Format and Style

  • All preambular and operative phrases are italicized.
  • The first word of all clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses is capitalized. In a clause with a two-word introductory phrase (e.g., Further noting) both words are italicized, but only the first is capitalized.
  • All preambular clauses begin with an “ing” form verb (e.g., Acknowledging, Recalling), or other appropriate phrase (e.g., Alarmed by).
  • All operative clauses begin with a verb that demonstrates action (e.g., Requests, Calls upon).
  • All words should be spelled according to standard American usage, except in formal program or organization names or titles (e.g., World Food Programme).
  • Acronyms and initialisms are appropriate in resolutions, except when referring to the United Nations and its principal organs (e.g., the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council), which should always be spelled out in full.
  • Acronyms and initialisms are written out in full the first time they are used within a resolution, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses (e.g., African Development Bank (ADB)).
  • Full dates should always be used, including in reference to resolutions (e.g., 9 October 1977 or resolution 61/171 of 19 December 2006).
  • In Security Council resolutions, the year the resolution was passed should be in parentheses along with the full date (e.g., resolution 1757 (2007) of 30 May 2007).
  • When referencing a resolution, use the short resolution number instead of the full document symbol (e.g., resolution 61/171 instead of resolution A/Res/61/171).
  • Whole numbers under 10 are written out, except in fractions, in lists or comparisons, in percentages, vote counts, ratios, etc.
  • Numbers between 10 and 999,999 should be written in figures, except at the beginning of a clause/sentence.
  • Millions, billions and trillions, are written as follows: 1 million, 4.3 billion, etc.
  • Isolated references to weights and measurements are spelled out (e.g., ten kilometers).
  • Generally, do not use a comma before the final element of a list.
  • Lists of sponsors and/or authors are not required in the final version of documents. Once passed, they become the work and property of the whole body.

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