What is MUN?
MUN refers to Model United Nations, which is an academic simulation of the United Nations. Participants will represent a country as delegates, discuss, and draft resolutions on a given topic.
What is a General Speakers' List?
A General Speakers’ List (GSL) is the backbone of committee sessions. Speakers on the list, when granted permission by the chairperson, can express their views on the topic in discussion. The list will run throughout the committee sessions until it is exhausted or a motion to close the debate is passed.
What is a Moderated Caucus? How does it differ from General Speakers' List?
A Moderated Caucus (MC) is a motion which could be moved when the floor is open. When it is passed, the committee will temporarily depart from the General Speakers’ List to discuss specific topics on the Topic Area. Unlike General Speakers’ List Speeches, which are more general, speeches made in a moderated caucus should closely relate to the purpose of the caucus.
What is an Unmoderated Caucus?
An Unmoderated Caucus (UMC) is also a motion. When it is passed, the committee will temporarily depart from the General Speakers’ List. Unlike Moderated Caucus, as is suggested by its name, it is unmoderated, meaning a purpose is not required. During an Unmoderated Caucus, no formal procedure is needed to make a speech, in other words, delegates can move around the chamber and communicate with other delegates. (Perhaps it’s time for tea break as well)
I'm not sure about these...
The following is a visualized presentation of the relationship between GSL, MC and UMC.
What is the difference between Point of Order and Point of Parliamentary Inquiry?
When the delegate is not sure about the rules and procedures, or the delegate identifies a minor problem regarding the execution of the rules by the chairperson, a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry could be raised.
On the other hand, a Point of Order should only be made to indicate an instance of extreme impropriety in the use of parliamentary rules. Point of Order is considered a very strong point, thus delegates should not raise it lightly. Generally speaking, delegates should raise a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry instead.
What is yielding?
During the GSL, when the speaker finishes the speech and there is time remaining, the speaker has to decide where should the remaining time go to. This is called “yielding”. Note that yielding options are only available for speeches made in GSL, but not others, for example, speeches in a moderated caucus, opening speeches etc.
Suspension of meeting or adjournment of meeting?
Suspension of meeting is the motion which will temporarily suspend the committee function until the next committee session. It is usually raised at the end of each committee session (other than the last session). So the committee will resume in the next session. It is useful when the committee wants to go on a lunch or dinner break.
Adjournment of meeting is the motion which will permanently suspend all the committee functions for the entire conference. It usually marks the end of a conference and is raised at the very end of the last committee session, when a draft resolution and the voting procedure has been completed. You should never adjourn a meeting for a lunch break!
I heard "chair's stand corrected" sometimes after a delegate had raised a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry. What does it mean?
The phrase “chair’s stand corrected” means that the chairperson acknowledges the point in that the judgement or the execution of the rules has had certain problem, and that it is now being fixed.
Any formats for Working Papers?
No, working papers has no fixed format. Although it is considered as a draft “draft resolution”, it is not necessary to format a working paper as a draft resolution. On the other hand, a draft resolution needs to follow the format given. You may refer to the conference booklet for the format when you are in a MUN conference.
What is meant by signatories?
For working papers and draft resolutions, a list of signatories should be included. Signatories are countries which have agreed for the document to be discussed in the committee. Signing (the action of adding your name onto a working paper or draft resolution) need not indicate support of the draft resolution, and the signatory has no further rights or obligations.
What is procedural voting? Can I vote "abstain"?
Procedural voting, as suggested by its name, is the voting procedure which is used to push forward the progress of a conference. Other than voting for draft resolutions, all voting procedures are considered as procedural, for instance, voting for MCs, UMCs, suspension of meeting etc. In such a voting, non-member states and NGOs can vote. Most importantly, there is no abstention for procedural votes – meaning you cannot vote “abstain”.
What is a substantive voting?
Substantive voting simply refers to the voting procedure for the draft resolutions. In such a voting, you can vote for abstain and it is considered as not voting. In substantive voting, non-member states and NGOs cannot vote. Only member states can vote.
Simple Majority? Two-thirds majority?
A simple majority shall be achieved when there are more “Yes” votes than “No” votes. A two-thirds majority will require at least twice as many “Yes” votes than “No” votes. You may refer to the following table to see which kind of motion requires which kind of majority.
Setting the Agenda
Initiating a moderated/unmoderated caucus
Suspension or adjournment of meeting
Introduction of draft resolution
Passing a draft resolution
Introducing an amendment
Passing an amendment
Reordering voting on draft resolutions
Dividing the question and choosing how to divide.
For the real UN Security Council, the 5 Permanent members have veto power. Is it also a feature in Model United Nations?
Yes, but only for Security Council (SC). Also, the 5 permanent members can only veto in SC’s substantive voting. They cannot veto in the procedural voting as in the real UN.
* The five permanent members of the Security Council (People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) have the right to veto during substantive voting procedures. A “No” vote by any of the members is considered a veto. If such happens, the draft resolution fails.
I am really confused about all of these, what should I do?
Joining a MUN conference will give you a full exposure of a Model United Nations conference. You can experience and know more about how the parliamentary rules are executed. You can also email us if you have questions concerning a MUN conference!