Rules of Procedure

based on Manual for UN Delegates published by United Nations Institute for Training and Research, 2011) Michaela Dorčíková, Tomáš Kučera, Lucia Lamošová

Rules of Procedure (PDF)

1. General Considerations 

1.1 Language 

English shall be both the official and the working language of the ZAMUN Conference. 

1.1.1 Addressing the Chairman 

It is important to address the Chairman by his/her correct title (Mr/Madam President/Chair). When the Chairman has given you the floor, your first words should be “Thank you Mr/Madam/Honourable Chair for the floor (for giving me the floor, etc.).” 

1.1.2 Addressing other interlocutors 

In formal debate, you speak of others only in the third person (distinguished/fellow/honourable delegate/representative/delegation of country X‘). Your use of the correct forms of address is the most elementary way to show respect for the conference and the other delegates. Cross-talking between delegates shall not be tolerated. 

1.2 Representation 

A member of the Committee is a representative who is officially registered with the Conference. Each member will be represented by one to four delegates and will have the right to one vote in each Committee. This rule shall not apply to the countries with the Observer status, whose representatives shall enjoy the same rights as other delegates except for signing or sponsoring the resolution or voting on substantive matters. In order to increase their effectiveness, the small delegations should focus on a limited number of objectives and work cooperatively with other delegations. The essential requirements are dignity (because you represent your nation), politeness (to show respect for other delegations as individuals and for the governments, states, nations and causes they represent) and conformity to the customs and rules of the ZAMUN Conference. 

1.3 General Powers of the Chairpersons 

Please note that Chairpersons are responsible for determining rules that are necessary to facilitate debate and discussion. In case of conflict of interpretation, the Chairpersons have the final authority for determining the applicability of the Rules of Procedure. The decisions of a Chairperson may only be overruled by the President of the General Assembly or the Secretary General. The Chairperson may ask for advice from the Secretary General or the President of the General Assembly. 

1.4 Quorum 

The Chairpersons may allow motion to establish quorum and permit debate to proceed when at least one-third of the members of the Committee are present. In the case of the General Assembly, at least one-half of the members of the conference are required to be present.  

1.5 Rules of Procedure 

All delegates taking part in the conference should only refer to this document in terms of any procedural matters. 

1.6 Dress code 

International Business Attire is required from all the participants. The only exception are national or religious garments of the country the Delegate is representing, which should be worn with due respect. 


2. Committee Board 

2.1 Chairpersons 

The Presidency of each Committee shall be composed of two Co-chairs. 

2.2. Competence of the Chairpersons 

The competence of the Chairpersons may not be questioned by delegates. 


3. Delegations 

3.1. Members 

The delegates shall represent United Nations member states. The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America are Permanent Members of the Security Council where they can apply the veto power. 


4. Parliamentary Procedure 

4.1 Roll Call 

Attendance shall be conducted by the Chairpersons by a Roll Call at the beginning of every session, after a member of the committee raises the Motion to establish the quorum, or to challenge the quorum in case of a fellow delegate returning from their absence. Delegates shall establish their presence in the Committee by raising their placards and declaring „Present“ or „Present and Voting“. The Permanent Members of the Security Council must declare „Present and Voting“, abolishing in that way their right to abstain in all voting procedures on substantive matters. 

4.2 Majority 

Unless otherwise specified, no procedural matters are debatable and all require a simple majority vote to pass. 

4.2.1 Majority on Procedural Matters 

In accordance with Article 27 of the Charter of the United Nations, all votes on procedural matters require a simple majority of votes in favour. 

4.3 Recognition 

A Delegate may only address the committee if he/she has received the floor from the Chair. 

4.4 Interruptions 

A Speaker may not be interrupted by another Delegate unless the Delegate has raised Point of Personal Privilege or Point of Order. 


4.5 Speeches 

4.5.1 General Speaker’s list 

The General Speakers’ List is the main form of formal discussion and it creates the framework of the Debate. The Debate session starts by opening the General Speakers’ List and it is adjourned by the General Speakers’ List elapsing, i.e. by the absence of speakers on the General Speakers’ List. At any time the Chair may call for members that wish to be added to the General Speaker’s List. A member may add its name to the General Speaker’s List by submitting a note to the Chair or by raising a Motion to be added to the General Speakers’ List when the floor is opened to Points or Motions. The names of the next several members to speak will always be posted for the convenience of the Committee. 

4.6.2. Speeches 

No delegate may address a session without having previously obtained the floor from the Chair. 

4.6.3 Relevance of Speech 

A Chair may call a Delegate to order if his/her speech is not relevant to the subject matter being discussed. 

4.7 Yields 

Only during the General Speakers’ List Delegate yields any remaining time at the end of his/her speech in one of the following manners: 

4.7.1 To Points of Information 

Delegates wishing to ask questions shall raise their placards and wait to be recognized by the Chair. The Chair shall rule questions that are rhetorical, leading or not relevant to the Speaker’s speech out of order. Only the Speaker’s answer shall be deducted from the remaining speaking time. 

4.7.2 To Another Delegate 

A Speaker wishing to give the remaining time allotted to his/her speech to another Delegate can do so. A Speaker that has been yielded to cannot yield his or her time again. To turn the floor over to a co-delegate of the same member state is not considered a yield. 

4.7.3 To the Chair 

If a specific yield has not been established by the Speaker, the floor shall be returned back to the Chair. During the Moderated Caucus, the floor will automatically be given back to the Chair, i.e. there is no yielding of the floor in the Moderated caucus. 

4.8 Points 

4.8.1 Point of Personal Privilege 

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Personal Privilege if a matter impairs him/her from participating fully in Committee’s activities. The Chairpersons shall try to effectively address the source of impairment. This point may interrupt a Speaker. 

4.8.2 Point of Information 

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Information directly after a speech delivered by another Delegate. Points of Informations are raised when a Delegate demands a clarification of another Delegate’s speech, or to ask another Delegate a question relating to their prior speech. Points of Information must always be phrased as a question. This motion may not interrupt a Speaker. 

4.8.3 Point of Order 

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Order if a rule of procedure is not properly observed by a Delegate or by Chairpersons. The Chair will rule on the validity of the point. A Delegate rising to a Point of Order may not comment on the topic of discussion. A Point of Order may only interrupt a speaker if the speech is not following proper parliamentary procedure. 

4.8.4 Point of Parliamentary Inquiry 

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry requesting an explanation from the Chair on the Rules of Procedure. This point may not interrupt a Speaker. 

4.8.5 Right of Reply 

A Delegate whose personal or national integrity has been impugned by another Delegate’s comments may rise to a Right of Reply. Disagreement with the content of a Delegate’s speech is not grounds for a Right of Reply. The Chair will recognize the Right of Reply at his/her discretion. Should the Chair rule the Right of Reply out of order, his/her decision cannot be appealed. The Chair might choose to set a time limit for a Right of Reply. No delegate may call for a Right of Reply on a Right of Reply. 

4.9 Motions 

4.9.1 Seconds and Objections 

Seconds serve to express support for any proposed Motion. In order to pass, every Motion needs to be supported by a second from at least one of the other members of the Committee. Objections serve to express refusal or opposition towards a proposed Motion. If any Delegate raises an objection towards a Motion, the Motion itself is put to a procedural vote and requires a simple majority to pass. In case there are no objections to a motion it passes automatically. 

4.9.1 Motion for a follow-up 

This motion is tied directly to a Point of Information. If a Delegate’s Point of Information was not sufficiently answered, or the answer of their fellow Delegate requires further information or explanation, they may raise a Motion for a follow-up, in which the Delegate shall, very briefly, provide the information they feel is necessary. Unlike Points of Information, a follow-up shall be phrased as a declarative sentence. There are no follow-ups to a follow-up. This Motion shall not be voted upon and may or may not pass under the discretion of a Chairperson. 

4.9.2 Motion to Set Speaking Time 

A Delegate may move to set a time limit on speeches. A Delegate exceeding the allotted time for a speech may be called to order by the Chair. 

4.9.3 Motion for a Moderated Caucus 

A Delegate may move for a Moderated Caucus by suggesting a change from formal debate to moderated informal debate. A Delegate who moves for Moderated Caucus must suggest a time length of the caucus, speaking time and the topic which is to be discussed. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate caucus length of speaking time or may rule the Moderated Caucus out of order without the possibility of appeal. If the Motion passes, the committee will enter an informal debate where the Chair will recognize Delegates who raise their placards to speak about the issue at hand. If no delegate wishes to speak during a moderated caucus, the caucus will immediately elapse. There shall be no Speakers’ List in the Moderated Caucus. The delegates shall be recognised instantly upon raising their placards. In case of multiple placards being raised at once, it is up to the Chairperson to choose which Delegate shall be recognised. This decision may not be appealed.  

4.9.4 Motion to Extend the Moderated Caucus 

A Delegate may move to Extend the Moderated Caucus if he/she feels that additional time benefits the Committee’s work. The Delegate moving for an Extension of the Moderated Caucus must suggest a length for the extension, which shall not exceed one-half of the duration of the original Moderated Caucus. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate caucus length of speaking time and put it to vote or may rule the Motion out of order without the possibility of appeal. 

4.9.5 Motion for an Unmoderated Caucus 

A Delegate may move for an Unmoderated Caucus by suggesting a change from formal to informal debate. The delegate making the motion must briefly explain its purpose and specify the time limit for the caucus, not to exceed twenty-five minutes. The Chair may rule the Unmoderated Caucus out of order without the possibility of appeal. 

4.9.6 Motion to Extend the Unmoderated Caucus 

A Delegate may move to Extend the Unmoderated Caucus if he/she feels that additional time would benefit the work of the Committee. The delegate making the motion must briefly explain its purpose and specify a time limit for the caucus, not to exceed one-half of the original time. The Chair may rule the motion out of order.  

4.9.7. Motion for a Round-Table 

If a topic discussed requires all present members to share their standpoint or if a Delegate wishes to know other Delegates’ policy regarding a certain subtopic, any Delegate may raise a Motion for a Round-Table. Upon raising this Motion a Delegate must state a single speaking time and a topic of the Round-Table. During this Motion, all Delegates shall give a brief speech regarding their standpoints and policies regarding the selected topic. The members shall deliver their speeches in alphabetical order upon being given the floor by their Chairperson. The Round-Table may be imposed under the discretion of a Chairperson if they deem it necessary. 

4.9.8 Motion for a Q&A Session 

Any Delegate may raise a motion for a Q&A Session with another Delegate. Upon being raised, this Motion requires a simple majority to pass. The Delegate raising this Motion shall also state the number of questions that may be asked during the session and the main topic. During the Q&A session, the selected Delegate will be open to the exact number of questions stated by the Delegate raising the motion. These questions can be asked by any of the present members. There are no extensions of a Q&A session. 

4.9.9 Motion for a Straw Poll 

Simulation of a voting procedure serves only for informational purposes. During this motion, the Committee will take an informal vote on any matter currently being discussed with the votes having no impact on the result of the matter being discussed. 

4.9.10 Motion to censor a Delegate 

This Motion may be raised by any Delegate and imposed on any other member of the Committee in case of any member being vulgar, or deliberately sabotaging or hindering the Committee work. If this Motion passes, the selected Delegate shall lose their right to deliver speeches or raise Points or Motions other than the Point of Personal Privilege for a duration of time specified by the Delegate raising the motion. This Motion requires a simple majority, as well as the direct consent of the Chairperson. 

4.9.11 Motion for the Suspension of the Meeting 

A Delegate may move for the Suspension of the Meeting to suspend all Committee activities until the next scheduled meeting time. The Chair may rule the Motion out of order without the possibility of appeal or put it to vote. 

4.9.12 Motion for the Adjournment of the Session 

A Delegate may move for the Adjournment of the Session to suspend all Committee activities for the duration of the conference. The Chair may rule the Motion out of order without the possibility of appeal or put it to an immediate vote. 

4.9.13. Motion to proceed into the voting procedure 

This motion requires a simple majority to pass. If the motion passes, the committee will skip the part dedicated to speeches and debate and proceed directly with a voting procedure on the matter. This motion may be applied on substantive matters. 

4.9.13 Order of Priority of Motions 

  1. Adjourning the Meeting 2. Suspending the Meeting 3. Introducing Draft Resolutions 4. Introducing Amendments 5. Introducing Working Papers 6. Moderated Caucus 7. Unmoderated Caucus

4.10. Resolutions and Amendments 

4.10.1 Working Paper 

A Working Paper is an unofficial document used by Delegates to work on building a Draft Resolution. When a Working Paper is introduced, it can be distributed at the Chair’s discretion if requested by a Delegate. 

4.10.2 Resolutions Draft Resolutions 

When a Working Paper is adopted as Draft Resolution through motion to adopt Draft Resolution, it becomes the official document for the committee. If competing Working Papers are complementary or fairly identical, the Chair may recommend that the Sponsors of the Working Papers combine the documents prior to the end of the debate. If two or more Working Papers are on the floor, the committee shall vote on the resolutions in the order in which they have been submitted. Resolution denomination 

A Draft Resolution that has been put to a vote by the Committee and passes may be referred to as a „Resolution“. Format 

Draft Resolutions must be properly formatted according to the guidelines found in the „Resolution Writing“ section. Main Submitter 

The Main Submitter is recognized as the main writer and submitter of the Draft Resolution. The Main Submitter must be present for a Working Paper to be introduced to the floor as a Draft Resolution. The Main Submitter is required to support the Draft Resolution during the voting procedure. Co-Submitters 

Co-Submitters are recognized as supporters of the Draft Resolution. The required number of Co-Submitters shall be two. The respective number of Co-Submitters must be present on a Working Paper to be introduced to the floor as a Draft Resolution. Co-Submitters are required to support the Draft Resolution during the voting procedure. Signatories 

Signatories are recognised as supporters of the Draft Resolution. There is no required number of signatories on a Draft Resolution. Signatories are not required to support the Draft Resolution in a voting procedure. By becoming one of the Signatories, the delegates merely express their interest in debating on the Draft Resolution or showing their support for it. Introduction of a Draft Resolution 

A Delegate may move to introduce a Draft Resolution by raising a motion. Once the Working Paper has been assigned a Draft Resolution, the Chair shall invite the Main Submitter of the Resolution to read out only the operative clauses of the Draft Resolution to the Committee. The Main Submitter will then be recognized for three minutes to speak in favour of the Draft Resolution. At the end of their speech, the Delegate may yield their remaining time to one of the Co-Submitters or open themselves to Points of Information. A new debate upon this Draft Resolution shall begin and a new Speaker’s List shall be established. Panel of Authors 

After a Draft Resolution has been introduced, any of its Submitters may call for a Panel of Authors to be convened for the purpose of answering questions raised by the Committee relating to the Draft Resolution. If passed, the Chair shall set a time limit of no more than twenty minutes during which members of the Committee may ask short questions to the Submitters for the purpose of clarifying the content or meaning of the Resolution. Delegates should note that the Panel of Authors is not meant for the debate of principles, but is instead a forum for strict clarification of the details of a Draft Resolution. 


4.10.3 Amendments 

During Debate on a Draft Resolution, a Delegate may move to introduce an Amendment that will add to, strike out from or revise a part of the Draft Resolution. The Amendment has to be first approved by the Chair. It is in the discretion of the Chair to define the period of time during which the floor will be open to amendments. Amendments to Preambulatory Clauses 

Amendments to Preambulatory Clauses are not in order. Non-Substantive Amendments 

Amendments correcting grammatical, spelling or formatting mistakes on Draft Resolutions will be automatically adopted without a vote from the Committee, at the discretion of the Chair. Following the initial reading of the Draft Resolution by its sponsor, delegates are permitted to point out any such problems to the Chairpersons. Friendly Amendments 

Substantive Amendments approved by the Submitters will automatically be integrated into the Draft Resolution without a vote from the Committee. Unfriendly Amendments 

Substantive Amendments to a Draft Resolution not approved by the Submitters of a Draft Resolution are considered unfriendly and require approval from the Chair to be introduced. Unfriendly Amendments will automatically be put to a vote. 

4.11 Voting Procedure 

When the Chair announces that the Committee is entering the voting procedure, the Motion for Roll Call Voting is in order. Each Delegate of the Committee has one vote and must demonstrate his/her voting intentions by raising his/her placard at the Chair’s request unless there is a Roll Call vote. Delegates may vote YES, NO, ABSTAIN or they may PASS. No Delegate shall vote on behalf of another Delegate. Voting on procedural matters shall be conducted via the ad-hoc voting procedure and require a one-half majority to pass and the voting on substantive matters shall be conducted via Roll Call and require a two-thirds majority to pass. 

4.11.1 Roll Call 

Vote Roll Call Motions may only be in order for substantive matters. This Motion is automatically accepted unless the Chair rules it out of order; the decision is not subject to appeal. 

4.11.2 Passing 

During Roll Call, a Delegate may choose to pass. The Chair will place the Delegate at the bottom of the voting list. A Delegate who has passed cannot ABSTAIN from voting. 


5. Online Resources 

The United Nations Website 

The UN General Assembly 

The UN Security Council 

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime 

The UN Human Rights Council 

The Disarmament and International Security Committee  

UN Digital Library 

Other Important Non-UN Actors: 

African Union 

Amnesty International 

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 

East African Community 

European union 

Human Rights Watch 

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent 

International Monetary Fund 

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 

World Bank 

World Trade Organisation 


6. Format of a Resolution 

6.1. Heading 

The title should be centred, in capital letters, above the main body of the draft resolution. The title can be as simple as „DRAFT RESOLUTION“. On the left margin and two lines below the title should be the Committee and topic name. 

6.2. Body 

The draft resolution is written in the format of a long sentence, with the following rules: 

  • Preambulatory Clauses describe the problem being addressed, recall past actions taken, explain the purpose of the draft resolution and offer support for the operative clauses that follow. Each clause in the preamble begins with a word in italics and ends with a semicolon.
  • Operative Clauses are numbered and state the action to be taken by the body. These clauses are all with the present tense active verbs and are generally stronger words than those used in the Preamble. Each operative clause is followed by a semicolon except the last, which ends with a period. Operative Clauses shall be underlined.


6.3. Sample preambulatory clauses 

Affirming, Alarmed by, Approving, Aware of, Bearing in mind, Believing, Cognizant of, Confident, Contemplating, Convinced, Declaring, Deeply concerned, Deeply conscious, Deeply convinced, Deeply disturbed, Deeply regretting, Desiring, Emphasising, Expecting, Expressing its appreciation, Expressing its satisfaction, Fulfilling, Fully alarmed, Fully aware, Fully believing, Further developing, Further recalling, Guided by, Having adopted, Having considered, Having devoted attention, Having examined, Having received, Having studied, Keeping in mind, Noting further, Noting with approval, Noting with deep concern, Noting with regret, Noting with satisfaction, Observing, Reaffirming, Realising, Recalling, Recognizing, Referring, Seeking, Taking into account, Taking note 

6.4. Sample operative clauses 

Accepts, Adopts, Affirms, Appeals, Appreciates, Approves, Authorises, Calls upon, Commends, Concurs, Condemns, Confirms, Congratulates, Considers, Decides, Declares, Deplores, Designates, Directs, Emphasises, Encourages, Further, Invites, Further reminds, Further recommends, Further requests, Instructs, Reaffirms, Recognizes, Recommends, Renews its appeal, Repeats, Suggests, Supports, Takes note of, Transmits, Urges, Welcomes 


7. Closing remarks 

7.1. Effectiveness of the Rules of Procedure 

This document shall enter into effectiveness immediately upon its publishing. All ZaMUN personnel, Delegates and the Secretariat shall adhere to the guidelines and rules contained within this document. The Rules of Procedure of ZaMUN2022 shall apply throughout all the official sessions during the entire period of the conference. This document is unamendable and unchangeable unless otherwise ruled by the joint decision of the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly. 

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