Debate is regulated by chairs, who ensure the correct procedures are adhered to during formal debate time. While they will notify delegates of proper format when it is not followed, familiarity of some of the common terms for points and motions is important to have before the conference, though most delegates pick up the vocabulary quickly when used during debate time.

Available below are some of the procedures used most often at TIMEMUN. (Please note that a copy of this table will be included in the delegate handbook, and committee chairs will review the procedures on the conference’s first day).

Point or Motion Purpose Can Interrupt Speaker? Requires Second? Determined By
Point of Information Ask a question to the speaker No No Speaker/Chair
Point of Parliamentary Inquiry Question Procedures/Chair No No Chair
Point of Personal Privilege Complain about volume, room temperature, etc. Yes (volume only) Yes (not volume) Chair
Motion to Change Speaking Time Request to change the length of speaking time No Yes Chair
Motion to Move Directly to Voting Procedures Go directly to vote No Yes Majority Vote
Motion to Extend Debate Time Extend debate time No Yes Chair
Motion for a Roll Call Vote Votes tabulated by roll call and not by count No Yes Majority Vote (Overrule by Chair)
Motion to Divide the House Abstentions prohibited, all delegates must vote either ‘for’ or ‘against’ No Yes Majority Vote
Motion to approach the chair To ask the chair a question in private No No Chair
Motion to table a clause Stop debating clause and move it to the bottom of the agenda No No 2/3 Majority

Useful terms:
Chair: The chair supervises the debate and ensures that the debate is flowing and on topic.
Main-Submitter: A delegate who writes and turns in a clause to be debated.
Co-Submitter: Delegates who sign onto a clause and would like to see it debated.
Have the Floor: To have the right to speak in debate.
Yield the Floor: To give up the right to speak in debate.

**Notes:

  • Delegates are expected to speak formally and may not use any personal pronouns i.e. I, we.
  • After speaking at the podium, a delegate has 3 options: Yielding the floor to the chair, taking points of information or yielding the floor to another delegate who may then either speak or take points of information, but not both. After the floor has been yielded to a delegate, that delegate may only yield the floor back to the chair, not to another chair.
  • No friendly amendments: After a clause has been projected, the chairs will ask whether anybody has any grammatical concerns before debate takes place.
  • Amendments are in order during time against and open debate.
  • Abstentions are not in order for amendments
  • NGO’s and PNA may not vote for clauses, but may vote for procedural matters and amendments.
  • Note passing is intended for discussing the issues debated, not for personal matters. It is a privilege that can be taken away if it is being abused.