Remember first that only one person may speak at a time. The person who has the right to speak is said to “Have the Floor”. This right belongs to the chair, until he/she gives it up, or the person who has the floor, gives it to another speaker. Giving up the right to speak is called “Yielding the Floor”. Although you may not speak if you do not have the floor, you may communicate with other people by writing messages. These must be on your notepad, with a clear indication of the delegate or chair to whom they are addressed. “Notepapers” will be passed to the receiver by the “Administrative Staff”, who will check them to see that they are:
>> In English as English is the official language of the conference,
>> Polite and respectful,
>> Relevant to the agenda issues under debate.
Memos not fulfilling these requirements will not be passed on, but either shown directly to the Chair for the necessary disciplinary actions to be taken, or thrown in the waste bin. If delegates start talking when not having the floor, the Chair may order the passing of memos to be stopped for a certain period of time.
To gain the floor and a right to speak, you should normally raise your “Placard” with your country's name into the air. If chosen, the Chair will “Recognize” you, giving you the right to speak. If you have a problem about the way the debate is being conducted, or if you do not understand what is happening, you should ask for the floor by making points.
>> Chair takes the role call.
>> Chair announces the resolution to be debated.
>> Chair calls the main submitter to the floor.
>> Main submitter reads the operative clauses.
>> Main submitter makes a speech on the resolution for a maximum of 3 minutes.
>> Main submitter answers the points of information.
>> Main submitter yields the floor to another delegate.
>> Delegate makes a speech and answers the points.
>> Main submitter/delegate yields the floor to the chair.
>> Chair calls upon any delegates wishing to speak.
>> Delegate makes an amendment.
>> Delegate speaks on the resolution and answer the points if he/she wishes to.
>> Delegate yields the floor to the chair.
>> Previous steps are repeated until the debate time elapses.
>> Chair calls for voting procedures.
Debate modes are divided into two as open and closed debates. In an open debate, delegates can take the floor and discuss any issue that is related to the resolution. They can either make a speech for or against the issue. In a closed debate, the debate time is divided into two as “in favor” and “against” speeches. The chair decides the duration of the closed debate and informs the house. In JMUN, the debates start as open debates and switch to closed debates only when an amendment is made.
Changes to a resolution are called “Amendments”. You can propose “changes” to part of a resolution that you do not like or cannot agree with. These changes could be to “add” a new clause or part of a clause, to “strike out”, or “delete” a clause or part of a clause, or to “change the wording” of part of a clause. In other words, you can change a resolution that you do not accept at first, into one that you could agree with and vote for. “Ideas” and “changes” to a resolution should be written down on a special form called an “Amendment Sheet”. Amendments written on notepapers will not be accepted since they are not official papers. You can request these sheets from the administrative staff during the debates.
If you wish to propose an amendment, you must first have the right to speak, given to you by the Chair. This is called "Taking the Floor". If you are recognized by the chair, you can ask for your amendment to be discussed and the chair reads the amendment to the house clearly. You should also have other delegates as allies who are prepared to back you up, or “Second” your proposed amendment. You must be prepared to explain why you are proposing an amendment and why it will make a resolution a better one that more countries could accept. Debate mode for the amendments is closed debate. Amendments to the second degree (an amendment to the amendment) are in order. The same procedures are followed for amendments to the second degree. Remember that if an amendment to the second degree fails, it doesn’t mean that the original amendment fails. It still needs to be voted on after the closed debate for the amendment to the second degree is over. Delegate sends amendments to the chair.
>> Chair decides whether the amendment is necessary or not.
>> Chair calls upon any delegates wishing to speak.
>> Chair recognizes the delegate who raises his/her placard.
>> Chair announces the amendment; the house writes it down.
>> Chair decides the debate time for the amendment. (i.e. 3 minutes for, 3 minutes against)
>> Delegate makes a speech of 1 minute and answers the point if he/she wishes to.
>> Delegate yields the floor to the chair.
>> The house debates the amendment.
>> Chair calls for voting procedures after time elapses.
>> If passed the amendment amends the resolution.
>> The house continues to debate the resolution.
During voting, note-passing is suspended and going outside of the committee is not allowed. The administrative staff counts the votes and informs the chairs. Delegates cannot have conversations during the voting procedure. Only member states can vote in MUN. NGOs can make speeches and contribute to amendments, but they cannot vote on resolutions (except at the Advisory Panel). When delegates are voting, they have 3 options: in favor, against or abstaining.
>> Chair announces that the debate time has elapsed and calls for the voting procedures.
>> Security staff seals the doors and the administrative staff suspends note-passing and take their voting positions.
>> Chair asks all those delegations in favor; administrative staff count the votes and inform the chair.
>> Chair asks all those delegations against; administrative staff count the votes and inform the chair.
>> Chair asks all those delegations abstaining; administrative staff count the votes and inform the chair.
>> A total is counted. If a majority of the votes are in favor, then the resolution passes; if the majority of the votes are against, then the resolution fails.
>> Have a clear main idea that should capture the audience and make people want to listen to you.
>> Make sure that all your ideas support your main idea, as logical points of detail.
>> Vary your sentences in length, using short as well as long sentences, to make your speech more interesting to listen to.
>> Vary your use of constructions such as: exclamations, repetitions, and explanations, questions that need, or don't need answering, orders, suggestions, objections, praise, appreciations, criticisms and so forth.
>> Try not to be completely of one mood: either negative or positive.
>> Prepare a draft of your ideas and practice them, building up your speech, adding deleting and developing as you go..
>> Get a trial audience to listen to you practice as you build up your speech; ask them to describe to you what they remember from what you said, from memory, and what feelings it left them with.
>> Use their feedback to develop your speech to be more effective in the way you intend.
Some final points to remember and think about as you work:
Most people tend to remember best the “beginnings” and “ends” of whatever is said.
This means that the most important words, phrases, sentences and ideas that you want your audience to remember and think about, should come at the beginnings and ends of sentences, paragraphs and whole speeches.
Be firm, but polite at all times. Being rude and aggressive generally makes a bad impression on an audience. It makes you look negative and people often do not like that at all.
Be ready to raise a “Right of Reply” to any speaker who makes an inaccurate point about your country, or is in any way aggressive against your country. (This means correcting the mistake that has been made by another country and their ambassador/delegate).
Points & Motions
Rising To Points
For a delegate to make a point, he or she must be recognized by the chair. After being recognized, the delegate can rise and state his/her point. Do not forget to raise your placard and say the name of the point you want to make.
Any time a delegate speaks in a committee, he/she speaks on behalf of a country. As such, a delegate may not use the pronoun, “I”, but rather should refer to his/her delegation with the pronoun “we”. This takes a bit of getting used to, so don’t worry if you can’t get it right on the first couple of days.
• Note that, points cannot interrupt a speaker except for the “point of personal privilege due to audibility”.
Point of Information to the Speaker
A point of information to the speaker is a question directed to the delegate on the floor who has opened himself/herself to questions regarding his/her speech or the resolution. This point must be in a question format. If it isn’t in a question format, the point will not be entertained. Follow ups are not allowed in JMUN. Simply, you cannot ask another question to the speaker after he/she answers your first question. When asking a point of information, please remain standing. Example: “Could the honorable delegate please explain how they’re planning to raise awareness on this issue in the rural areas?”
Point of Information to the Chair
Point of information to the chair is a question directed to the chair. This point can be anything about the conference. The delegates can ask about the schedule or want the chair to clarify something about the issue that is being debated.
Example: “Point of information to the chair! Could the chair please tell the house when we’re adjourned for lunch?”
Point of Order
Point of order is called when the chair makes a mistake concerning the debate. It is a point referring only to the rules of procedure. Remember that point of order cannot interrupt a speaker.
Example: “Point of order! Is it in order for the delegate to have a direct dialogue with the speaker?”
Point of Parliamentary Inquiry
This point should not be confused with a point of order. Point of parliamentary enquiry is called when a delegate has a question about the rules of procedure. Its aim is to clarify a rule, not to correct the chair.
Example: “Point of parliamentary enquiry! Can the chair please explain what a policy statement is?”
Point of Personal Privilege
Point of personal privilege is a point concerning the comfort of a delegate. It can only interrupt the speaker if the point is due to audibility. Example: “Point of personal privilege due to audibility! Could the speaker please speak louder?”
Motion to Move the Previous Question
When this motion is called in an open debate, it means that the house will be moving to the voting procedure. When it is called in a closed debate there are two situations: if it is the time in favor, the motion calls for moving to the time against; if it is the time against, the motion calls for moving to the voting procedure. It is also known as the “Motion to Move to Voting Procedure.” Remember that it requires a second and it may not interrupt a speaker. In any case of objections from the house, the final decision is up to the chairs. Do not forget that chairs have the right to overrule the motions.
Motion to Extend Debate Time
Delegates use this motion to extend the time for the debate of the resolution or the amendment. It is not a debatable motion. The decision is up to the chairs considering the committee time left and the other resolutions.
Motion to Divide the House
Motion to Divide the House is used when the votes are very close. This motion calls the chair to do a vote by roll-call. Delegates are individually asked whether they are in favor, against or abstaining. The motion is not debatable. Chairs do not like to entertain it since voting by roll-call is time consuming.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. MUN systems take some time to get used to and everyone has their first experience when they did not understand all that was going on around them.
Here we have provided you with a roadmap to help you get your ideas across successfully and serving your country well as a delegate or an ambassador.