Points and Motions

These are the common motions made in a General Assembly Model UN committee, from most destructive to least destructive. Please note that these are subject to change depending on the conference’s specific rules, and delegates should defer to their chair when there is an issue with procedure. Unless otherwise noted, motions require 50% +1 votes to pass.


  1. Adjournment of the Meeting

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to adjourn.”

    • Used to end the committee meeting, at the end of the day or at the end of the conference

  2. Suspension of the Meeting

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to suspend the meeting.”

    • Used to bring about a break in the committee, usually for lunch or a break. This does not permanently end the committee, but rather, pauses it until the committee reconvenes

  3. Table the Topic

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to table the topic.”

    • Requires 2/3rds + 1 votes

    • Used to end the current topic being discussed and unset the agenda, reverting to the primary speakers list

    • This is used very rarely, only when there is nothing productive being said about the entire topic. It could be used after all the draft resolutions have been voted on and there is nothing more to say about the topic

  4. Enter into Voting Procedure

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to enter into voting procedure on draft resolution ___.”

    • Used to prompt a vote on a particular draft resolution

    • Once in voting procedure, notes cannot be passed, and nobody may enter or leave the committee room

  5. Closure of Debate

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to close debate.”

    • Used to end a debate period, so that the committee may enter into voting procedure

    • This motion is not always used, it depends on the conference. Some conferences allow the committee to go straight into voting procedure without closing debate first

    • Requires 2/3rds +1 votes to pass

  6. Introduction of a Draft Resolution

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to introduce Working Paper ___.”

    • Once a working paper is introduced, it becomes a ‘Draft Resolution’

    • This motion, if passed, has the committee do a reading of the aforementioned  draft resolution and it then becomes eligible for amendments and can be voted on

  7. Introduction of an Amendment

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to introduce Amendment ___.”

    • Used to introduce a particular amendment, which can then be debated and voted on

    • This motions, if passed, does not automatically amend a draft resolution, but rather it allows the committee to debate on whether the amendment should happen

  8. Motion to Change the Default Yield

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to change the default yield time to __ seconds.”

    • Used to change where time is yielded to by default when a delegate on the Speaker’s list does not specifically yield time to the Chair or someone else

  9. Set the Agenda

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to vote on whether to set the agenda to topic _.”

    • To set the agenda is to choose one of the committee’s topics to focus on

    • This motion does not automatically set the agenda to a topic, but rather, if passed, then has the committee vote after hearing 2 speakers for and 2 speakers against the setting of the topic. If no speakers volunteer, the motion automatically passes and the agenda is set

  10. Question and Answer Period

    • “The delegate of _______ motions for a __ minute question and answer period, 30 second speaking time*, on draft resolution ___.”

    • Used to prompt a period in which certain delegates may answer questions posed to them by other delegates about a specific topic such as a working paper or draft resolution

    • * Depending on the conference/chair, you may not have to specify speaking times and the delegates answering questions may use the time to answer as many or as few questions as they wish

    • The time specified only applies to the answers, and questions do not take up time in the question and answer period

  11. Extend a caucus

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to extend the current caucus by __ minutes.”

    • Used when a caucus has expired but delegates wish to keep discussing the topic

    • May also be used to extend an unmoderated caucus

    • Note: A caucus can only be extended once, and delegates may not extend an extension

  12. End the Moderated Caucus

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to end the current moderated caucus.”

    • This motion is used during a moderated caucus to have it ended before it is supposed to expire

    • Mostly used when there are no delegates volunteering to speak and nothing productive is being said during a moderated caucus

  13. Unmoderated Caucus

    • “The delegate of _______ motions for a __ minute unmoderated caucus.”

    • Used when delegates wish to move and speak freely in the committee

    • There is no need to supply a topic for an unmoderated caucus

  14. Moderated Caucus

    • “The delegate of _______ motions for a __ minute moderated caucus, __ second speaking time, on the topic of _______________.”

    • Used to direct the committee’s conversation toward a specific topic for a certain amount of time

    • When a delegate motions for a Moderated Caucus and it passes, that delegate will be given the option to speak either first or last in the caucus

    • The set speaking time must mathematically fit in to the full time for the moderated caucus. 45 second speaking times will only fit into caucus periods with multiples of 3

  15. Speaking Time

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to change the speaking time to __ seconds.”

    • Used to change a speaking time on a primary or secondary speakers list


Voting Procedure Motions

These motions are all related to voting procedure, separate from the debate. Depending on the conference, delegates wishing to motion for these should either do so while motioning to go into voting procedure, or once voting procedure has been established. To ascertain which of these options the chair is using, send the dais a note during the debate period. These motions require 50% + 1 votes to pass unless otherwise noted.

  1. Roll-Call Vote

    • “The delegate of _______ motions for a roll-call vote.”

    • This motion does not require a vote and is automatically accepted

    • Chair will conduct a one-by-one oral vote from each country in alphabetical order as per the Roll-Call attendance

    • Use this sparingly and strategically. It is time-consuming and annoying for everyone involved, and the Chair probably won’t want to do it. Use it if you have a few delegates who say that they’re definitely going to vote with you, but who you are suspicious may betray you

  2. Divide the Question

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to divide the question, separating clause __ from all other clauses.”

    • The committee will vote on the separated clauses separately, and only the parts that pass will become a resolution

    • Used when a delegate is alright with certain parts of a draft resolution, but do not agree with other clauses

  3. Vote Clause-by-Clause

    • “The delegate of _______ motions to vote clause by clause.”

    • Used to vote on each operative clause of a draft resolution separately, and only the clauses that pass become part of the resolution

Points

The following are all points that can be made at anytime during a committee session. Points, unlike motions, are not voted on and are addressed directly by the chair. Points are not used for debate and substantive matters, but rather, for procedural matters in the committee. Points are not dealt with in order from most destructive to least destructive, but rather, are addressed as they come up. Delegates do not need to wait for the chair to call on them to raise a point, they may simply raise their placard and say the point they are raising.

  1. Point of Personal Privilege

    • Used when a delegate believes that something is impeding their participation in debate or personal comfort

    • Points of Personal Privilege may interrupt a speaker should they concern the audibility of the speaker

  2. Points of Order

    • Used when a delegate believes that the rules of the forum are not being observed

    • Points of Order may not address matters under debate

  3. Point of Parliamentary Inquiry

    • Used when a delegate has a question for the chair about the proceedings

  4. Right of Reply

    • Used when a delegate feels personally** offended by the words of another delegate

    • **Personally means that the person themselves, and not the nation they are representing, has been attacked. There is a big difference here, and around 90% of the time, Right of Reply points are used incorrectly. If a delegate uses a Right of Reply incorrectly, it's going to make them look really bad in the eyes of the committee. That being said, if you do feel personally attacked by the words of another delegate, then you are free to use the Right of Reply.