Chapter 3: Committee Procedure at Yale MUN Korea 2018


Yale Model United Nations Korea 2018 will be following UNA-USA Procedure, the standard procedure of conferences held in the United States.

Let’s first talk about the important terms that we use in Model UN.

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Here is a flow chart of how debate works. Look below for a step-by-step explanation of each part.

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Roll Call

The Director takes attendance to see who is here! The Director calls the names of each delegate’s country. The delegate can say “Present” and go up to the Dais (the table where the Director and Assistant Directors are seated) to retrieve their placard. Any missing delegates will be contacted and their advisors will be notified, so please be on time to your committee sessions!

Introduction to the Conference, Director and the ADs

The Dais team (composed of the Director and the ADs) will introduce themselves and talk a bit about the conference and the topics at hand. Get ready, debate is about to begin!

Motion to Open Debate

The Chair will ask, “Are there any points or motions on the floor at this time?” A delegate can raise their placard and say, “Motion to Open Debate!” The committee will then vote on the motion, and debate will begin!

Motion to Set the Agenda To Topic A or B

Each committee has two topics, and the committee must decide which one to focus on first. As a result, a delegate can motion to set the topic to either one, and the motion will require one speaker to stand up and speak in favor of that topic and one speaker to speak against picking that topic.  For example, if a delegate motions to set the agenda to Topic A, one delegate will speak in favor of picking Topic A, while the other will speak in favor of starting with Topic B instead. The committee will then vote—if the motion passes, then debate will begin with Topic A. If it fails, the agenda will automatically be set to Topic B.

Speakers List

The Chair will ask “All those wishing to speak on the Speakers List please raise your placards!” Delegates will raise their placards to sign up and then be called upon to speak. Delegates use the their speakers list speeches as an opportunity to introduce their stance on the topic being discussed. Delegates often raise relevant sub-topics, and even begin to propose solutions for the topic in opening speeches. The speaking time is set at the discretion of the chair.

For smaller committees, there will be a round robin, which means the committee goes in a circle and every delegate speaks.

After a good portion of countries have spoken on the Speakers List, delegates can motion for moderated and unmoderated caucuses for faster and more focused debate and/or writing of Working Papers and Draft Resolutions.

Moderated Caucuses

Moderated caucuses are fast-paced forms of timed debate during which delegates can debate specific sub-topics and discuss proposed solutions that delegates are working on. They will prove as useful to help delegates decide who to work with, what sub-topics are most important, and in general how to proceed in unmoderated caucus.

Example: If you are a delegate in a committee discussing access to clean water, a delegate can say: “Motion for a 10 minute moderated caucus with 30 second speaking time to discuss water purification technology.”

Note that the motion had 3 parts:

  1. Overall Length: the whole caucus will last for that amount of time. In this example, it was 10 minutes.

  2. Speaking Time: Each speaker in the Moderated Caucus speaks has a 30 second time limit to talk about the topic of the Moderated Caucus. The way this works is, the Chair says “All those wishing to speak at this time please raise your placard.” The Chair picks one speaker, who speaks for 30 seconds, and this process repeats until the 10 minute length of the moderated caucus is over.

  3. Specific Topic: Each moderated caucus is focused on something specific—that is, in this case, water purification technology.

Most debate in Model UN committees takes place in the form of moderated caucuses.

Unmoderated Caucus

Unmoderated caucus is where the clauses and Working Papers actually get written. Delegates will talk with fellow delegates to get a sense of who they would like to work alongside, and then, forming blocs and groups, begin to write clauses that solve specific sub-topics of each issue. When delegates have finished writing a clause, they submit it to the Dais, which will provide feedback. After many clauses have been written, the Dais will encourage delegates to begin to merge their clauses into working papers (which becomes Draft Resolutions). Typically each bloc in committee will submit one working paper to the Dais.

The maximum and minimum numbers of sponsors (official submitters of a working paper) and signatories (the number of delegates that must sign off on a resolution agreeing that it should be debated in committee) will vary per committee, and will be announced by the Dais Team.

A motion for an unmoderated caucus looks like “Motion for a 10 minute unmoderated caucus.” Note that there is no specific topic, it only needs an overall time length.

NOTE: The committee will continue to cycle through moderated and unmoderated caucuses (usually abbreviated as “Mods” and “Unmods” until Working Papers are written and submitted to the Dais Team. The Dais Team will check over the Working Papers and work with different blocs of delegates to prepare them for presentation to the committee.

Special Section: How to Write Working Papers

You may be wondering—what is the format and style one needs to write a Working Paper (that will then become a Draft Resolution)?

Both the style and format are very different from what is required in normal essays that you are most likely familiar with.

I encourage you to read more about this by reading through this Guide from the Model UN website Best Delegate. I also suggest you check out some examples here!

It is important to note that each WP or Draft Resolution needs Preambulatory clauses, which acknowledge the existence of problems relevant to the topic, and Operative clauses, which suggest solutions and implementation methods for the problems at hand. You can find lists of suggested phrases to employ for the beginnings of preambulatory and operative clauses at the end of this chapter.

Introduction of Working Papers

Once submitted, the Dais Team will label each Working Paper in order of submission. For example, “Working Paper 1-2” means that that it pertains to the FIRST topic the committee is discussing, but the SECOND to be submitted.

Delegates can do as follows: “Motion to Introduce Working Paper 1-1” to begin debate on that paper. The sponsors of the Paper come up and talk about its goals and what it accomplishes, and a delegate can then motion for a question and answer session to ask the sponsors questions about the paper. After the Q&A session ends, delegates can either repeat this with the next Working Paper or motion for a moderated caucus to discuss the Working Paper further.

This process is repeated for all Working Papers. Through the course of more Mods and Unmods, the delegates then edit their WPs and resubmit them as Draft Resolutions. Draft Resolutions are labeled in the same way that WPs are (for example, Draft Resolution 1-3).

Introduction of Draft Resolutions

Once submitted, the same process for the introduction of WPs is followed to introduce and debate Draft Resolutions.

Voting Procedure

After introducing and debating about different Draft Resolutions, delegates can motion to enter voting procedure. Draft Resolutions require a simple majority (one more than half the committee!) to pass.

Once all Draft Resolutions have passed or failed, repeat this whole thing for the next topic.

For First Time Delegates

There are a number of general MUN procedural points that are not mentioned in this guide, that may confuse delegates upon their arrival in YMUN Korea. For this purpose, and the purpose of understanding
UNA-USA, we recommend that delegates watch the sample committee video. Here first time delegates will learn by example certain unusual MUN rules. For example, delegates should always speak in 3rd person, and raise their placards when they wish to speak.

See below for more charts and information.

What do you say during debate?

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Complete List of Points and Motions

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For Working Paper and Draft Resolution writing, here are phrases for Preambulatory and Operative clauses.

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