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Ch.03 Rules of Parliamentary Procedure · Voting Rules

Standard Model United Nations Rules of Procedure

4. VOTING RULES

Every Delegation is entitled to one vote each in every Committee. Member States have the right on all votes, Observer Entities only have the right on procedural voting. After the Moderator has announced the beginning of voting, delegates should not interrupt the voting except on a Point of Order in connection with the actual conduct of the voting.

4.1 Procedural Voting

Procedural voting refers to all voting related to the way the Committee is run, as opposed to the documents being disposed. In other words, all voting will be procedural except for voting on documents. Delegates must vote on all procedural voting, and no abstentions are allowed. All procedural voting require a Simple Majority and all Member States and Observer Entities have the rights to vote in procedural voting.

4.2 Substantive Voting

Substantive voting refers to voting on documents, such as Draft Resolution and Unfriendly Amendment. All substantive voting require a Two-thirds Majority of Member States present and voting, excluding Observer Entities. After a Draft Resolution is passed, voting procedure will end and the Committee will move on to the second topic (if any).

It is to be noted that the Two-thirds Majority needed to pass a Draft Resolution or an Unfriendly Amendment refers to two-thirds of countries that vote “Yes” and “No”; members who abstain are treated as not having participated in the vote.

4.2.1 Unfriendly Amendments

Once the discussion on the Unfriendly Amendment has closed, the Committee will enter substantive voting on the Unfriendly Amendment by default. During voting procedure, delegates will raise their placards in voting “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain” for the Unfriendly Amendment. Any Unfriendly Amendment requires a Two-thirds Majority to pass. Abstentions are not counted in the total votes.

4.2.2 Draft Resolutions

After the debate has been closed on the topic, the Committee will move into the final substantive voting procedures and the chambers are then sealed. Then, the Dais may conduct a Roll Call prior to voting to determine the number of Member States present.

In this substantive voting, each country will have one vote. Each vote may be a “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain”. All matters will be voted upon using placards by default, except if a motion for a Roll Call voting is accepted.

Once any Resolution has been passed, the voting procedure is closed, as only one resolution may be passed per topic.

In the United Nations Security Council, the Draft Resolution requires at least nine of the fifteen members to vote “yes” before it can be passed, and  the five permanent members have the power to veto any substantive voting.

At that point, only the following motions will be entertained: Reordering Draft Resolutions, and Roll Call Voting.

Reordering Draft Resolutions

When the Formal Debate is closed, the Committee will proceed to vote on the Draft Resolution(s). If there is more than one Draft Resolution on the floor, a motion to reorder the Draft Resolutions may be in order. 

Draft Resolutions will be numbered in the order which they have been recognized by the Director. The numbering denotes the order of voting by default.

Delegates who wish to reorder the Draft Resolutions will raise their placards, and the Moderator will select one delegate, the selected delegate will indicate clearly his or her desired order of Draft Resolutions. 

The Moderator will proceed to recognize all motions to reorder the sequence on the floor. Thereafter, the Committee will vote in order of motion raised. 

This motion requires a second and a Simple Majority to pass.

When any one of the motions passes, the remaining motions will be considered to have failed. If there are no such motions, or if all motions fail, the sequence will remain as the default order by which the Draft Resolutions have been numbered. The Committee will then proceed to voting procedure.

Roll Call Voting

Roll Call Voting refers to voting by alphabetical order, during which the Rapporteur will call countries in alphabetical order starting with a selected member. Once the sequence for the voting of Draft Resolutions has been determined, the Committee proceeds to voting procedure. A motion for Roll Call Voting will be in order. 

This motion requires a second and a Simple Majority to pass.

Once passed, the Rapporteur will begin the first sequence of Roll Call Voting. In the first sequence, delegates may vote “Yes”, “No”, “Abstain”, or “Pass”. 

After the first sequence of voting, members who passed during the first sequence of the Roll Call Voting must vote either “Yes” or “No” during the second sequence. 

Delegates who abstained are treated as not having participated in the vote, the total number of votes will be reduced accordingly.

The Moderator will then announce the outcome of the vote.

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