Points and Motions are the tools used in Model United Nations delegates use to communicate with their chairs and fellow delegates. It is the formal language to ask for things, clarify things and, when necessary, appeal them.
This article will give you some insider tips on how to use points and motions more effectively at Model UN conferences. At the end of the article will be a list of all points and motions.
9 Strategic Uses of Points and Motions
Model UN is not only about effective research, use of content, argumentation and lobbying. It is also about effective use of the rules of procedure to.
1. Give your block a chance to repeat a speech
2. Get in an extra word
3. Getting that longer speech
4. At least something should pass!
5. Which question to vote on?
6. Surprise yield to the other block
7. Stay relevant through a strategic right of reply
8. Is this how we we do that?
9. POI, why did you insult me?
Full List of Points and Motions
The following list of points and motions are common in almost all Model United Nations conferences.
- Set Speakers Time -- A motion to change the default speakers time of the general speakers list.
- Moderated Caucus - A less formal discussion where speakers a new speaker is chosen directly after the previous speaker finishes. It is usually on a more narrow topic (than the General Speakers List, which allows a delegate to speak about anything related to the topic at hand) and it takes a majority of votes to pass it. This motion requires specification of general time and speakers time.
- Unmoderated Caucus - The ability to move freely around the room, speak to anyone and write resolutions. Usually the most effective time to lobby and build / maintain coalitions. This motion requires specification of general length of time.
- Consultation of the whole - A motion for a moderated caucus style setting where the delegates manage themselves. Often a delete speaks and passes the right of speech to another delegate that they choose. This continues until time elapses. There is no time limit for any delegates speech. This motion requires specification of general length of time.
- Vote by Acclamation - Offered by the chair, this motion means a motion offered by the chair passes as long as no delegate objects. If one delegate objects the motion need to be voted on by simple majority. Many conferences do not use this motion.
- Appeal the Decision of the Chair - This motion is made when a delegate feels the chair has made an incorrect decision. This is similar to a point of order.
- Introduce Draft Resolution - This needs to be done to officially discuss the draft by name and have it on the floor is closure of debate is motioned for.
- Introduce Amendment - Said before you introduce an amendment. The procedure for this varies between conferences.
- Close Debate - A motion for the committee to end debate and more into voting procedure.
- Reorder Resolutions - A mother to put the resolutions in a order which is different from the one where the one introduced first is voted on first.
- Divide the question - A motion to vote on a set of specifically chosen operative clauses separately from the entire resolution. This can be used to remove desired clauses for the purposes of only them passing or the rest of the resolution passing without them.
- Vote clause by clause - A motion to vote on each clause of the resolution individually in numeric order. This is usually done with the purpose
- Vote roll call - A Motion to have each country declare verbally if they are “For”, “Against”, “Pass” or “Abstain” (and add “With Rights”, which means they get to speak after the vote)
- Suspend Meeting / Table Debate - Motion to put the session on hold, generally for lunch or coffee.
- Adjourn Meeting - Motion to completely end the committee session until the next conference.
Other terms used in Model UN
- Yield / Yielding time - Speaking time is practically a virtual currency in Model UN and very important. During the General Speakers List time can be yielded to other delegates or back to the chair.
- Right of Reply - When insulted by another country a certain country can get a right of reply to refute what the insulting country says