GlossaryAbstention: Delegates may choose to abstain, which counts neither for nor against the resolution in question.
Caucus: the committee you are participating in (Asian Caucus, Middle Eastern Caucus…)
Chair: The Chair is the person who controls debate and keeps order whilst remaining impartial and allocating equal opportunities for countries to voice their opinion.
Co-signer: The delegations that sign a fellow delegate’s resolution to show their support of the proposed action to remedy the issue.
Delegate: A student ambassador representing a country’s beliefs and political, social, economic and cultural ideologies.
Explanation of the Vote: After voting, delegates may be allowed (one for, one against and one abstention) to explain the reasoning behind their voting.
Formal Debate: The opportunity for delegates to share their opinions in front of the entire committee.
House: All the members present in the Committee.
Have the floor: To be given the right to speak during the debate.
Moderated Caucus: A moderated caucus is a mixture of both formal and informal debate. Anyone may speak if they raise their placard and are called on by the Chair. To go to a moderated caucus, a delegate makes a motion to suspend debate and the committee votes.
Motions: The mean of communication between the Chair and delegates who do not have the floor. Motions should never interrupt a delegate whom has the floor, unless it is a Point of Personal Privilege.
Motion to Move into Time ‘Against’ a Resolution or Amendment: If a delegate feels that there is nothing more to say concerning the question at hand, they may call for this motion. If the motion is seconded and there are no objections, the motion is granted.
Motion to Move into Voting Procedure: This motion is used to move directly into voting procedures. If there are no objections and the motion is seconded then the motion will be granted.
Motion to Table Resolution: The motion to lay a resolution on the table is not debatable, and when carried, moves a resolution to the bottom of the agenda and will, thus, be considered last. This is usually done when one delegation wishes to debate their resolution which concerns the same issue that is currently being debated. A two-thirds majority is needed to take matters from the table although tabling itself only needs a simple majority.
Opening Speech: A requirement for each delegation represented in a committee and introduces them to their peers. It should state the country’s main concerns surrounding the topics to be debated and their ultimate goals and hopes.
Operative Clause: Numbered clauses in the second part of a resolution which state specific action to be taken to resolve the issue.
Parliamentary Procedure: The specific rules that govern the usage of language, right to address the committee and maintain order.
Point of Information: These are questions that members of the house may ask the speaker, after he has concluded his speech and opened himself to Points of Information. They must be phrased in the form of a question and are generally used for clarification and to elicit more information from the speaker. They may, however, be rhetorical in which case they would be used to either disconcert the speaker or express an opposing opinion when the floor is taken.
Point of Order: This motion is used when the delegate does not agree with a decision made regarding parliamentary procedure. To make this point, you must wait for the delegate that has the floor to yield the floor back to the Chair. The chair will determine if the point is in order.
Point of Parliamentary Inquiry: This is used to discuss time and other parliamentary procedure issues.
Point of Personal Privilege: This motion is used to express discomfort during the debate, such as if you cannot hear the speaker. This is the only point or motion that can interrupt a speaker.
Position Paper: A general statement of a country’s position on a specific issue. It should contain a summary of recent action and illustrate the topic’s relation to the delegate’s nation.
Preambulatory Phrase: Clauses that form the first part of a resolution, introduce the issue, provide background information and explain its global significance.
Quorum: One half of the members in the committee plus one (51%). A quorum must be present at all times during the sessions.
Reconsideration: After all issues have been address by having a resolution adopted for each one defeated resolutions may be reconsidered. This requires two thirds of the house to vote in favor.
Resolution: A document that proposes a feasible solution to a problem presented to the committee.
Submitter: The delegation that proposes a resolution.
Unmoderated Caucus: In an unmoderated caucus, delegates meet informally with one another and the committee staff to discuss and negotiate draft resolutions, amendments and other issues. Unlike a moderated caucus, an unmoderated caucus allows delegates to move from their seats.
Yield the floor: To pass on one’s right to speak to another delegation, if that is in order, or back to the chair.
(adapted from the BRAMUN handbook)