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Lesser-Known Kinds of Motions by Azranur ERCİN

All of us are familiar with frequently-used motions such as a “motion to have a moderated caucus” or “suspension of the meeting”. But there some other kinds of motions that can save your life. I have listed some lesser-known and used kinds of motions below. Before started I would like to remind you that all the motions below are required to the substantial voting. Here we go!

  • Division of the House: Before voting for draft resolution paper, you can raise this motion in order to lower options to only yes or no. In that way, you can cancel abstain, yes/no with rights and pass options. Save your time! (Requires ⅔ majority to pass.)


  • Division of the Question: It is one of the most complex motions. For draft resolutions, Member States use divisions to potentially vote on an entire operative clause or group of clauses (preambular clauses cannot be divided) separately from the rest of the resolution. Motions to divide apply only to complete operative clauses or a group of clauses; to change words or phrases in clauses, delegates should use the amendment process. A Division of the Question separates a draft resolution into separate units and requires four separate votes. Firstly, the clauses which are specified be voted, then other clauses should be voted, and lastly, the final vision of the document should be voted. It requires a simple majority to pass.


  • Motion to Reorder the Resolution: If there is more than one draft resolution in your committee, you can reorder their precedence. It really important because normally draft resolution 1.1 which had been delivered first is voted first and if it passes, other documents will automatically fail. By using this motion, you can ensure that your draft resolution will vote priorly. It requires ⅔ majority to pass and one against, one in favor speakers should be granted to deliver a speech. 


  • Motion to Postpone/Table the Debate: Whenever the floor is open, a delegate may raise a motion in order to table the debate on a resolution or an amendment currently on the floor. It requires ⅔ majority to pass one against, one in favor speakers should be granted to deliver a speech.


  • (THIMUN) Motion to Table the Resolution: In the THIMUN procedure, you can postpone the resolution which is currently being discussed by the committee. So you can move on with the other resolutions and come back to that resolution later.


  • Motion to Resume the Debate: This motion is to continue the already postponed debate. It requires a simple majority to pass. One against and one in favor speakers should be granted to deliver a speech. 


  • Motion to Vote by Acclamation: That motion means the draft resolution paper will be passed if the whole committee agrees and votes for it. It requires a simple majority to pass.


  • Closure of the Debate: This motion is used to finish a debate that is extraneous. For instance, while setting the agenda delegates discuss upon which agenda item should become into question. So before voting and starting to talk about the committee’s real issues, this debate should be ended first. Either, if the closure of the debate passes, the resolutions and amendments on the floor will be brought to an immediate vote. It requires ⅔ majority to pass two against, two in favor speakers should be granted to deliver a speech. 


  • Motion to Reconsider the Resolution: If your resolution the paper has failed, you can use this motion to vote upon it again. Maybe some lobbying activities can change other delegates’ ideas and then you raise this motion with a mind at peace!

BONUS: Right of Reply: A delegate may give false information about your country or insult your country. Whenever this happens you have the right to reply. Actually, you can use this right in two ways: raising a motion or writing a message paper to the chair board. The key points on both ways are, 

1- Specifying the sentence that you are offended by

2- Responding and correcting this sentence

If you send a message paper to the committee board, the chair will give you some time to deliver your speech.

You can use these motions more often from now on! Thus you can be a prominent delegate in the committee:)
Resources: (Visual source)

What do you think?

Written by Azranur Ercin

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