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Misunderstandings in THIMUN Procedure by Ece BİLİR

There is not an official MUN procedure nowadays and misunderstandings are becoming more common day by day. THIMUN procedure is less known than the Harvard procedure so knowing the official version of the rules will be better for the first-timers but also experienced THIMUNers. It is impossible to say totally wrong or correct to the rules of procedure applied by different committee board members but there is always a more correct version of the procedure that should be followed. Please keep in mind that some dilemmas are up to the chair’s initiative and experience.

World Forum TheHague

Which Committees Should Follow the THIMUN Procedure in THIMUN Conferences?

Some special committees such as UNSC, ICJ, NATO have their own official procedure and should be the same both in THIMUNs and Harvard MUNs. However, committees that should follow the THIMUN procedure in a THIMUN procedure conference are General Assembly committees and councils such as Environmental Council, Economic and Social Council. These committees usually follow the procedure of that conference and it will be more beneficial to stick to either THIMUN or Harvard procedure in a MUN conference.

What are the Most Important Differences Between THIMUNs and Harvard MUNs?

To specify, there are three general but significant dissimilarities between these two procedures. THIMUN means that the chair has the control of the timing, the order and topic. So, THIMUN chairs should have different skills than a Harvard MUN committee board member. Chairs are responsible for the study guide writing so they will be able to lead the committee more fruitfully. Second of all, the motions are quite different from the Harvard procedure, because, in Harvard procedure MUNs, the decision of the topic, timing and the order are mostly up to the delegates’ opinions. This makes the motions differ than the Harvard procedure motions. Lastly, in THIMUN procedure, on the last day of the conference, only GA committees come together in a conference hall and discuss the resolutions (usually one from each committee) for one last time in the Plenary Sessions.

The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN)

Motions in THIMUN Procedure

Procedures are changing with every different generation of committee board members. Since the THIMUN procedure is not conducted totally by the motions from the delegates, as years passed the official procedure changed. Some of these modifications don’t make important complications, however, some of them do. Many motions are being used but I will explain the most common and correct ones.

Motions to follow-up are totally against the THIMUN-GA procedure, so instead, it is acceptable to use “motion to have one more round of point of information.” If this motion has been accepted by the speaker the house will be able to ask more questions to the delegate. But mostly the chair board will ask the delegate if he or she opens themselves to more points of information so there will be no need for that motion. This also proves that chairs have more responsibility for the debates than the delegates in THIMUN conferences.

“Motion to directly move to the voting procedure/against speeches/in favour speeches.” These motions are commonly used in the course of the debates however the official motion for all of these directions is “motion to move to the previous question.” It is simple and easy to use, the other three motions just cause complications and confuse first-timers. “motion to move to the previous question” basically means to move to the further step of the debate.

“Motion to approach the chair board.” is always considered in any procedure in MUNs, if the house is available at that moment and the issue is impossible to solve through a message paper, this motion will always be considered and granted by the chair-board.

If the time for debate given for an amendment or a resolution has elapsed and a delegate is wishing to deliver a speech, two motions are acceptable: “motion to extend the debate time, motion to entertain one more speech.” Even though the motion to extend the debate time is more correct, the other one is still acceptable.

“Motion to adjourn the debate, motion to adjourn the meeting.” Although these two motions may seem the same, they will cause totally different results. Adjourn the meeting motion should be given on the last day, the last session of the conference. However, adjourn the debate means stopping the formal debate for a brief time period. A speech should be given by the submitter, there will be in favour and against speeches regarding the motion and it will be voted by the house. If it passes the debate can be started again by any member of the house (two-thirds of the house must support).

Complications While Writing a Resolution in a THIMUN Conference

In THIMUN procedure the resolution can have just main submitter and co-submitters, the main submitter cannot co-submit another resolution. General Assembly committees’ resolutions cannot demand, decide, declare or proclaim any solution idea that is written in the resolution. In other words, phrases like these cannot be used in the resolution. It is more suitable to suggest and encourage the solution ideas because that is what official UN General Assembly committees do. Clauses should not consider any statements and explanations, it should just directly give the idea of the solution. In THIMUN conferences General Assembly committee member states cannot create any funds so opinions like that do not apply to the resolution.

The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) 2014

Dilemmas in Plenary Session

The General Assembly procedure is applied in the Plenary session, however, there are some minor differences that every participant must know. Amendments are not acceptable in the Plenary Session, entertaining any amendments will be against the procedure. The voting decision must be done by the ambassador of that delegation.
MUN procedures have always been confusing for almost everyone. I tried my best to answer at least some of your questions. It is not possible to know every single detail of a procedure because it changes all the time and being a good leader with many experiences will give you the right to do minor modifications in a procedure or maybe creating a procedure of your own. It is not easy to apply the same procedure that the UN has in a MUN conference. I aimed to explain some details about the THIMUN procedure, I hope I have fulfilled your expectations.

Best Regards,
Ece Bilir

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