This is it! You’ve worked very hard to discuss, debate, and write your draft resolutions, and now it’s time to vote on them. Voting procedure is pretty much the same across all committees, except for the Security Council, which we’ll talk about at the end of this post.
There’s an important strategy point about voting that we should mention here. At the beginning of every committee session, your Chair will take roll call to see which countries are represented in committee. You can either answer “Present” or “Present & Voting.”
If you answer “Present & Voting” during roll call, you cannot abstain from voting. You must actively vote either in favor of or against every draft resolution that’s presented. If you answered “Present,” you can abstain. This is a strategical move, so if you think it would be more in line with your country’s position to abstain from your opponents’ resolutions, then make sure you say “Present” during roll call.
Remember: the Chair will retake roll call at the beginning of every committee session, so you can change your answer every time if you want.
Now that you know whether or not you have to vote, let’s talk about how.
First, you need move into Voting Procedure (which can only happen after a motion to close debate). This requires two speakers for and two speakers against. Once the speakers are done, you will vote on whether to close debate on the topic at hand and move into voting procedure. If it passes (a two-thirds majority is required), your committee is now in Voting Procedure. This means:
- No talking
- No passing notes
- Door is closed
- Nobody can enter or leave the room
You’ll normally vote on draft resolutions in the order they were received and numbered, so draft resolution 1.1 first, then 1.2, etc Draft Resolutions need a simple majority to pass.
You can also motion to Divide the Question. This calls for a separate vote on one specific part of the resolution. It could be one Op clause, a set of Op clauses, or each Op clause entirely individually. This is rare in committee, but it’s good to know about. Refer to our Rules of Procedure for more information on this.
Security Council: If you’re in Security Council, you need to know about the P5, which affect voting. The P5 are the five permanent members of the UNSC: USA, UK, France, China, Russia.
These counties all have a Veto, meaning that if even one of them votes against a Draft Resolution, it won’t pass. So make sure you keep that in mind during mod and unmod, and work to lobby those countries. If you get to represent a P5, use your Veto strategically to try and get the best Resolution for your country to pass.
Congratulations, you have now (hopefully) passed a Resolution! All that’s left now is to celebrate your grand MUN achievement... or move on to your second topic :).