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CHAIRING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES

PROCEDURAL ROLES OF
THE CHAIR
Module 1

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CHAIRING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES

Module 1: Procedural Roles of the Chair

Contents

Objectives

1. Introduction
1.1 What is chairmanship?
1.2 Why is effective chairmanship important?
1.3 What are the consequences of poor chairmanship?
1.4 What to expect in this module
1.5 How does one become chairman?

2. The formal and procedural roles and responsibilities of the


Chair
2.1 General considerations
2.2 The chairmans activities
2.3 Procedural roles of the chairman: Step-by-step through a conference

Annexes
Glossary of Terms
Further Readings and External Links
Video and Audio Transcripts
Document to download: ECOSOC Functional Commissions Rules of Procedure

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Key to Icons

Examples of wording heard in international


conferences and meetings

Warning exception to general rules or common


errors

Video clip or webcast

Audio clip

Questions

Document to download

Definitions of terms in blue print are provided in the Annex.


Terms shown in brown bold print are well established in the specific
meaning given. In other words, they are terms of art or conference
delegates jargon.

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Chairing International Conferences
Module 1 Procedural Roles of the Chair

Objectives

This course aims to equip you with the required background knowledge and
information to chair an international conference (that is to say, any meeting
of representatives of sovereign states). The course will also provide you
with a basic understanding of what chairmen try to achieve and the
responsibilities and constraints that they face in performing their role.

This first module introduces the topic of chairmanship and describes the
procedural and other formal roles of a chairman.

After successfully completing this module, you


should be able to:

Discuss the importance of effective


chairmanship and the consequences of poor
chairmanship;

Explain how one becomes chairman, including


the criteria for selection as well as method of
appointment;

List the formal and procedural roles and responsibilities of the


Chair;

Use appropriate language and speak effectively as a chairman.

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Chairing International Conferences
Module 1 Procedural Roles of the Chair

1. Introduction

1.1 What is Chairmanship?

Chairmanship is the art of managing


meetings. The chairman of an international
conference is its presiding officer, the
individual who has accepted responsibility
for managing the conference.

In many languages there is only one word for the person who presides over a
conference. English has at least five:

Presiding officer is the formal, technical term.

Chairman is both the colloquial equivalent of presiding officer and the title most
widely used for that officer. It is gender neutral.

President is a title reserved for the presiding officer of some particularly large
and/or solemn conferences. It is also reserved for the presiding officers of the
principal organs of the United Nations (General Assembly, Security Council,
Economic and Social Council, International Court of Justice). At conferences where
this title is used, it is reserved for the person who presides over the whole
conference (i.e. the plenary) while the presiding officers of committees and other
subsidiary bodies usually carry the title chairman. The source of these titles is
found in the statute or the rules of procedure of each conference.

Chair is strictly speaking the office of the chairman as in to be elected to the


Chair of a conference or to occupy the Chair. By extension, however, it is also a
synonym for chairman, as in speak to the Chair or the Chair ruled the speaker
out of order.

A fifth term, chairperson, is designed to negate a perceived inference that a


chairman must be male and is now often used by some delegates. It is also the
formal title of the chairman of a number of conferences.

A female presiding officer may therefore be correctly and formally addressed as


Madam Chairman or Madam Chair - or, if that is her title, Madam President or
Madam Chairperson. Slightly less formally, Madam is often omitted or
Chairperson is used by delegates who think it appropriate, even if Chairman. is
her title.

Chairwoman is only used in a small number of organizations where it is


established by long usage or statute. Elsewhere, Chairwoman may give offence,
as it can be taken to imply that the fact that a woman occupies the Chair is not to
be expected. Chairlady is even more likely to give offence as it can be taken as
mocking.

The person who calls together and leads the work of an informal group or a group
of co-sponsors is often referred to as convenor, but his/her role is also that of a
chairman (of that group).
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Chairing International Conferences
Module 1 Procedural Roles of the Chair

As will be apparent from these definitions, at many conferences there are


several chairmen operating concurrently: the Chairman or President of
the whole conference whose duties include presiding over the plenary; the
chairmen of subsidiary bodies (committees, working groups etc); the
chairmen of several geographical groups, who usually also act as
spokesmen for their groups; lead sponsors, who act as convenors and
spokesmen for a group of co-sponsors; the convenor(s) or Chairs of contact
groups; etc.

Conference President
Plenary

Chairman
Commi9ee of the Whole

Chairman Chairman Chairman


Working Group I Working Group II Working Group III

Chairman
Chairman Geographic
Chairman
Chairman
Group A Geographic
Contact Group Group B Geographic
Group C Etc...

Lead Sponsor
Convenor
Co-Sponsors Lead Sponsor
Caucus
Group Group, DR 1... Co-Sponsors
Group, DR 2... Etc...

The above illustration shows the relationship between different conference


chairmen. The chairmen in the blue coloured boxes are part of the formal
structure of the conference, with reporting responsibilities shown by
direction of the arrows. The other chairmen are outside the formal structure
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Chairing International Conferences
Module 1 Procedural Roles of the Chair

of the conference but nevertheless play an important role in its work. The
chairman or convenor of a contact group, for example, is outside the formal
structure, but he or she may have a reporting responsibility to one of the
conferences chambers. This is, of course, just one example: there is much
variation in the structure of conferences, with some having a multitude of
committees and subcommittees, etc.

The chairmans task can be divided into two distinct aspects: 1) the formal
or procedural role which is indicated by rules of procedure; and 2) an
additional (and even more demanding) role, not mentioned in the rules, in
relation to the substantive outcome of the conference.

1.2 Why is effective chairmanship important?

The reason for this course on chairmanship is


not only to provide information and guidance to
delegates who may be appointed or elected to
chair meetings. It is also important for all
delegates to understand what the chairman is
doing, and why he or she is doing it. Indeed,
unless delegates want the conference to fail,
they should support the chairmans efforts. In
short, just as successful conferences need strong and able chairmen,
chairmen, to be effective, need supportive and cooperative delegates.

1.3 What are the consequences of poor chairmanship?

As with any other meeting, the process and outcome of a conference


depend on how well it is managed.

The consequences of poor management are often very clear and can result
in a conference that:

takes much more time than is necessary;

follows a more laborious and contentious route to its final outcome;

produces an outcome that is less satisfactory to many of the


participants than it could have produced;

reaches agreement, but one with which governments are later


dissatisfied or find difficult or impossible to implement;

fails to fulfil its mandate;

fails entirely to agree on anything; or, worse,

collapses altogether.

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Some conferences are foredoomed to an unsatisfactory outcome because of


unrealistic mandates, sharp differences between the objectives of different
delegations, unproductive negotiation behaviour, personality clashes and
other problems conferences can face, to the point that even the most
outstanding chairman could not save them.

But in general, effective chairmanship can overcome or moderate many of


these, and inspired chairmanship can sometimes rescue a conference that is
close to failure.

1.4 What to expect in this course

This course examines in detail the procedural and substantive roles of


chairmen. The procedural role will be discussed in Module 1, the substantive
role in Module 2. In each case we will examine the responsibilities and
constraints to which chairmen are subject and some of the main challenges
which accompany them.

By procedure we mean how the conference operates, whereas


substance relates to the subject matter addressed by the conference and
the real-world consequences of its decisions.

Procedure v Substance
Examples from the Chemical Weapons Convention

Procedure Substance

Convening the conference Commitment by States


Parties not to produce
Submitting proposals chemical weapons

Negotiating amendments Destruction of chemical


weapons
Adopting texts
International monitoring of
chemical industry

Responsibilities are obligations and duties which the chairman has accepted
and undertakes to make the object of his or her efforts and the benchmark
by which these will be judged. Constraints are factors which limit a
chairmans freedom of action or ability to meet objectives.

We will examine what the chairman has to do, how he or she speaks and
interacts with delegates and the conference secretariat and examples of the
challenges which the chairman can face. Finally we will consider what an

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individual needs to do to prepare him or herself to perform effectively as a


chairman.

It will soon become apparent that the chairmans role can be very
challenging in some circumstances. This degree of challenge or difficulty
experienced by a chairman is largely a function of the type or
characteristics of a conference.

For example,

1. A conference which is not called upon to take a decision (e.g.


an information meeting or one which is largely ceremonial)
will normally present little difficulty. Chairing this type of
conference is sometimes called moderation.

2. A conference of like-minded delegations seeking how best to


coordinate their activities or advance common objectives (e.g.
a meeting of co-sponsors of a resolution) may be more
demanding but not beyond the capacities of an individual who
is conscientious and has some political and managerial skills.

3. Conversely, a conference called upon to take decisions on


several highly contentious issues can place heavy burdens on
its chairman and require him/her to deploy a broad range of
skills and knowledge.

You should not be discouraged if you have never chaired an international


conference. In practice, you are not likely to be asked to preside over a
conference of the third category until you are more experienced, but you
should not be fearful at the prospect of managing one in either of the other
two categories.

This course is designed to equip you for such a role and help you
understand the objectives and difficulties of a chairman attempting to
manage a category 3 conference. For the latter task, experience is
ultimately the best teacher, but this course aims to provide some useful
insights and reminders.

1.5 How does one become chairman?

Automatically by rotation
Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure of
In some bodies, such as the the Conference on Disarmament
Security Council, the Conference When the Conference is in session, the
on Disarmament and the Presidency of the Conference shall rotate
Governing Council of the among all its members; each President
Economic and Social Commission shall preside for a four-working-week
for Western Asia (ESCWA), the period
chairmanship rotates on a
monthly (or other regular) basis and in the alphabetical order of the names
of participating Member States. Then the leader of the delegation whose
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turn it is automatically becomes chairman for the next month (or other
period).

By appointment
In some other cases, the chairman of a working group or other subsidiary
conference is appointed, often by the parent body or its chairman.

By election
In most cases, however, and notably for the General Assembly and its
committees, chairmen are elected by the conference. Such elections are in
most cases uncontested and consequently decided without a vote. This
implies that there has been prior agreement, in the informal or formal
preparatory process, on the selection of the individual concerned. Although
typically this person is a delegation leader (or for lower level conferences
and subsidiary bodies, another member of a delegation), at times it is an
individual with no such
In 1993 at its 659th Plenary Meeting, the
affiliation. For example,
Conference on Disarmament (CD) adopted a
Jayantha Dhanapala, decision calling for the negotiation of the
who chaired the NPT Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The
Review and Extension decision also requested the 1993 Chairman of its Ad
Conference of 1995, Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban to undertake
was at that time consultations in view of elaborating the specific
Ambassador of Sri mandate for and the organization of the
Lanka to the United negotiation. The question of who would chair the
States, and the negotiations in 1994, however, was not considered.
Despite a number of private consultations by the
Chairman of the Ad Hoc
1993 Chair, the chairmanship issue was not
Group on the Berlin
resolved and even delayed the convening of the
Mandate under the 1994 session until consensus could be found.
United Nations Climate
Change Convention was Source: Ramaker, Jaap et. al. 2003. The Final Test:
Raul Estrada, History of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban
Ambassador of Treaty Negotiations. Austria.
Argentina to China.

Again by tradition, many conferences and particularly ad hoc conferences


elect a representative of the government convening it or a nominee from
the host country. President Fernando Collor de Mello of Brazil presided over
the 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development; President
Thabo Mbeki of South Africa presided over the 2002 World Summit on
Sustainable Development; and Hong Kong China Commerce, Industry and
Technology Secretary John Tsang chaired the Fifth WTO Ministerial
Conference in December 2005, etc.

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Criteria for Selecting the Chairman

Rule 103 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly provides that
the chairmen and other office bearers of its committees should be elected
on the basis of:

Equitable geographical distribution


Experience, and
Personal competence.

The criteria for selecting a chairman for appointment or election are a


combination of nationality and personal qualities.

The national considerations are of three kinds:

1. There is often a preoccupation for geographical balance. In many


periodic conferences there is a convention under which
chairmanship rotates, from one (annual or other) session to the
next, between the several electoral groups or sometimes between
political groups. It is also widespread practice to ensure that each
of the groups is represented in the elective positions of a
conference.
2. Moreover, in most UN bodies, it is traditional not to elect
representatives of the P5 as chairman.
3. In addition, the chairman, if an official, should come from a
government which is generally believed to support the collective
purpose of the conference, (i.e. its mandate) and trusted not try
to use the chairmanship as a means of advancing its own national
objectives at the expense of those of the other delegations.

The personal qualities sought in a chairman are those which will help
him/her discharge the duties successfully. They include managerial and
diplomatic abilities, experience, stature, and understanding of the policy
issues involved in the conference, as well, ideally, as an established
reputation for conducting meetings efficiently and impartially.

Although the criteria suggested above for selecting a chairman reflect good
practice, they are not always adhered to. An overriding concern for the
success of the conference would give priority to these personal
qualifications for chairmanship, but in practice, at times, and for a variety of
political and other reasons, delegates are elected who do not possess them.
IMPARTIALITY

A chairman must all the times:


treat all delegates equally
be seen to behave impartially
not appear to favour any party
not appear to favour any side of a contentious issue

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2. The formal and procedural roles and


responsibilities of the Chair

2.1 General considerations

The formal and procedural roles and responsibilities of the Chair ensure that
the business of the conference is conducted in an orderly and efficient
manner and in accordance with the rules of procedure. In many rules of
procedure, procedural responsibilities functions, powers and limitations on
those powers for presiding officers are listed under a distinct heading,
although additional functions and powers are also often found elsewhere in
the rules.

Typical rules of procedure provide:

Rule 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly

...The President shall declare the opening and closing of each plenary meeting of
the session, direct the discussions in plenary meeting, ensure observance of these
rules, accord the right to speak, put questions and announce decisions. He shall
rule on points of order and, subject to these rules, shall have complete control of
the proceedings at any meeting and over the maintenance of order thereat.

... The President may, in the course of the discussion of an item, propose to the
[conference] the limitation of the time to be allowed to speakers, the limitation of
the number of times each representative may speak, the closure of the list of
speakers or the closure of the debate. He may also propose the suspension or
the adjournment of the meeting or the adjournment of the debate on the item
under discussion...

In practice, the role, responsibilities and powers of the chairman in formal


and procedural matters are even broader. Thus, for example, the chairman
can represent the conference, thank the host country, congratulate
individuals, express condolences, etc. on behalf of the conference.

View the video below to view the President of the 59th Session of the UN
General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Jean Ping, performing this role.

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Chairing International Conferences
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Video 1.1

Opening Statement
H. E. Mr. Jean Ping, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gabon,
President of the General Assembly, United Nations
General Assembly, 59th Session, New York, 21
September 2004 (Note: In this webcast, the President is
speaking in French with interpretation into English.)
Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKyTZsnw8tA

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.1.

He or she may also give a press conference or otherwise communicate with


audiences outside the conference on behalf of the conference.

More substantively, the chairman also has a key role in the conferences
decision-making process. Typical rules of procedure require the chairman to
put questions and announce all decisions. When he or she says the
conference has made a decision, he or she speaks on behalf of the
conference. Unless the statement is immediately overruled by the
conference, then that decision has been made by the conference. Some of
these decisions have legal consequences, e.g. to commit each participating
government to a scale of contributions or to appoint a new Director-General
for a specialized agency.

Indeed, the chairman has a structural role in the conference: not only is the
seating arranged so that all delegates face the Chair, but all statements
intended to be heard by the whole conference must be addressed to the
Chair. Once more, the chairman personifies the conference as a whole.

Structural Functions of the Chair CHAIR


Physical focus of the room

Addressee of all formal remarks:

When delegates want to speak to the


conference, they address the Chairman.
Delegate Delegate
Delegate

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Chairing International Conferences
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These several ways in which the chairman represents and acts on behalf of
the conference point to the central responsibility and constraint to which the
chairman is subject: he or she is called upon to behave not in an individual
or national role but as an embodiment of the whole conference.

Quoting again from typical rules of procedure

Rule 36 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly: The


President, in the exercise of his functions remains under the authority of
the [conference].

In other words, the chairman acts for the conference and only with its
consent. This relationship is often expressed in the words:

The chairman is the servant of


the conference.

This description should not, however, suggest that there is anything passive
about the chairmans role. A good servant does not wait to be told what to
do. Indeed, typically the master does not know what the servant should do
and certainly does not know how to do it. In the case of an international
conference, this master is a collective entity with many heads (sometimes
190+) and is hardly well equipped to be single minded. In practice, a
conference only rarely gives explicit directions to the chairman. It is up to
him or her to understand what needs to be done and to take appropriate
initiatives, as required, to make sure it happens. He or she acts for the
good of the conference and in the belief that his or her actions help produce
the results the conference wants.

The master/servant relationship manifests itself in two ways:

the purpose of the chairman must be to see that the conference


works as it collectively wishes to work; and
all his/her actions are subject to the constraint that they must be
acceptable to the conference.

Denationalization

Because the chairman represents Draft Rule 22.3. of the Rules of


the whole conference, he or she Procedure of UNFCCC
cannot simultaneously represent The President shall participate in the
one of the participating session in that capacity and shall not at
delegations. (At least, that is the the same time exercise the rights of a
general rule; we mention a few representative of a Party. The Party
exceptions below.) concerned shall designate another
representative who shall be entitled to
represent the Party in the session and to
Most rules of procedure specify exercise the right to vote.
that the chairman shall not vote
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Chairing International Conferences
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but logic and tradition (and indeed some more recent rules of procedure,
see box) are far more constraining. The chairman is expected to cease
operating as a member of his/her national delegation (as long as he or she
is in the Chair or otherwise acting as chairman). If, as is often the case, he
or she is a delegation leader, another member of that delegation must take
over the role of speaking and voting on behalf of the delegation. The
chairman should speak and act impartially on behalf of the conference as a
whole, and not seek to promote any national or personal views which
deviate from the mandate and the general will of the conference.

Qualification: This temporary formal dissociation from


ones national delegation applies to most large UN
conferences and their committees. It does not necessarily
apply to working groups, expert groups, etc., nor to
informal meetings not subject to the rules of procedure,
such as contact groups, co-sponsors meetings, regional
groups, etc. Likewise, for obvious reasons it does not
apply at summits. The Security Council is another
exception.

In some meetings (see box above) a delegate combines the two roles of
national delegate and chairman (or a role equivalent to that of chairman but
without that title). In informal meetings without the support of explicit rules
of procedure there are nonetheless minimal unwritten rules of procedure or
mutual expectations, providing for example that participants still speak one
at a time and generally maintain decorum, and the person acting as
chairman will act to keep the debate orderly and to record any decisions. All
present will usually understand when that delegate is speaking for the
conference as a whole or for his/her delegation alone; if necessary, this can
be made explicit:

Speaking for Peru at this point or Wearing my hat as


convenor/lead sponsor, let me say

In the following webcast, we see and hear the President of the Security
Council stepping temporarily out of that role and into that of a national
representative. Note that he greets the Secretary-General twice, once in
each capacity.

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Chairing International Conferences
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Video 1.2

Opening of a Meeting of the Security Council


H.E. Mr. Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Romania, President of the Security
Council, United Nations Security Council, 5282nd
Meeting, Cooperation between the United Nations and
regional organizations in maintaining international
peace and security, New York, 17 October 2005

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXg8sXkMlI4

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.2.

2.2 The chairmans activities

Information
An essential function of the chairman is to help delegations at all times to
understand what is happening and where their attention should be focused.
He or she does this by providing a flow of oral guidance from the Chair as
the meeting proceeds.

For example,

Announcing each phase of conference activity;


Reminding delegates of the recent past;

On Monday we addressed agenda item 4 but found it difficult to


come to a conclusion. We decided therefore to suspend
consideration of that item for two days, and to go on to other
agenda items, in the hope that during that time some progress
might be made in an informal contact group. I am pleased to
inform you that the group is now ready to report. We will now
resume our consideration of agenda item 4, starting with a report
by the convenor of the contact group. I give the floor to
Ambassador X.

Explaining procedural situations;


o Especially as regards voting.

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Chairing International Conferences
Module 1 Procedural Roles of the Chair

We will now vote on draft resolution L5. The draft resolution


proposes deleting budgetary provisions for the programmes listed
in CRP 9. Those in favour of terminating the programmes as
proposed in the draft resolution will vote in favour, those who
wish the programmes to continue will vote against. Delegations
not wishing to take a stand on this issue may abstain.

Foreshadowing future events and meetings

I expect we will complete our debate on agenda item 6 by mid-


afternoon. Thereafter we will receive a report from Committee II
on.

Confirming decisions.

The draft resolution is adopted.

Question 1
View the following webcast that shows a chairman giving
information to the delegates in this way. Can you identify
illustrations of the examples given above?

Video 1.3

Guiding proceedings of a plenary meeting


H.E. Mr Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, President of the
Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-
Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, United Nations
General Assembly 60th Session, New York, 27 May 2005

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbNZE8YX1Pc

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.3.

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Chairing International Conferences
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Applying the Rules of Procedure

Another key function of the chairman is to apply and enforce the Rules of
Procedure of the conference.

Each conference has Rules of procedure. In the case of many informal


meetings and some summit meetings where informality is prized, the rules
are not written and are very elementary (e.g. that each delegate should be
allowed to speak without interruption) but for formal meetings they are
detailed and carefully considered to make sure that the work of the
conference is conducted expeditiously but also that the equal rights of all
delegates are respected, These rules of procedure have been adopted by
the conference (or the parent conference from which it derives).

The link below provides the Rues of Procedure of the Functional


Commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the
principle organs of the United Nations. These Rules apply in a large number
of important conferences. The Rules of other conferences differ in varying
degrees on particular points but the Rules of the Functional Commissions of
ECOSOC are representative of style and contents of the Rules of other
conferences.

Rules of Procedure of the Functional Commission of ECOSOC

See Annex, Documents to Download or the link


below to familiarize yourself with these Rules
of Procedure; they will be the basis for some
of the assessment questions.

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/
hrcouncil/docs/ECOSOC.rules_En.pdf

Guiding the work of the conference

Another essential role of the chairman is to ensure that the conference goes
about its business in the manner he or she considers appropriate, in the
light of the rules of procedure and his or her understanding of the mandate
and the wishes of the conference.

To this end, a chairman can use four different techniques (or combinations
thereof):

1. Granting permission

2. Enabling things to happen

3. Indirectly causing them to happen and/or

4. Doing them himself/herself.


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We now turn to a brief discussion of each technique in turn.

Allowing things to happen

The chairman keeps order by selectively permitting some activities and by


disallowing others, at least until such time as he or she considers
appropriate.

Thus,

the conference can undertake no formal activity if the chairman (or


an acting chairman) is not chairing;
the conference is not in session until the chairman says it is;
no delegate may speak (formally) without permission from the
chairman, and the chairman can withdraw permission;
the conference cannot act (e.g. start discussion on an agenda item)
unless the chairman permits it;
as previously noted, the conference has not made a decision until the
chairman confirms it; and, finally,
the conference is in session until the chairman declares it closed.

But just as keeping a gate shut blocks activity, opening it permits the same
activity.

Thus, for example, the chairman

opens the conference and each meeting, thus enabling the


conference to start work;
initiates each action or decision (e.g. closure of discussion on one
agenda item and proceeding to the next);
etc.

Facilitating the work of the conference

The chairman has many techniques for doing this, several of which are
more fully explained in the next section on step-by-step through a
conference.

They include, for example:

Allowing adequate time for debate and informal consultations


Resolving any issues over procedure, thus enabling the conference to
continue its work in the appropriate manner
Suspending the meeting for informal consultations, as illustrated in
the following webcast of the 49th Session of the Commission on the
Status of Women

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Video 1.4

Suspension of the meeting for consultations


Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Minister, Permanent Mission of
the Republic of Korea to the United Nations,
Chairperson of the Commission, Commission on the
Status of Women, 49th Session, 19th Meeting, New York,
11 March 2005

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGA5MVu_Mw8

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.4.

etc.

Indirectly causing things to happen

Examples of this technique include:

Inviting a delegate to make a statement


Suggesting from the Chair that informal consultations take place
Appointing a Friend of the Chair or facilitator to conduct
consultations or to try to find consensus on a particular issue, as
illustrated by the Chairman of the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference
giving the floor to the facilitator in the following webcast:

Video 1.5

Inviting a Friend of the Chair (Facilitator) to report to


the conference
Hon. Mr. John C. Tsang, Chairman of the Conference
and H.E. Mr. Jonas Gahr Stre, Minister for Foreign
Affairs, Norway, Friend of the Chair (Facilitator), Sixth
Ministerial Conference of the WTO, Closing Plenary
Session, Hong Kong, 18 December 2005

Video courtesy of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMm_uNKSVhM

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.5.

or asking the secretariat to provide a particular service (e.g.


interpreter service for a night session).

Personal initiatives by the Chair

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Ultimately (many experienced chairmen say in the last resort) the


chairman can take a very hands on role.

He or she can, for example,

Personally convene a contact group and chair it

Act as intermediary, facilitator or broker to resolve disagreements


among delegates

Propose a procedural step, such as laying an issue aside, referring it


to another body etc. or

Present formulations or whole draft texts to the conference in his/her


own name (as further explained below).

The chairman as organizer

The chairman accepts responsibility for seeing that the conference performs
and completes its work. Thus he or she plans, oversees and leads the

Development of a programme of work, including


The allocation of work to committees and other
subsidiary bodies
The allocation of time for each task (e.g. for the
discussion of an agenda item);

Execution of the work programme


He or she
Initiates debate on each agenda item
Ensures that the debate is orderly
Harvests elements of the conference outcome as they
emerge
Initiates decision-making and
Ensures that results are recorded.

In the next section we will see how each of these roles is fulfilled during the
course of a conference.

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2.3 Procedural roles of the chairman: Step-by-step through a


conference

Allocation of work and time management

Rule 29 of the Rules of Procedure of the


Conference on Disarmament
The provisional agenda and the programme of work
shall be drawn up by the President of the Conference
with the assistance of the Secretary-General and
presented to the Conference for consideration and
approval.

One of the first tasks of a large conference is to allocate work to its various
subsidiary bodies. For example, the agenda may be split between several
committees, working groups may be tasked to address particular topics,
etc.

There should be enough subsidiary bodies for the full work programme to
be completed on time.

Another factor which is relevant at certain particularly large conferences is


the question of geographical balance. For example, the conference may
wish to provide a position on the bureau or in a committee chairmanship for
each of the principal political groups represented at the conference. Indeed
the mandate or rules of procedure of some conferences stipulate such a
requirement.

In planning the allocation of the work the chairman does not act alone. He
or she draws on the advice of the secretariat and should take steps to
inform himself or herself of the views and wishes of delegations. At large
conferences, he or she is assisted in developing the work programme by a
Steering Committee or General Committee.

The allocation of time is a more challenging task and must be a constant


preoccupation of the chairman throughout the conference. The secretariat
is likely to be able to give helpful advice in this but the responsibility
remains with the chairman. He or she will need a timetable or time-line
within which the conference can accomplish each of its tasks. This implies a
time budget which the chairman will have to monitor and manage as the
conference progresses.

He or she will want to

Allow time for delegates to settle in, get their bearings and
develop their focus
Allow time for formal debate and negotiation
Allow time for delegates to consult--
each other and/or their capitals and/or
before & during debate
Husband time preciously, to build up a reserve and/or
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Make time available for constructive uses.

Opening the conference

The chairman should arrive early before the scheduled start of each
meeting of the conference. Apart from courtesy towards the conference and
efficiency, this will enable him/her to exchange information with the
conference secretary about any developments since they last met.

As soon after the appointed starting time that the chairman considers there
are enough delegates in the room, he or she calls the meeting to order,
greets the delegates and declares the meeting open. He or she announces
the purpose of the meeting, recalls the procedural situation and gives a
brief oral introduction to the work at hand, as illustrated nicely by the
chairman in the following.

Video 1.6

Opening of a meeting
Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Minister, Permanent Mission of
the Republic of Korea, Chairperson, Commission on the
Status of Women, Opening of the 49th Session, New
York, 28 February 2005

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrLs3NvnJ-s

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.6.

Announcing each phase of conference activity

As the meeting progresses, the chairman announces each procedural move:


e.g. we will now resume debate on agenda item 4. He or she explains any
procedural matter that might not be clear and foreshadows subsequent
moves. Likewise, the chairman closes each phase of debate, and explains
what has been done and what is to follow.

Keeping the debate orderly

Maintaining order involves controlling the level of noise in the debating


chamber, giving speakers the floor as they request it or in accordance with
the speakers list, if necessary proposing and enforcing time limits on
interventions or closure of the speakers list etc. It may at times require
the Chair to take an overt leadership role in getting the conference to work
in an orderly and efficient manner. In the webcast below, we see the
President calling for quiet and imposing the time limit on interventions.

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Video 1.7

Keeping debate orderly


H.E. Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, Minister for External
Affairs, Saint-Lucia, President of the General Assembly,
United Nations General Assembly 58th Session, 86th
Plenary Meeting, New York, 6 May 2004

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCWiV6Stcnk

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.7.

In this work, the chairman uses not only his voice but also the gavel as a
means of communicating with the delegates.

Use of the Gavel

Any number of taps: Listen to me!

One tap (at the beginning of a meeting):


The chairman is calling the meeting to
order.

One tap (after announcing a decision): The decision has been


made and is final.

Two very quick taps: Silence in the room, please.

Several quick taps: I demand immediate silence.

Another responsibility of the Chair is to rule on points of order, which are


questions raised by delegates about the way the proceedings are being
conducted. There is no debate on points of order and the chairman is
required to rule immediately. Should a delegate appeal against a ruling by
the chairman, his/her challenge is immediately to put to the vote: that the
chairmans ruling stands.

Rule 71 of the Rules of Procedure of the United Nations General


Assembly

(the) appeal shall be immediately put to the vote, and the Presidents
ruling shall stand unless overruled by a majority of the members
present and voting

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Note that it is the ruling itself which is put to the vote, not the point of
order originally raised by the delegate. If this motion is defeated, the
chairman rules again, this time in the sense that the vote indicated to be
the wish of the conference. Such appeals and especially successful ones are
extremely rare; but the fact that they are possible is a significant limitation
on a chairmans freedom of action.

Video 1.8

Ruling on a point of order


H.E. Mr. Valeriy P. Kuchinsky, Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations,
Chairman of the Third Committee, United Nations
General Assembly 59th Session (Third Committee)

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJLL5vsO6IA

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.8.

Question 2
Sometimes undisciplined delegates abuse the rules of procedure
by asking for the floor to raise a point of order, but instead,
when given the floor, making statements about substantive
matters. Consider what you as chairman could do if faced by
this problem. Then, see below our suggested response.

Suggested Response to Question 2

The chairman needs to be alert against this tactic and any other attempt to
misuse the rules. The moment it becomes clear that a delegate is attempting to
do this the chairman should interrupt him/her, state firmly that is not a point of
order, perhaps reinforcing his ruling by tapping the gavel (firmly but only once
unless the delegate is re-offending). The chairman should by his general
demeanour show that this is reprehensible behaviour which he or she will not
tolerate.

The chairman would not wish, however, to over-react to what might perhaps be
an innocent mistake by an inexperienced delegate. It is often sufficient for
him/her to say I must remind distinguished delegates that the rules of
procedure strictly restrict the use of points of order to resolve important points
of procedure.

Should the delegate re-offend, the chairman should respond more firmly,
tapping the gavel several times and indicate his/her displeasure. Repeated
offences would invite the chairman to rule the delegate out of order and
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Question 3
It would be very embarrassing for a chairman and would
undermine his/her status and authority to suffer a successful
appeal against a ruling. Consider what you as chairman could
do to avoid this situation. Then, see below our suggested
response.

Suggested Response to Question 3

Do not allow situations to arise in which you will have to rule (by making
sure the rules of procedure are obeyed).
Be sure you are technically correct.
Maintain your popularity (be liked by & be useful to delegates).
Appear confident.

Managing the use of time

A constant preoccupation of every chairman, even those moderating the


easiest of meetings, is to manage the time available to the conference. He
or she does this in two ways. When drawing up the work programme, he or
she establishes a time line (this task will be finished by such and such a
date, x hours will be devoted to that agenda item, etc.). As the conference
progresses the chairman should constantly check that the time line is being
adhered to and, if it is not, take remedial action. Concurrently, the
chairman should manage a time budget, constantly pressing delegates to
complete each phase of the conference as quickly as possible, constantly
vigilant against any anything which threatens to use up time
unproductively, so as to build up a reserve of time in hand. Then the
chairman carefully makes time available for constructive purposes.

Examples of constructive uses of conference time

At the beginning of the conference, delegates need time to focus on the topic,
identify issues and also to renew or develop their relationships.
As the conference gets underway, they often have a number of matters to
get off their chests or points they want to demonstrate.
When negotiations are intense, they need time for informal consultations
and/or consulting their headquarters.

Examples of unproductive uses of conference time

Using conference time to pursue extraneous or irrelevant issues.


Using conference time to pursue idiosyncratic preoccupations of little interest
to most other participants.
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Listen to the following audio clip in which Chairman Buccini requests


delegates at the final session meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants to
limit their interventions and be as brief and focused as possible in order to
save time.

Audio 1

Chairmans Management of Time


Mr. John Buccini, Chairman of the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee, Stockholm Convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants, Opening Plenary of the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (POPS INC
5), Johannesburg, 4 December 2000

Video courtesy of International Institute for Sustainable Development


Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Audio Link: http://stream.unitar.org/module5/m5audio1.rm

Audio Transcript:
An audio transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Audio 1.
Please note that RealPlayer is required to play this audio clip.

Question 4
Speakers are taking too long. If this continues it will not be
possible for the conference to complete its work on time.

As chairman, what could you do if faced by this problem? After


considering your response to this challenge, see below our
suggested response.

Suggested Response to Question 4

Most rules of procedure provide that the chairman may propose time limits on
each intervention and a limit on the number of times each delegate may speak
on a particular agenda item.

In some conferences, where speakers address the conference from a rostrum,


there is a light which is used by the secretariat to signal that the speaker is
approaching the end of his/her permitted time or has exceeded it.

Otherwise the chairman can signal to the speaker in a variety of informal ways,
including sending him/her a written note.

The chairman can interrupt a speaker and ask him/her to conclude his/her
remarks.

In extreme cases, the chairman can cut off the microphone.


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Question 5
A delegate is taking too much conference time in pursuing
personal agendas not important to the conference as a whole.
Consider what you as chairman could do if faced by this problem.
Then, see below our suggested response.

Suggested Response to Question 5

Tactics open to the Chair include:

Recognize the point being made (if it has any validity);

Refer or defer it to another instance;

Appeal for understanding of the conferences time constraints and for


cooperation;

Consider prompting other delegates to speak to the offending delegate;

Consider a private meeting with the Chair, to urge him/her to desist;

Consider diminishing his/her access to microphone;

Propose that debate on that matter be cut-off;

Prompt a delegate to move formally to close debate on the item; and

Prompt a procedural motion for the conference to take a decision on the


item.

Question 6
Imagine the same situation as in question 5 above, but this time
the delegate is pursuing his or her national agenda, which is not
important to the conference as a whole. Consider what you as
chairman could do if faced by this problem. Then, see below our
suggested response.

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Suggested Response to Question 6

Same as 5, but since more respect must be paid to national positions than to
the personal objectives of delegates:

Offer more political solutions (e.g. full coverage in records/report);

Resort earlier to a private meeting;

Work at satisfying the delegates accountability;

Appeal to the delegates sense of responsibility and that of his/her


government;

Prompt other delegates to reason with him/her, pointing out the harm
that his/her behaviour does to their own governments objectives (which
require the conference to succeed); and

Ultimately, in extreme cases, prominent and assertive chairmen have


been known to contact the delegates authorities to try to get his/her
instructions changed.

Question 7
What can a chairman do if the conference runs out of time?
Consider what you as chairman would do if faced by this problem.
Then, see below our suggested response.

Suggested Response to Question 7

If the conference runs out of time it will not be able to take the decisions it
was supposed to take and otherwise will fail to fulfil its mandate.

For some conferences there is sometimes a little latitude, but this is strictly
limited. For example, it may be possible to hold evening meetings or even, in
the extreme to run on into a weekend. But there are likely to be budgetary
consequences, especially if interpretation and other conference services are
required, and funds may not be available.

It is a key responsibility of the chairman to make sure the conference does not
run out of time. This is why the chairman must give close attention to
managing the time budget of the conference.

Harvesting the results of debate

As the debate develops, the chairman should be alert to emerging areas of


agreement, draw them to the attention of the conference and make sure
they are gathered for inclusion in the conferences report or decisions. He
can do this orally, e.g.

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Having listened closely to the debate so far, it seems to me


that we may be in agreement on the following points: . Have
I correctly understood the wish of the conference?
[If no objection is raised at this time, these points of
agreement, although not formally decided by the conference,
can find their way into the draft text as apparently acceptable
to all].

or make a written compilation, which can be distributed as a CRP or


chairmans compilation at the appropriate moment (see Video 2.2 of
conference President Tibor Toth at the 5th NPT Review Conference in Module
2).

Decision-making

This is a particularly sensitive phase of conference activity, to which the


chairman pays particular attention. At times, the chairman himself may
orally propose the terms of a draft decision by the conference and declare it
adopted if the conference signifies its willingness. In the case of written
draft proposals submitted by other delegates, the chairman explains the
procedural situation to make sure that all delegations fully understand it. He
or she takes pains to ensure that the decision-making process is fully
transparent and that the wishes of delegations are accurately reflected.
The most common mode of decision-making is for the chairman to declare
that it has been made by consensus. This requires the chairman to have a
very good sense of the wishes of delegations, since, like all other decisions
by the chairman, it is subject to its being accepted by the conference. The
chairman cannot declare consensus if a delegation formally objects to the
proposed decision.

Rule 29.3 of the Rules of Procedure of the UNFCCC Clean Development


Mechanism

The Chair shall ascertain whether consensus has been reached

The Chair shall declare that a consensus does not exist if there is a stated
objection to the proposed decision under consideration.

An important part of the chairmans responsibilities is to ensure that all


requisite decisions are taken and duly recorded, as illustrated in the
webcast below in the vote of the Human Rights Council Resolution.

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Video 1.9

Chairmans meticulous attention to procedure and to


the information of delegations for the vote on the
Human Rights Council Resolution (A/RES/60/251)
H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Sweden, President of the General Assembly, United
Nations General Assembly 60th Session, 72nd Plenary
Meeting, New York, 5 March 2006

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2PJmlLFgvQ

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.9.

Overnight

Each evening, after closing the meeting, the chairman takes steps to ensure
he or she is informed of what has happened in the consultations and other
meetings at which he or she was not present and of likely developments in
coming days. He or she plans the next days work. As appropriate the
chairman may prepare the interventions he or she will make the next day
and/or arrange to forewarn delegations of impending developments. The
following morning, before the conference opens, the Chairman may wish to
consult the secretary and perhaps some delegations to be informed of
recent develoments.

Closing the conference

Finally, it is also the chairmans role to declare the conference closed.


Before doing so he or she usually thanks delegates, the secretariat and the
interpreters. He or she may also make some observations on the conduct
and outcome of the conference and perhaps future procedural moves (e.g.
the next meeting of the conference or its report being considered by
another conference). View the webcast below for the closing remarks of the
President of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

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Video 1.10

Closing the conference


H.E. Ms. Deborah Stokes, Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Australia to the United Nations in
Vienna, President of the Conference, Conference on
Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, New York, 23 September 2005

Video courtesy of United Nations Webcast

Video Links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPkJp2l7jIQ

Video Transcript:
A video transcript can be read at the end of this module. Please see Annex, Video 1.10.

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ANNEXES

Glossary of Terms / Definitions

Chair

The presiding officer of a conference.

chairman

Title of a presiding officer (often of a committee, working group,


expert group or caucus group). The term chairman is gender-neutral
and is correct, although chair and chairperson are also used in
practice. The title president tends to be reserved for the plenary
sessions of major conferences.

CRP
Conference Room Paper. An informal, in-session document paper
prepared during the conference to facilitate discussion and is no
longer valid at the end of the session.

Facilitator (at some conferences called Friend of the Chair)

A delegate appointed by the chairman to try to find agreement on a


particular issue or portion of text.

General Committee

(GA) Committee composed of the President and the twenty one vice-
presidents of the GA and the chairmen of the six Main Committees.

Geographical balance
A requirement to distribute electoral or appointed positions among
specified electoral groups, in accordance with a set formula. In cases
where this is applied, electoral groups often agree on an endorsed
regional candidate who is then automatically selected (since, by
definition, no alternative is available).

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Moderation

To moderate a meeting means to perform the most minimal


functions of a chairman: to declare it open, introduce the
participants, give them the opportunity to speak in turn, thank the
hosts, close the meeting and the like.

P5
The Permanent Five. The five Member States which have permanent
seats on the Security Council. By tradition in most conferences, the
P5 are never elected as presiding officers, although they may occupy
that position as a result of a rotating chairmanship.

President

Title, reserved for the presiding officer of some particularly large


and/or solemn conferences. At conferences where this title is used, it
is reserved for the person who presides over the whole conference
(i.e. the plenary) and the presiding officers of committees and other
subsidiary bodies usually carry the title chairman. The source of
these titles is found in the statute or the Rules of Procedure of each
conference.

Presiding officer

Whatever the appellation, the Chairman of an international


conference is its manager. He or she has accepted responsibility for
managing the procedural and substantive facets of the conferences
work, in accordance with its mandate and rules of procedure.

Rules of Procedure

The rules under which the conference operates. These have been
likened to the highway code of conduct and also to a users manual.

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Substantive outcomes

The concrete results (as contrasted with the purely procedural ones).
For example, the substantive outcome of negotiations on the
Chemical Weapons Convention was that States Parties renounced the
right to possess chemical weapons, they agreed to destroy existing
stocks etc. (whereas the procedural outcome was that they agreed to
a text, opened it for signature, etc).

Speakers list

List, maintained by a presiding officer, of delegations which have


asked to speak, in the order in which they have made the request
(subject to a few exceptions).

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Further Readings

1. These readings are available online as pdf downloads from


Course Documents

Blavoukos, Spyros and Bourantonis, Dimitris. The Chair in the UN Context:


Assessing Functions and Performance. Discussion Paper. Netherlands
Institute of International Relations Clingendael. 2005.

Blavoukos, Spyros; Bourantonis, Dimitris and Tsakonas, Panayotis.


Parameters of the Chairmanships Effectiveness: The Case of the UN
Security Council. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy I (2006) 143-170.
Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2006.

Koh, Tommy Thong-Bee. UNCED Leadership: A Personal Perspective. In


Bertram I. Spector, Gunnar Sjstedt and I. William Zartman, eds.
Negotiating International Regimes: Lessons Learned from the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
Laxenburg: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 1994.

Odell, John S. Mediating Multilateral Trade Negotiation. Paper prepared for


presentation at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association,
Montreal, March 2004.

2. Other suggested readings (not available online)

Kaufmann, Johan. Conference Diplomacy: An Introductory Analysis. Third


Revised Version. London: Macmillian Press, 1996.

Walker, Ronald A. Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International


Negotiation. London: Palgrave Macmillian, 2004.

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Video and Audio Transcripts

Video Transcript 1.1

Opening Statement
H. E. Mr. Jean Ping, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabon, President of the General
Assembly, United Nations General Assembly, 59th Session, New York, 21 September
2004

TEXT:
Before proceeding to the items on our agenda, I should like, on behalf of all the
members of the General Assembly, to extend our deepest sympathy to the
Governments and the peoples of the Dominican Republic and Haiti for the tragic loss of
lives and extensive material damages that have resulted from the recent hurricane in
those countries. We also express our deepest sympathy to the Governments and the
peoples of all those countries affected by the recent hurricanes. May I also express the
hope and urge the international community to show its solidarity and respond
promptly and generously to any request for help from those countries. I know invite
His Excellency Mr. Boniface Alexandre, Interim President of the Republic of Haiti to
take the floor.

Video Transcript 1.2

Opening of a Meeting of the Security Council


H.E. Mr. Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romania, President of
the Security Council, United Nations Security Council
5282nd meeting, Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in
maintaining international peace and security, New York, 17 October 2005

TEXT (S/PV.5282):
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of item two of the agenda. The
Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior
consultations. I should like to draw attention to document S/2005/638, which contains
a text of a letter dated 10 October 2005 from Romania, transmitting a background paper
on the item being considered. It is my particular pleasure to acknowledge the presence
of the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, who, as we all know, attaches great
importance to the subject of todays debate. Allow me, Ladies and Gentlemen, to open
the debate by making a statement in my national capacity. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Members of the Security Council, Distinguished Representatives of the
Regional Organizations, I would like to state at the outset that, as an acceding country,
Romania aligns itself with the statement to be made later by Ambassador Jones Parry
on behalf of the European Union (EU). I recognize with appreciation the presence of the
United Nations Secretary-General, and the overall interest he constantly took in the
issue that we touch upon today. I have a special word for leaders and representatives of
regional organizations who took the time to come to New York to participate in our
proceedings.

Video Transcript 1.3

Guiding proceedings of a plenary meeting

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H.E. Mr Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, President of the Conference of the Parties to the
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, New York, 27 May 2005

TEXT:
I declare open the 22nd plenary meeting of the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties
to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Conference will, as we had agreed before, finalize the
adoption of its draft final document. As we recall, at the 21st plenary session this
morning, the conference has adopted all but one section of its draft final document.
Therefore, it is my intention now to finalize the adoption of the final document and
then proceed with the concluding statements by delegations. Before taking action on
the draft final document, I would like to inform you that the Secretariat has been
approached by the delegations of Angola, Uruguay, and Zambia who submitted their
respective notifications of participation and requested to be included in the list of States
Parties participating in the Conference. These requests have also been brought to the
attention of the acting chairman of the Credentials Committee. With the concurrence of
the Conference, I propose now to include Angola, Uruguay and Zambia in the list of
States parties participating in the Conference. If I see no objection, it is so decided.
[Taps gavel]

I will now invite you to take up item 14 of the agenda, namely the adoption of
arrangements for meeting the costs of the Convention. I would like to draw your
attention to document NPT/CONF.2005/51 and which has now been distributed to all
delegations and which reflects the schedule of provisional costs based on the actual
participation of States Parties to the Conference. This document has to be seen in
conjunction with rules 12 and the appendix of the rules of procedure which the
Conference adopted at its first plenary meeting on the 2nd of May of 2005. I would also
like to note that the addition of Angola, Uruguay and Zambia to the States Parties
participating in the Conference will be factored into the costs born by the participants
in the Conference. May I take it that the Conference wishes to adopt the schedule of the
provisional costs as contained in NPT/CONF.2005/51? [Pause] I see no objection, it is
so decided. [Taps gavel]

I would now like to proceed to the adoption of the outstanding section of the draft final
document of the conference, which is contained in document NPT/CONF.2005/DC/1
and which is now available as promised by the secretariat in all official languages of the
Conference. The paragraphthe only paragraphunder the section entitled Financial
arrangements which is section number 4 records the adoption earlier today of the cost
sharing formula as contained in document NPT/CONF.2005/51. May I take it that the
conference wishes to adopt the section entitled Financial arrangements? [Pause] I see
no objections, it is so decided. [Taps gavel].

Since we have now adopted all the sections of the draft final document, may I take it
that the Conference wishes to adopt the final document as a whole, as contained in
document NPT/CONF.2005/DC/1? [Pause] Again, I see no objection. It is so decided.
[Taps gavel]

I thank all delegations for the spirit of cooperation that allowed the Conference to adopt
the final document expeditiously. I would now like to give the floor to the delegations
which have expressed their wish to address the conference. The first one on my list is
the Distinguished Ambassador of Spain.

Video Transcript 1.4

Suspension of the meeting for consultations


Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Minister, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the
United Nations, Chairperson of the Commission, Commission on the Status of Women,
49th Session, 19th Meeting, New York, 11 March 2005

TEXT:

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Thank you very much. If I may sum up the situation: we have proposed oral
amendments to this draft resolution which the main sponsor has clearly indicated that
cannot be accepted from their standpoint. We have delegations making a plea to avoid
any kind of a vote on this resolution. So therefore I am wondering if a five minute
suspension might be useful to delegations to study the situation and, if possible, to
reconsider their position on this. So I would call for a five minute suspension but five
minutes only and we will be back. Your patience, please. Thank you.

Video Transcript 1.5

Inviting a Friend of the Chair (Facilitator) to report to the conference


Hon. Mr. John C. Tsang, Chairman of the Conference and H.E. Mr. Jonas Gahr Stre,
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Norway, Friend of the Chair (Facilitator), Sixth Ministerial
Conference of the WTO, Closing Plenary Session, Hong Kong, 18 December 2005

TEXT:
The Chairman: Before moving to taking action on the draft Ministerial Declaration
under this item, I would like to recall that on 14 December, at the end of the formal
Plenary meeting on Item 2(b) of our agenda concerning the EU banana regime, I
concluded the debate by saying that I would reflect on possible next steps with
interested delegations. On 16 December, I advised delegations that I had requested
Minister Stre of Norway to act as a Friend of the Chair on this matter, and that
Minister Stre would therefore be available to reflect with interested delegations on
possible next steps. I would like to invite now Minister Stre to report on the outcome
of his discussions so far. Jonas.
Minister Stre (Norway): Thank you, John. Upon your request, I had accepted to
serve as a Facilitator with regard to the banana issue. I have since then consulted
widely with the interested parties and listened to their views, interests and
considerations concerning this issue. I have, Mr. Chairman, during these conversations,
appreciated fully the critical interest that so many nations attached to this issue and the
importance for their economy, employment, culture and social structure. Based on
these consultations, and although the views and positions may vary among these
nations, I have detected a broad interest among the Latin American MFN nations to
engage in discussions and negotiations with the European Commission on the banana
issue. Against this background, I have proposed to the Latin American MFN nations
and the EC the establishment of a framework for political dialogue, analysis and
negotiations on the banana issue. Upon request, I have accepted to commit Norway to
serve as good offices in the structuring of this framework. The role of the good offices
would be to convene and chair meetings and generally facilitate communications and
negotiations, as well as to build trust among parties with a view to facilitating mutually
agreeable solutions to this very sensitive issue. Let me also add, John, that involvement
in this framework is without prejudice to WTO Members' procedural and substantive
rights and obligations. Let me finally add that I have also listened extensively to the
views and concerns also of the ACP countries with an interest in the banana issue. I
have noted that the European Commission stands ready to undertake close dialogue
also with this group of WTO Member States. So upon this meeting, Chairman, I intend,
then, on behalf of Norway, to invite to a first session of this framework, and it would be
up to the Member States to consider that invitation. Thank you.

Video Transcript 1.6

Opening of a meeting
Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Minister, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea,
Chairperson, Commission on the Status of Women, Opening of the 49th Session, New
York, 28 February 2005

TEXT:

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I declare open the 49th session of the Commission of the Status of Women and call to
order the first meeting. Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
on behalf of the Commission on the Status of Women, it gives me great pleasure and
honour to welcome all of you to the opening of the 49th session of the Commission. As
chairperson, I have the distinct honour and privilege of presiding over the proceedings
of this very important session of the Commission which marks the 10th anniversary of
Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. We have in this session a
focussed and closely watched opportunity to review and appraise the accomplishment
of the past decade particularly since the 23rd Special session of the General Assembly in
2000 in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action towards realizing
gender equality, to discuss the challenges and obstacles that remain and renew our
resolve towards full implementation of Beijing and the outcome of the 23rd Special
session. The importance of this session is further enhanced by the input it can provide
into the High Level Plenary Meeting on the review of the Millennium Declaration
which will take place in September of this year in this very hall where leaders of the
world will take stock of the past five years in achieving the Millennium Development
Goals, promoting gender equality. And mainstreaming gender is not only one the
MDGs but also a vital tool in effectively accomplishing the others. Thus, the
expectations built around this session of the commission from all stakeholders have
been tremendous as reflected in the big turn out today of governmental, inter-
governmental and non-governmental representatives, both in term of size and levels.
Hence, during the past year, the Bureau and the Secretariat have worked very hard in
close consultation with the members of the Commission so as to prepare a session that
lives up to the expectations as well as his significance in the annals of UN efforts to
promote gender equality. We have structured the two weeks of the session so as to
generate maximum dialogue on the timely issues in the ongoing implementation of the
Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the 23rd Special session. It is my sincere
hope that we will have the active support and cooperation of all here so that the session
may be successively conducted and concluded in such way, reaffirming all the
commitments made in Beijing and galvanizing all of us to stay the course with greater
resolve towards gender equality, development and peace. And now, Distinguished
Delegates, I have the honour to give a warm welcome to His Excellency Mr. Kofi
Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations and invite him to address the
Commission. You have the floor, Excellency.

Video Transcript 1.7

Keeping debate orderly


H.E. Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, Minister for External Affairs, Saint-Lucia, President of
the General Assembly, United Nations General Assembly 58th Session, 86th Plenary
Meeting, New York, 6 May 2004

TEXT:
Let me pause now, can we have some cooperation and there is discussions on to my
left, there are telephones that are going off, can we, please
Draft resolution A/58/L.8/Rev.1 has been the subject of consultations and negotiations
for some seven months now. There is only a short time remaining for me to carry out,
during the fifty-eighth session, the consultations foreseen in the draft resolution, and
for which I will require the full cooperation of all Member States. This time does not
allow us to begin a new round of negotiations and consultations, on what is, indeed, a
purely procedural resolution. In any event, it may not be wise to do so, given the broad
support for the resolution as it now stands. In this spirit, I would urge Members States
to join in the consensus adoption of draft resolution A/58/L.8/Rev.1. We shall now
proceed to consider draft resolution A/58/L.8/Rev.1. Before giving the floor to the
speakers in explanation of vote before the vote, may I remind delegations that
explanations of vote or position are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by
delegations from their seats.

Audio Transcript 1.1

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Chairmans Welcoming Remarks


Mr. John Buccini, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee,
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Opening Plenary of INC 5),
Johannesburg, 4 December 2000

TEXT:
Its going to be a really heavy day today, and we have an awful lot of work to get
through. And I am going to ask for a slight change, maybe not so slight change, in the
way in which we have been proceeding. And it isI am going to ask you to be as brief
and as focused as you possibly can be in making your interventions. I am not trying to
stifle debate; I am just trying to make sure that we use all of our airtime herethese
three, three-hour sessions -- so that we can hear what we absolutely have need to hear.
And if your position has already been expressed by another delegation, perhaps you
may not feel the need to take the floor and repeat that position which has already been
expressed. Or if you do, just indicate, you know, we support the views our country X,
etc. and that would suffice. I am always of course, interested in hearing differing
views, suggestions for progress, word fixes, things of that nature. I am not trying to cut
that out. But we have to be really lean and mean in terms of our communication today
because of the amount of work we have to get through. And to save me using up a
minute tomorrow morning, the same will be true for tomorrow. I will also point out
where if I feel that a delegate is taking too long to make a point, or is making a point
which has already been made, discussed or decided. If you happen while you are
speaking to hear this [tapes gavel three times], you will know that it is my way of
trying to get your attention and that I am going to interrupt you, and I am going to ask
you to really be much shorter, or I am just going to say I think that point has already
been made. I think we need to move along. So I hope you will accept that. It is a little
more of an assertive role than I have been practicing for the past four days. But I think
we are about to enter the end-game, and I think that it really is time now to take on this
alternative personality type which for all I know is my basic one. Okay those are the
ground rules.

Video Transcript 1.8

Ruling on a point of order


H.E. Mr. Valeriy P. Kuchinsky, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to
the United Nations, Chairman of the Third Committee, United Nations General
Assembly 59th Session (Third Committee)

TEXT:
Mr. Montwedi (South Africa): () by tabling L.46
The Chairman: I have to apologize. I recognize a point of order raised by the delegation
of Australia.
Mr. Choi (Australia): Thank you very much, Chair. I raise a point of order and I
apologize for taking the floor on this matter but I understand the delegate of South
Africa has, under Rule 116 of the internal regulations of the General Assembly,
requested an adjournment of the debate. He has now proceeded to what I understand
to be more of a general statement. I would request that you would make a ruling on
Rule 116, Chair, to make it clear that, if an adjournment of the debate proposal is made,
we should immediately take it to a vote. Thank you.
The Chairman: The proposer of a motion may explain the reasons for asking for this
motion. So I will give the floor to the distinguished representative of South Africa to
finish his presentation of his motion.
Mr. Montwedi (South Africa): Thank you, Chair, and thank you for your clarification.

Video Transcript 1.9

Chairmans meticulous attention to procedure and to the information of delegations


for the vote on the Human Rights Council Resolution (A/RES/60/251)

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H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden, President of the General
Assembly, United Nations General Assembly 60th Session, 72nd Plenary Meeting, New
York, 15 March 2006

TEXT:
The President: A recorded vote has been requested and we shall now begin the voting
process. Those in favour of draft resolution A/60/L.48, please signify. Those against.
Abstentions.
The Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management
(United Nations Secretariat): The General Assembly is now voting on draft resolution
A/60/L.48 entitled `Human Rights Council. Will all delegations confirm that their
votes are accurately reflected on the board? [Pause] The voting has been completed.
The machine is locked.
The President: The result of the vote is as follows: in favour 170; opposed: 4;
abstention: 3. Is there a point of order raised? [Pause]
() Let me just inform you that there are delegations that do not have the right of vote
in the Assembly and we wont have that recorded. Those countries that do not have the
right of vote will not be recorded on the table. But I give you, of course, the chance to
come back, in explanation of vote after the vote, to give your positions if you so like.
But this does not change anyway. I repeat. The result of the vote is as follows: in favour
170; opposed: 4; abstention: 3. Draft resolution A/60/L.48 is adopted.

Video Transcript 1.10

Closing the conference


H.E. Ms. Deborah Stokes, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Australia to the
United Nations in Vienna, President of the Conference, Conference on Facilitating the
Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, New York, 23
September 2005

TEXT:
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, this brings us to the
conclusion of our work. Before closing the conference, I would like to express my
gratitude for the cooperation and support to all participants, to the Vice-Presidents and
Members of Credentials Committee, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Mr. Kofi Annan, to the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Mr.
Nobuyasu Abe, and to the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the
CTBTO, Mr. Tibor Toth. My sincere thanks go also to all members of the joint
secretariat for their valuable assistance in preparing for and supporting the conference.
I would also like to thank the interpreters, conference service offices, translators and
those working behind the scene that have assisted us in our work. Their cooperation
was much appreciated. I would also like to extend my particular appreciation to
delegations in Vienna, some of whom are represented here today, for their contribution
to the conference especially to the draft and now the final declaration. I declare the 2005
Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban
Treaty closed. Thank you everyone.

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Document to download

See the courses Cybrary online or link below for Rues of Procedure of the Functional
Commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/ECOSOC.rules_En.pdf

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