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CHAPTER  III Rules of Procedure



Rules of Procedure of Conferences and Other Meetings

The Rules of Procedure shall apply without prejudice to the amendment provisions contained in Article 55 of the Constitution and in Article 42 of this Convention.


  1. Order of Seating

At meetings of the conference, delegations shall be seated in the alphabetical order of the French names of the Members represented.

2. Inauguration of the Conference

1.      (1) The inaugural meeting of the conference shall be preceded by a meeting of the Heads of delegation in the course of which it shall prepare the agenda for the first Plenary Meeting and make proposals for the organization, chairmanships and vice-chairmanships of the conference and its committees, taking into account the principles of rotation, geographical distribution, the necessary competence and the provisions of No. 346 below.

           (2) The Chairman of the meeting of Heads of delegation shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Nos. 344 and 345 below.

2.  (1) The conference shall be opened by a person appointed by the inviting government.

     (2) When there is no inviting government, it shall be opened by the oldest Head of delegation.

 3. (1) The Chairman of the conference shall be elected at the first Plenary Meeting; generally, he shall be a           person nominated by the inviting government.

      (2) If there is no inviting government, the Chairman shall be chosen, taking into account the proposals                made by the Heads of delegation at the meeting described in No. 342 above.

  4.   The first Plenary Meeting shall also:

a) elect the Vice-Chairmen of the conference;

b) set up the conference committees and elect their respective Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen;

c) designate the conference secretariat, in accordance with No. 97 of this Convention; the secretariat may be reinforced, in case of need, by staff provided by the administration of the inviting government.


  1. Powers of the Chairman of the Conference

1.   The Chairman, in addition to the other prerogatives conferred upon him under these Rules of Procedure, shall open and close the meetings of the Plenary Meeting, direct the deliberations, ensure that the Rules of Procedure are applied, give the floor to speakers, put questions to the vote, and announce the decisions adopted.

2.   He shall have the general direction of all the work of the conference, and shall ensure that order is maintained at Plenary Meetings. He shall give his ruling on motions of order and points of order and, in particular, he shall be empowered to propose that discussion on a question be postponed or closed, or that a meeting be suspended or adjourned. He may also decide to postpone the convening of a Plenary Meeting should he consider it necessary.

3.   It shall be the duty of the Chairman to protect the right of each delegation to express its opinion freely and fully on the point at issue.

4.  He shall ensure that discussion is limited to the point at issue, and he may interrupt any speaker who departs therefrom and request him to confine his remarks to the subject under discussion.

4.  Setting up of Committees

1.  The Plenary Meeting may set up committees to consider matters referred to the conference. These committees may in turn set up sub committees. Committees and sub-committees may set up working groups.

2.   Sub-committees and working groups shall be set up when necessary.

3.   Subject to the provisions of Nos. 356 and 357 above, the following committees shall be set up:

4.1   Steering Committee

a) This Committee shall normally be composed of the Chairman of the conference or meeting, who shall be its Chairman, the Vice-Chairmen of the conference and the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of committees;

b) The Steering Committee shall coordinate all matters connected with the smooth execution of work and shall plan the order and number of meetings, avoiding overlapping wherever possible in view of the limited number of members of some delegations.

4.2   Credentials Committee

A Plenipotentiary Conference, a radiocommunication conference or a world conference on international telecommunications shall appoint a Credentials Committee, the mandate of which shall be to verify the credentials of delegations to these conferences. This Committee shall report on its conclusions to the Plenary Meeting within the time specified by the latter.

4.3  Editorial Committee

a) The texts prepared in the various committees, which shall be worded as far as possible in their definitive form by these committees, taking account of the views expressed, shall be submitted to an Editorial Committee charged with perfecting their form without altering the sense and, where appropriate, with combining them with those parts of former texts which have not been altered.

b) The texts shall be submitted by the Editorial Committee to the Plenary Meeting, which shall approve them, or refer them back to the appropriate committee for further examination

4.4    Budget Control Committee

a) At the opening of each conference, the Plenary Meeting shall appoint a Budget Control Committee to determine the organization and the facilities available to the delegates, and to examine and approve the accounts for expenditure incurred throughout the duration of the conference. In addition to the members of delegations who wish to participate, this Committee shall include a representative of the Secretary-General, of the Director of the Bureau concerned, and, where there is an inviting government, a representative of that government.

b) Before the budget approved by the Council for the conference is exhausted, the Budget Control Committee, in collaboration with the secretariat of the conference, shall present an interim statement of the expenditure to the Plenary Meeting. The Plenary Meeting shall take this statement into account in considering whether the progress made is sufficient to justify a prolongation of the conference after the date when the approved budget will be exhausted.


c) At the end of each conference, the Budget Control Committee shall present a report to the Plenary Meeting showing, as accurately as possible, the estimated total expenditure of the conference, as well as an estimate of the costs that may be entailed by the execution of the decisions taken by such conference.

d) After consideration and approval by the Plenary Meeting, this report, together with the observations of the Plenary Meeting, shall be transmitted to the Secretary-General for submission to the Council at its next ordinary session.

5.  Composition of Committees

            5.1       Plenipotentiary Conferences

Committees shall be composed of the delegates of Members and the observers referred to in No. 269 of this Convention who have so requested or who have been designated by the Plenary Meeting.

            5.2    Radio communication Conferences and World Conferences on International                                                Telecommunications

Committees shall be composed of the delegates of Members and the observers and representatives referred to in Nos. 278, 279 and 280 of this Convention who have so requested or who have been designated by the Plenary Meeting.

   5.3 Radiocommunication Assemblies, Telecommunication Standardization Conferences and               Telecommunication Development Conferences

In addition to delegates of Members and observers referred to in Nos. 259 to 262 of this Convention, the radiocommunication assemblies and the committees of the telecommunication standardization and telecommunication development conferences may be attended by representatives of any entity or organization included in the relevant list referred to in No. 237 of this Convention.

  1. Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Sub-Committees

The Chairman of each committee shall propose to his committee the choice of the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the sub-committees which may be set up.

  1. Summons to Meetings

Plenary Meetings and meetings of committees, sub-committees and working groups shall be announced in good time in the meeting place of the conference.

  1. Proposals Presented Before the Opening of the Conference

Proposals presented before the opening of the conference shall be allocated by the Plenary Meeting to the appropriate committees set up in accordance with Section 4 of these Rules of Procedure. Nevertheless, the Plenary Meeting itself shall be entitled to deal with any proposal.

9. Proposals or Amendments Presented During the Conference

1.   Proposals or amendments presented after the opening of the conference shall be delivered to the Chairman of the conference, to the Chairman of the appropriate committee or to the secretariat of the conference for publication and distribution as conference documents.

2.  No written proposal or amendment may be presented unless signed by the Head of the delegation concerned or by his deputy.

3.  The Chairman of the conference or of a committee, a sub-committee or a working group may at any time submit proposals likely to accelerate the debates.

4.  Every proposal or amendment shall give, in precise and exact terms, the text to be considered.

5.  (1) The Chairman of the conference or the Chairman of the appropriate committee, sub-committee or working group shall decide in each case whether a proposal or amendment submitted during a meeting shall be made orally or presented in writing for publication and distribution in accordance with No. 374 above.


    (2) In general, the texts of all major proposals to be put to the vote shall be distributed in good time in the working languages of the conference, in order that they may be studied before discussion.

    (3) In addition, the Chairman of the conference, on receiving proposals or amendments referred to in No. 374 above, shall refer them to the appropriate committee or to the Plenary Meeting as the case may be.

6.  Any authorized person may read, or may ask to have read, at a Plenary Meeting any proposal or amendment submitted by him during the conference, and he shall be allowed to explain his reasons therefor.

10.  Conditions Required for Discussion of or Decision or Vote on any Proposal or Amendment

1.   No proposal or amendment may be discussed unless it is supported by at least one other delegation when it comes to be considered.

2.  Each proposal or amendment duly supported shall be submitted for discussion and thereafter for decision, if necessary by a vote.

 11.  Proposals or Amendments Passed Over or Postponed

When a proposal or an amendment has been passed over or when its examination has been postponed, the delegation sponsoring it shall be responsible for seeing that it is considered later.

12. Rules for Debates in Plenary Meetings

                12.1     Quorum

For a valid vote to be taken at a Plenary Meeting, more than half of the delegations accredited to the conference and having the right to vote must be present or represented at the meeting.

12.2    Order of debates

(1) Persons desiring to speak must first obtain the consent of the Chairman. As a general rule, they shall begin by announcing in what capacity they speak.

(2) Any person speaking must express himself slowly and distinctly, separating his words and pausing as necessary in order that everybody may understand his meaning.

12.3    Motions of order and points of order

(1) During debates, any delegation may, when it thinks fit, submit a motion of order or raise a point of order, which shall at once be settled by the Chairman in accordance with these Rules of Procedure. Any delegation may appeal against the Chairman’s ruling, which shall however stand unless a majority of the delegations present and voting are against it.

(2) A delegation submitting a motion of order shall not, during its speech, discuss the substance of the matter in question.

               12.4   Priority of motions of order and points of order

The motions and points of order mentioned in No. 388 of this Convention shall be dealt with in the following order:

a) any point of order regarding the application of these Rules of Procedure, including voting procedures;

b) suspension of a meeting;

c) adjournment of a meeting;

d)       postponement of debate on the matter under discussion;

e) closure of debate on the matter under discussion;

f) any other motions of order or points of order that may be submitted, in which case it shall be for the Chairman to decide the relative order in which they shall be considered.

               12.5   Motion for suspension or adjournment of a meeting

During the discussion of a question, a delegation may move that the meeting be suspended or adjourned, giving reasons for its proposal. If the proposal is seconded, the floor shall be given to two speakers to oppose the suspension or adjournment and solely for that purpose, after which the motion shall be put to the vote.

                12.6   Motion for postponement of debate

During discussion of any question, a delegation may move that the debate be postponed for a stated period. Once such a proposal has been made, any discussion thereon shall be limited to no more than three speakers not counting the person submitting the proposal, one for the motion and two against, after which the motion shall be put to the vote.

               12.7    Motion for closure of debate

A delegation may at any time move that discussions on the point at issue be closed. In such cases the floor shall be given to not more than two speakers opposing the motion, after which the motion shall be put to the vote. If the motion succeeds, the Chairman will immediately call for a vote on the point at issue.

12.8   Limitation of speeches

(1) The Plenary Meeting may, if necessary, decide how many speeches any one delegation may make on any particular point, and how long they may last.

(2) However, as regards questions of procedure, the Chairman shall limit the time allowed for a speech to a maximum of five minutes.

(3) When a speaker has exceeded the time allowed, the Chairman shall notify the Meeting and request the speaker to conclude his remarks briefly.

12.9  Closing the list of speakers

(1) During the debate, the Chairman may rule that the list of speakers wishing to take the floor be read. He shall add the names of other delegations which indicate that they wish to speak and he may then, with the assent of the Meeting, rule that the list be closed. Nevertheless, as an exceptional measure, the Chairman may rule, if he thinks fit, that a reply may be made to any previous statement, even after the list of speakers has been closed.

(2) The list of speakers having been exhausted, the Chairman shall declare discussion on the matter closed.

            12.10   Questions of competence

Any question of competence that may arise shall be settled before a vote is taken on the substance of the matter under discussion.

            12.11   Withdrawal and re-submission of a motion

The author of a motion may withdraw it before it is put to a vote. Any motion, whether amended or not, which has been withdrawn from debate may be resubmitted or taken up by the author of the amendment or by another delegation.

      13.  Right to Vote

  1. At all meetings of the conference, the delegation of a Member of the Union duly accredited by that Member to take part in the work of the conference shall be entitled to one vote in accordance with Article 3 of the Constitution.
  2. The delegation of a Member of the Union shall exercise the right to vote under the conditions described in Article 31 of this Convention.
  3. When a Member is not represented by an administration at a radio-communication assembly, a world telecommunication standardization conference or a telecommunication development conference, the representatives of the recognized operating agencies of the Member concerned shall, as a whole, and regardless of their number, be entitled to a single vote, subject to the provisions of No. 239 of this Convention. The provisions of Nos. 335 to 338 of this Convention concerning the transfer of powers shall apply to the above conferences.

14.  Voting

           14.1     Definition of a majority

(1) A majority shall consist of more than half the delegations present and voting.

(2) In computing a majority, delegations abstaining shall not be taken into account.

(3) In case of a tie, a proposal or amendment shall be considered rejected.

(4) For the purpose of these Rules of Procedure, a “delegation present and voting” shall be a delegation voting for or against a proposal.

            14.2    Non-participation in voting

Delegations which are present but do not take part in a particular vote or expressly state they do not wish to take part shall not be considered as absent, for the purpose of determining a quorum as defined in No. 385 of this Convention, nor as abstaining for the purpose of applying the provisions of No. 416 below.

            14.3     Special majority

 In cases concerning the admission of new Members of the Union, the majority described in Article 2 of the Constitution shall apply.

     14.4     Abstentions of more than fifty per cent

When the number of abstentions exceeds half the number of votes cast (for, against, abstentions), consideration of the matter under discussion shall be postponed to a later meeting, at which time abstentions shall not be taken into account.

             14.5         Voting procedures

      1.  The voting procedures are as follows:

          a) by a show of hands as a general rule unless a roll call under b) or secret ballot under c) has been                                requested;

  b) by a roll call in the alphabetical order of the French names of the Members present and entitled to vote:

1.  if at least two delegations, present and entitled to vote, so request before the beginning of the vote and if a secret ballot under c) has not been requested, or

2.  if the procedure under a) shows no clear majority;

         c) by a secret ballot, if at least five of the delegations present and entitled to vote so request before the                                 beginning  of the vote.

2.  The Chairman shall, before commencing a vote, observe any request as to the manner in which the voting shall be conducted, and then shall formally announce the voting procedure to be applied and the issue to be submitted to the vote. He shall then declare the beginning of the vote. When the vote has been taken, he shall announce the results.

3.   In the case of a secret ballot, the secretariat shall at once take steps to ensure the secrecy of the vote.

4.   Voting may be conducted by an electronic system if a suitable system is available and if the conference so decides.

           14.6  Prohibition of interruptions once the vote has begun

No delegation may interrupt once a vote has begun, unless to raise a point of order in connection with the way in which the vote is being taken. The point of order cannot include any proposal entailing a change in the vote that is being taken or a change in the substance of the question put to the vote. Voting shall begin with the Chairman’s announcement that the voting has begun and shall end with the Chairman’s announcement of its results.

            14.7     Reasons for votes

The Chairman shall authorize any delegations which so request to give the reasons for their vote, after the vote has been taken.

             14.8        Voting on parts of a proposal

(1) When the author of a proposal so requests, or when the meeting thinks fit, or when the Chairman, with the approval of the author, so proposes, that proposal shall be sub-divided and its various sections put to the vote separately. The parts of the proposal which have been adopted shall then be put to the vote as a whole.

(2) If all the sections of a proposal are rejected the proposal shall be regarded as rejected as a whole.

             14.9         Order of voting on concurrent proposals

(1) When there are two or more proposals on any one matter, they shall be put to the vote in the order in which they were presented, unless the meeting decides to the contrary.

(2) After each vote, the meeting shall decide whether or not the following proposal shall be voted on.

            14.10  Amendments

(1) Any proposal for modification consisting only of a deletion from, an addition to, or a change in, a part of the original proposal shall be considered an amendment.

(2) Any amendment to a proposal accepted by the delegation submitting the proposal shall at once be embodied in the original proposal.

(3) No proposal for modification shall be regarded as an amendment if the meeting considers it to be incompatible with the original proposal.

     14.11   Voting on amendments

(1) When an amendment to a proposal is submitted, a vote shall first be taken on the amendment.

(2) When two or more amendments to a proposal are submitted, the amendment furthest from the original text shall be put to the vote first; if this amendment does not obtain the support of the majority, of the remaining amendments, that furthest from the proposal shall then be put to the vote and the same procedure shall be followed until a subsequent amendment gains the support of the majority; if all the amendments submitted have been considered and none has gained a majority, the unamended proposal shall be put to the vote.

(3) If one or more amendments are adopted, the proposal thus amended shall then be put to the vote.

            14.12   Repetition of a vote

(1) In the committees, sub-committees or working groups of a conference or a meeting, a proposal, a part of a proposal or an amendment which has already been decided by a vote within one of the committees, sub committees or working groups may not be put to the vote again within the same committee, sub-committee or working group. This shall apply irrespective of the voting procedure chosen.

(2) In the Plenary Meetings a proposal, a part of a proposal or an amendment shall not be put to the vote again unless:

a) he majority of the Members entitled to vote so request, and

b) the request for a repetition of the vote is made at least one full day after the vote has been taken.


15.  Rules for Debates and Voting Procedures in Committees and Sub-Committees

1.  The Chairmen of all committees and sub-committees shall have powers similar to those conferred by Section 3 of the present Rules of Procedure on the Chairman of the conference.

2.  The provisions of Section 12 of the present Rules of Procedure for the conduct of debates in the Plenary Meeting shall also apply to the discussions in committees and sub-committees, except in the matter of the quorum.

3.  The provisions of Section 14 of the present Rules of Procedure shall also apply to votes taken in committees and sub-committees.

16.  Reservations

1.  As a general rule, any delegation whose views are not shared by the remaining delegations shall endeavour, as far as possible, to conform to the opinion of the majority.

2.  However, if any decision appears to a delegation to be such as to prevent its government from consenting to be bound by amendments to the Constitution or this Convention or by the revision of the Administrative Regulations, this delegation may make reservations, final or provisional, regarding that decision; any such reservations may be made by a delegation on behalf of a Member which is not participating in the conference and which has given that delegation proxy powers to sign the Final Acts in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 of this Convention.

 17.  Minutes of Plenary Meetings

1.  The minutes of Plenary Meetings shall be drawn up by the secretariat of the conference, which shall ensure that they are distributed to delegations as early as possible, and in any event not later than five working days after each meeting.

2.  After the minutes have been distributed, delegations may submit in writing to the secretariat of the conference any corrections they consider to be justified; this shall be done in the shortest possible time. This shall not prevent them from presenting amendments orally during the meeting at which the minutes are approved.

3   (1) As a general rule, the minutes shall contain only proposals and conclusions, together with the principal arguments on which they are based, presented in terms as concise as possible.

     (2) However, any delegation shall have the right to require the insertion in the minutes, either summarized or in full, of any statement it has made during the debates. In this case, the delegation should, as a general rule, announce this at the beginning of its statement in order to facilitate the work of the reporters and must itself hand in the text to the secretariat of the conference within two hours after the end of the meeting.

4. The right accorded in No. 450 above regarding the insertion of statements in the minutes shall in all cases be used with discretion.

18.  Summary Records and Reports of Committees and Sub-Committees

1.    (1) Summary records of the debates of meetings of committees or sub-committees shall be drawn up, meeting by meeting, by the secretariat of the conference, which shall ensure that they are distributed to delegations not later than five working days after each meeting. The records shall bring out the essential points of the discussion, and the various opinions of which note ought to be taken, together with any proposals or conclusions resulting from the debates as a whole.

      (2)   Nevertheless, any delegation shall be entitled to invoke No. 450 above.

      (3) The right accorded in No. 453 above shall in all circumstances be used with discretion.

2.   Committees and sub-committees may prepare any interim reports they deem necessary and, if circumstances warrant, they may submit, at the end of their work, a final report recapitulating in concise terms the proposals and conclusions resulting from the studies entrusted to them.

19.  Approval of Minutes, Summary Records and Reports

1.   (1) As a general rule, at the beginning of each Plenary Meeting, or meeting of a committee, or sub-committee, the Chairman shall inquire whether there are any comments on the minutes of the previous meeting, or, in the case of committees or sub-committees, on the summary record of the previous meeting. These documents shall be considered approved if no amendments have been handed in to the secretariat and no objection is made orally. Otherwise, the appropriate amendments shall be made in the minutes or summary record as the case may be.

                     (2) Any interim or final report must be approved by the committee or sub-committee concerned.

       2.    (1) The minutes of the last Plenary Meetings shall be examined and approved by the Chairman.

(2) The summary records of the last meetings of each committee or sub-committee shall be examined and approved by the Chairman of the committee or sub-committee.

20.  Numbering

  1. The numbers of the chapters, articles and paragraphs of the texts subjected to revision shall be preserved until the first reading in Plenary Meeting. The passages added shall bear provisionally the number of the last preceding paragraph in the original text, with the addition of “A”, “B”, etc.
  2. The final numbering of the chapters, articles and paragraphs shall normally be entrusted to the Editorial Committee after their adoption at the first reading but may, by a decision of the Plenary Meeting, be entrusted to the Secretary-General.

21.  Final Approval

The texts of the Final Acts of a Plenipotentiary Conference, a radio-communication conference or a world conference on international tele communications shall be considered final when they have been approved at the second reading in Plenary Meeting.

22.  Signature

The texts of the Final Acts approved by the conferences referred to in No. 462 above shall be submitted for signature, in the alphabetical order of the Members’ names in French, to the delegates provided with the powers defined in Article 31 of this Convention.

23.  Relations with the Press and the Public

  1. Official releases to the press about the work of the conference shall be issued only as authorized by the Chairman of the conference.
  2. The press and the public may, to the extent practicable, be present at the conference in accordance with the guidelines approved by the meeting of Heads of delegations referred to in No. 342 above and with the practical arrangements made by the Secretary-General. The presence of the press and the public shall in no way disturb the normal conduct of the work of the meeting.
  3. Other meetings of the Union shall not be open to the press and the public, unless the meeting in question decides otherwise.


  1. Franking Privileges

During the conference, members of delegations, representatives of Members of the Council, members of the Radio Regulations Board, senior officials of the General Secretariat and of the Sectors of the Union attending the conference and the staff of the Secretariat of the Union seconded to the conference shall be entitled to postal, telegram, telephone and telex franking privileges to the extent arranged by the host government in agreement with the other governments and recognized operating agencies concerned.