Term Definition Usage of Term
Abstain When voting on a draft resolution or amendment, a delegate may refrain from voting yes or no by choosing to abstain. “Any delegates wishing to abstain please raise your placards high.”
Ad Hoc Refers to committees that debate on submitted clauses instead of pre-written resolutions (ex. Security Council, APQ). “This is my first time participating in an Ad Hoc committee!”
Adjourn Means that session time has ended (usually committees will be adjourned either for a break, lunch, or the day). “Motion to adjourn meeting.”
Admin Staff Conference staff positioned in committees to help with miscellaneous actions, such as note passing and buying drinks for chairs. “The admin staff will pass the notes for the delegates.”
Background Guide/Chair Report A document containing information about the topic sent to delegates to prepare them for the conference. “The background guide should provide delegates information on the topic.”
Bloc A group of member states cooperating to articulate ideas. “Several blocs had formed during the second session.”
Chair A member of the dais that moderates the conference and enforces the debate. “The Chair would suggest delegates to share their thoughts through means of speech.”
Delegate A student representing a member state, observer, or organization at a conference. “The Delegate of Germany motions for a unmoderated caucus.”
Delegation The entire population representing a member state, observer, or organization in a committee. “This Delegation believes that draft resolution 1.1 is beneficial to all nations.”
Draft Resolution A document aiming to solve the problems posed by the committee; if it passes, it becomes a resolution adopted by the United Nations. “Our bloc’s draft resolution is comprehensive and feasible.”
Expert Chair A chair that is in charge of writing the chair report on a specific topic as one committee usually has more than one issue to debate on. “Hello delegates! I am the expert chair for issue number one.”
First Degree Amendment An amendment that a delegate adds to either add, delete, or revise a clause in the resolution to better the resolution as a whole. “This delegate has submitted an amendment to the first degree.”
Gavel Small wooden hammer used by the Dais to bring order to the committee. “The chair will bang the gavel once at 45 seconds and twice at 1 minute.”
Head Delegate/ Ambassador A delegate that is in charge of a delegation (usually the most experienced delegate of the delegation). “May the head delegates please approach the podium.”
Main Submitter Usually, the delegate that is the leader of the bloc, facilitated discussions during lobbying time and drafted most of the clauses. This delegate reads out the operative clauses before debating on the resolution as a whole and delivers the first speech on the resolution. “May the main submitter of this resolution please approach the podium and read out the operative clauses.”
Member State A country that has ratified the Charter of the United Nations and whose application to join has been accepted by the General Assembly and Security Council. “Currently, there are currently 193 member states in the United Nations.”
Motion A specific request made by delegates that may alter the flow of debate. Examples include moderated caucus, unmoderated caucus, suspension of the meeting, adjournment of the meeting, closure of the debate, and move to the previous question. “Delegates may move for motions and they will be voted upon.”
Note Passing A note that delegates can send to other delegates in the committee during debate and is passed by around by the admin staff. However, it is usually screened by the chairs for appropriateness. “Is note passing in order during this session?”
Observer A state, national organization, regional organization, or non-governmental organization that is not a member of the United Nations but participates in its debates. Observers can vote on procedural matters (such as motions) but not substantive matters (such as draft resolutions and amendments). “Permanent observers of the UN include the Holy See and Palestine.”
On the Floor The formal platform and stage where debates and speeches are given. “Are there any points or motions on the floor?”
Operative Clauses Statements made in the second section of a draft resolution that details the specific actions sponsors wish to put forth. It has to start with a verb in any form necessary. “Please read out the operative clauses of the draft resolution.”
Placard A sign with a delegate’s country’s name printed on it. “Delegates that wish to be added to the general speaker’s list, please raise your placards high.”
Point A specific request made by a delegate to the Dais team, including: point of order, point of personal privilege, and point of personal inquiry. Point of personal privilege: could the delegate of Russian Federation please speak louder?”
Preambulatory Clauses Statements made in the first section of a draft resolution that outlines the main problems faced and past actions taken. “The delegate of DPRK believes that the preambulatory clauses of this draft resolution is too repetitive.”
Procedural Vote Voting concerning the flow of debate, such as those of motions. “Delegates, this is a procedural vote, thus meaning all delegates are required to vote on this.”
Rights of Reply A reply to a speaker’s comment. It is usually requested by a delegate when he or she feels offended or wishes to reply to a delegate’s speech. “Are there any rights of reply on the floor?”
Roll Call When the Chair reads aloud all the names of participating delegations in alphabetical order to record if they are present or present and voting (or to record their votes in a Roll Call vote). “The chair will now be taking roll call. When your delegation is called, please raise your placards and say present or present and voting.”
Rules of Procedures The rules by which a Model UN committee is run. “Delegates are required to follow the rule of procedures during all sessions.”
Second To vocally agree to a motion. “The delegate has raised a motion to suspend the meeting. Are there any seconds?”
Second Degree Amendment Amendments that request changes to a first amendment. They can only be submitted during “time against” the first amendment. “This delegate has submitted an amendment to the second degree.”
Secretariat The hosting team of the conference. “We should all thank the Secretariat for their hard work in organizing the conference!”
Secretary General The leader of a conference. “We love our Secretary General so much we bought her donuts!”
Signatory/ Co-submitters A country that wishes a draft resolution to be put on the floor and signs the draft resolution to accomplish this. A signatory need not support a resolution; it only wants it to be discussed. “A number of X signatories must be acquired for a draft resolution for the document to be valid.”
Simple Majority Fifty percent of the committee plus one delegate (used to pass most votes). “Since a simple majority has passed, this motion passes.”
Substantive Vote Votes concerning the passage of a document, such as a draft resolution or amendment. “In the substantive vote, delegates are allowed to vote yes, no, pass or abstain.”
Veto The ability, held by China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States to prevent any draft resolution in the Security Council from passing by voting no. “China possess veto rights. That is, it has the rights to prevent a draft resolution from passing.”
Yield The process of giving the floor to another delegate or back to the chair. “This delegate would like to yield the floor to the delegate of the Republic of Korea.”

Common phrases

Phrase Meaning
“Is it in order to . . .” Is it allowed to
“It is in order to . . .” It will be allowed
“It is not in order to . . .” It won’t be allowed
“Debate Time” Time set for this debate
“Time Constraints” Restriction of time
“Request for Follow up?” Can I ask an additional question?
“Yield the Floor” Give the floor to someone else
“That will be Entertained” That will be allowed to happen
“That won’t be Entertained” That won’t be allowed to happen