Term Definition Usage of Term
Abstain A response that a delegation would take on voting for substantial matters to express its neutral stance. “Any delegates wishing to abstain please raise your placards high”
Adjourn To suspend a conference to another time indefinitely (usually used at the end of a conference as a whole). “Motion to adjourn meeting.”
Background Guide A document containing information about the topic and the direction of the debate sent to delegates prior to the conference for preparations. “The background guide should provide delegates information on the topic and the direction of this conference.”
Bloc A group of member states cooperating to articulate ideas, express their stances and opinions, and draft unique draft resolutions. “Several blocs had formed during the second session, with some deciding on merging their working papers.”
Chair A member of the Dais that moderates the conference and enforces the debate. “The Chair would suggest delegates to share their thoughts through peaceful means.”
Dais Collective name for Chairs and staff of the committee. “Should there be any inquiries, please do not hesitate to ask members of the Dais team.”
Decorum Proper diplomatic way of behavior required of every participant; often said by the Chair when a committee should quiet down. DECORUM, DELEGATES!! Please return to your seats and the conference will resume.”
Delegate A student representing a member state, observer, or organization at a conference. “The Delegate of Germany motions to move into voting procedure.”
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 and it should be passed.”
Draft Resolution A document aiming to solve the problems posed by the committee; if it passes, it become a resolution adopted by the United Nations. Divided into two parts: preambulatory clauses and operative clauses. “Our bloc’s draft resolution is comprehensive, feasible, and covers all aspects of the issue.”
Friendly Amendments An edit to the draft resolution that is regarded not debatable by the delegate who submitted it or the chair, usually grammatical errors or changes that would clarify the points mentioned. “A friendly amendment had been submitted by the delegate of Sri Lanka to correct the word Srilanka to Sri Lanka.”
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.”
General Speakers’ List A list that displays the order in which delegates are to speak in; has a time limit and needs to set a speaker time. “Are there any delegates wishing to be added to the general speakers’ list?”
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.”
Moderated Caucus A formal debate on a specific subtopic chosen by the committee in which delegates can make short speeches; total time and speaker’s time stated by the delegate who raised it. “There has been a motion for a moderated caucus.”
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, and motion for closure of the debate. “Delegates may move for motions and they will be voted upon.”
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 the 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.”
Pager Conference staff positioned in committees to help with miscellaneous actions, such as note passing and buying drinks for chairs. “The pages will pass the notes for the delegates.”
Placard A sign with the name of the entity that the delegation is representing 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, Point of personal inquiry. Point of personal privilege: could this delegate use the restroom?”
Position Paper A summary of a member state’s stance on the topic to be debates, usually submitted prior to a conference. “Please submit your position papers by next Tuesday.”
Preambulatory Clauses Statements made in the first section of the draft resolution that outlines the main problems faced, facts, 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.”
Rapporteur Aid to the chair; keeps debate and timing running smoothly. “Rapporteur would keep track of the time for the conference, and will notify the delegates when the time of their speech is up.”
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?”
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!”
Secondary Speakers’ List A list that displays the order in which delegates are to speak in during a Moderated Caucus and amendments. “The secondary speakers’ list is now open. Delegates, please raise your placard if you wish to speak on this list.”
Signatory 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. “8 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.”
Sponsor Drafters of a draft resolution. Sponsors of draft resolution 1.1 please approach the Dais team.”
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.”
Suspension A motion used to indicate the end of a session and pausing of a conference (usually used for lunchtime). “The delegate of Belgium motions for the suspension of the meeting.”
Unfriendly Amendments A type of amendment where the content in which would be edited is debatable (like deleting a clause or replacing the phrase with another phrase), therefore a new motion to introduce it has to be raised, followed by debating and voting on it. “The Chair would entertain three speakers for and three speakers against to speak on this unfriendly amendment.”
Unmoderated Caucus A type of caucus in which delegates leave their seats to mingle or go to the bathroom; more importantly, discuss the issue or draft resolutions. “The delegate of Brazil motions for an unmoderated caucus for the purpose of drafting resolutions for a total time of 5 minutes.”
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.”
Working Paper A document authored by one or more delegations presented to the entire committee which helps the work of the committees in some way (does not have to be in draft resolution format). “The working papers must be submitted to the Chair before twelve o’clock after this session.”
Yield To pass the remaining time or the floor to specific delegates, questions, or the chair. “This delegate would like to yield its remaining time back to the chair.”


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
“Time has expired” Time for a motion is up
“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