Model UN Glossary

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Abstention
not voting for or against. Member states may abstain only if they are "present" during formal role call.
Adjournment of Debate
Ends debate on a topic without voting on any proposed draft resolutions/report segments
Adjournment of the Meeting
Ends the meeting until the next conference year
Agenda
The order in which topics presented before the committee will be discussed.
Amendment
A change made to a clause of a draft resolution.
Friendly Amendment
amendment written and approved by all the sponsors to a draft resolution and is automatically included in the text
Unfriendly Amendment
an amendment not approved by all the sponsors to the draft resolution and must be voted upon before it can be included into the text.
Caucus
a break in formal debate where delegates can further discuss topics. May be moderated or unmoderated.
Chair
runs the individual committee and ensures that it functions and makes sufficient progress
Country Status Report
document in which to prepare to represent your nation. Include nation's economy, government structure, culture, religious norms, family norms, demographic data, educational norms, geography natural resources, surrounding allies, history, connections to UN, voting history in UN, etc.
Decorum
The order and respect that must be maintained by all members of the conference. j
Delegate
individual acting as a representative of a Member State in the conference.
Dilatory
A motion is dilatory if it may obstruct or delay the will of the committee
Draft Resolution/Draft Report
A working paper that has been accepted by the Dais, which is discussed and voted on by the body.
ECOSOC
Economic & Social Committee
Formal Debate
The typical form of debate at conferences where delegates are allowed to speak for a certain amount of time in an order that is dependent on the speakers list.
General Assembly (GA)
The main deliberative organ of the UN system, comprised of all Member States of the UN
HRC
Human Rights Council
ICJ
International Criminal Court of Justice
Majority Vote
A threshold at which many motions pass. Compare yes votes to no votes.
Member State
a country that has ratified the United Nations Charter and whose application has been ratified by the GA and the SC; currently 193 Member States
Merging
combining two or more draft resolutions to make a bigger or new draft resolution
Moderated Caucus
type of caucus in which delegates are allowed to speak for a shorter period of time typically on one specific topic. Allows for a freer exchange of ideas in a more timely fashion.
Motion
request to do something during formal debate; motions are voted on by the body.
Procedural Motion
all member states and observers of the committee vote.
Substantive Motion
Only Member States vote.
Motion Out of Order
An incorrect (non-MUN) motion or a motion used at the incorrect time during the conference.
NGO
Non-Governmental Organization, also known as civil society organizations. Non-Profit groups independent from governments.
Observer
Non-Member State or organization granted status to participate in deliberations. May not sponsor resolutions or vote on substantive matters. May act as signatory. Must vote on procedural matters.
Organs
The different parts of the UN (GA, ECOSOC, ICJ, HRC)
Parli-Pro
Short for Parliamentary Procedure. The format of debate that MUN follows in all organs of the UN except ICJ.
Placard
Cardstock with country's name on it. Used to indicate that the delegate wishes to speak and is also used in voting.
Position Paper
A summary of a country's position on a topic, prepared in advance of the conference.
Preambular Clause
Sets up historical context and relevant international law for a resolution, which justifies future action.
Procedural vote
Votes on motions before the body; all delegations present must vote.
Resolution
Document that has been passed by an organ of the UN that attempts to address a particular problem or issue.
Roll Call
The first order of business at the beginning of a committee session. When a delegate's country is called, they may respond with "present" or "present and voting", which means the delegate gives up their ability to abstain on resolutions.
Secretary General
head of the General Assembly.
SPECPOL
Special Political Committee
Signatory
A country that wishes for a draft resolution to be presented for debate. Doesn't necessarily mean it wishes to support it.
UNICEF
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
Unmoderated Caucus
type of caucus where delegates are allowed to leave their seats and speak freely. This time can be used to discuss viewpoint and work on working papers. Frequently used to sort countries into blocs and to write working papers and draft resolutions.
WHO
World Health Organization
Working Paper
Document in which delegates' ideas of how to address the issue or topic is organized. The precursor to a draft resolution.
Security Council
the organ of the UN that has primary responsibility for peace and security.
P5
The Permanent Five members of the Security Council: US, Russia, China, UK, France