Model United Nations Glossary

AbstainDelegates may abstain from voting rather than saying yes or no. Generally this means delegates neither agree nor disagree with the resolution being discussed. AdjournMUN sessions end with the vote to adjourn, meaning discussions are held until next time delegates meet. AgendaItems to be discussed during the day. Must always being with roll call. AmendmentA change to the resolution being discussed; “friendly amendment” means it is accepted by the main submitter. “unfriendly amendment” must be voted upon by the entire committee. Background GuideThe document written by the administrators regarding the issues being discussed.

BlocA group of countries within a similar geographical region or with a similar opinion. CaucusA break in a formal debate in which countries informally discuss the issue debated at hand. They can either be moderated or unmoderated. Chair An administrator. They moderate the debate, keep the time, rule on points and motions, and enforces rules of procedure. DaisThe group of students in charge of the committee. Normally consists of the chair, director, and a rapporteur. DecorumThe chair shall call for a decorum when delegates are being disrespectful to one another, a speaker, the dais or towards their role as an ambassador.

DelegateA student acting as a member state or observer in an MUN. DelegationThe entire group of students representing a single member state. DirectorA member of the dais that oversees resolutions and working papers. They act as an expert on the topic, ensure delegates state the correct information of their country and ensure decorum is maintained during caucuses. Division of the QuestionDuring voting bloc, delegates may choose to only vote on certain clauses of a resolution rather than the entire document. Draft ResolutionA resolution intended to solve the problems of the issue being discussed.

This becomes a resolution when it has been voted yes. Faculty AdvisorThe member of staff in charge of the MUN team. GavelThe tool a chair uses to maintain order in the MUN. Often, the best delegate is considered as the ‘gavel’ as it is often then given as a gift to that delegate, even when a ‘gavel’ is not used. Formal DebateThe normal way of speaking at MUN, delegates speak for a certain time by the way of a certain speakers list. Head DelegateThe student leader of an MUN club. Member StateA country which has been accepted on the United Nations Charter.

Moderated CaucusA type of caucus in which delegates remain seated and the chair calls upon them to speak for a short period of time. This is a freer ease of communication. MotionA request made by a delegate that the committee as a whole should act upon. For example, some motions may be for a caucus or for voting. ObserverA state, NGO, regional organisation, or national organisation which is not a member of the MUN but participates in debates. On the FloorA draft resolution may not always be discussed. If the chair or director bring the resolution to the floor, it is then to be discussed.

Operative ClausThe part of the resolution which describes how the UN will approach the problem. It begins with an action verb. PageA messenger which passes notes between delegates and the dais. PlacardA card with the delegates country in which he must hold up in order to be recognised by the chair. PointA request from a delegate for information. For example, a point of inquiry, when resolution drafting. Position PaperA summary of a delegate’s position written before the conference. Perambulatory ClausThe part of a resolution which describes actions already being taken regarding the issue.

Begins with a participle or an adjective. Procedural Regards the way the committee is ran. Delegates must not abstain from the vote. QuorumThe minimum number of delegates required for committee to commence. Rapporteur A member of the dais which keeps role call and the speakers’ list. ResolutionA document passed by a committee of the UN’s aims to address the issue. Right of ReplyA right to speak to respond to a previous delegate’s response. Requires the chair’s answer. Roll CallA list of delegates names who are either ‘absent’, ‘present’ or ‘present and voting’.

A delegate ‘present and voting’ must not abstain from voting. SecondTo agree with a motion being proposed by a delegate. SecretariatHead of the entire MUN club. Secretary-GeneralOrganisator and leader of an MUN club. SignatoryDelegates much sign a draft resolution as a signatory for the resolution to be put to the floor. Simple Majority50% plus one member needed to allow votes. Speakers’ ListThe order in which speakers shall speak. The chair shall create a list of speakers by asking delegates to raise their placards and calling on them one at a time.

A delegate may be added to the speakers’ list by sending a note to the dais. SponsorA member state submitting a resolution. All sponsors must agree on a ‘friendly amendment’ before it can be accepted. Unmoderated CaucusCaucus in which delegates leave their seats to discuss and all formal barriers are broken. Commonly used for delegates to determine their blocs and prepare a draft resolution. Working PaperA document showing how delegates propose to resolve the issues being debated. A precursor to a draft resolution. VoteThe time when delegates vote yes or no on a particular matter.

Voting BlocThe time when delegates vote on proposed resolutions and amendments. No one may enter or leave the room. Model United Nations Points & Motions Point of OrderDelegates are allowed to call ‘point of order’ when they believe that a delegate or a member of the dais are being unreasonable. This can interrupt another speaker. Point of Personal PrivilegeDelegates may call this to indicate personal discomfort. This is often called when a delegate is speaking too quietly. It may interrupt another speaker but must not regarding the delegate or working paper.

Point of InformationA delegate who has just made a speech may yield time to questions from other delegates. Point of InquiryDelegates may call this to ask a question regarding either the Chair’s actions or to ask a question to the delegate who has just been speaking. Motion to Open DebateThis motion is the first motion at the conference. If there are multiple issues to discuss, delegates may set the agenda. Following this, the chair shall ask all delegates wishing to speak to raise their placards. Motion to Set the AgendaThis motion is stated by a delegate.

It must have at least two speakers for the issue to be debated and two speakers against. It requires a simple majority to pass. Motion to Adjourn the SessionThis can be announced only by the chair when committees are adjourned for good. This motion requires a second and is not debateable. Motion to Suspend the Meeting This motion is to suspend committees and commence at a later stage. It must be seconded and is not debateable and requires a majority to pass. Motion to Enter Unmoderated Caucus This motion suspends the meeting for a set amount of time announced by the delegate proposing the motion.

It is used to create resolutions, talk to fellow delegates, etc. It must be seconded and is not debateable and requires a majority to pass. Motion to Enter Moderated Caucus This motion brings all delegates into moderated debate on the issue discussed at hand. The delegate proposing the motion must state the time. The chair shall then recognise selected speakers and the floor must be yielded back to the chair. This motion must be seconded and is not debateable and requires a majority to pass. This motion may not be suggested when debate is closed.

Motion to Table the TopicThis motion ends the topic being discussed until it is reopened via the Motion to Reconsider. This motion must be seconded, is debateable and requires two speakers for and against, and needs a two-thirds majority to pass. Motion to Divide the QuestionThis motion is made as a request that the resolution is to be divided by the delegate proposing the motion (e. g. by every other letter, prime numbers or every ten words, etc. ). These clauses shall then be individually voted upon. This must be seconded, is debateable and requires two speakers for and two speakers against, and needs a majority to pass.

If the motion passes, delegates vote on the operative clauses as they were divided. If an operative clause fails to pass the majority vote it is discarded from the resolution. Motion for Roll CallThis motion requires the chair to take a roll call on the vote. This must be seconded to pass. Motion to Adopt by Consensus This motion means that all delegates accept the resolution and no vote is required, meaning no one must say “no” to the motion. A delegate may abstain. The motion is out of order should one delegate object. Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chair This motion requires the chair to make a decision.

This motion requires consent of the chair and may be deemed out of order. If accepted by the chair, the delegate that presented the motion and the chair are each given one minute to present their argument in the committee. This motion requires a simple majority. If passed, the decision of the chair is abolished. Motion to Introduce an Unfriendly Amendment This motion brings an amendment already given to the chair to be re-discussed after debate has closed. The unfriendly amendment must have obtained a satisfactory number of signatories and a vote is required after debate.

No second required. Motion to Introduce Working Paper This motion brings a working paper already submitted to the chair to be brought to the floor for debate. It must be seconded, is not debateable, and needs a majority to pass. Motion to Limit DebateThis motion sets a desired amount of time a delegate has the floor for during debate. This excludes moderated caucuses. It may also be repeated to change the amount of time. Motion to ReconsiderThis motion brings a topic or resolution back to the floor to be re-discussed. Requires two speakers for and against and requires a two-thirds vote.