What do the letters A and B at the end of a document symbol mean?
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2018     Views: 140

UN document symbols consist of letters and numbers. 

The UN Documentation Research Guide section on symbols has general information about symbols and their components.

Resolutions with a letter as the final element of the symbol

Some resolutions of the General Assembly have a letter as a final element (A, B, C, etc.).

The UN Editorial Manual states, "where two or more resolutions, each complete in itself, are grouped under a single resolution number and title, each resolution is further identified by a capital letter".

When these resolutions are cited, the letter is an integral part of the citation.

For example:

  • A/RES/69/274 A includes the following statement: "Recalling section I of its resolution 68/247 B of 9 April 2014"
  • A/RES/70/93 A-B includes the following statement: "Recalling its resolutions 69/96 A and B of 5 December 2014"

Meeting records with a letter as the final element of the symbol

Recently, some meeting records of high-level meetings have been issued with A or B as the final element of the symbol.

According to our research, this indicates a meeting taking place simultaneously in two rooms.

For example:

We have not found much documentation regarding this emerging practice. The Economic and Social Council meeting records indicate different chambers, but the General Assembly meeting records do not have any indication of the different rooms. This information is found in the Journal for the day, as seen in the screenshot below.

Journal announcement of General Assembly 71st session, meetings 4-6 in 2 chambers

These were high-level meetings attended by ministers and heads of state or government. It seems that to allow all interested member states the opportunity to make statements during the limited time of the summit or high-level segment of the session, multiple meetings in multiple rooms were needed. 

Documentation practices evolve over time. We will update this FAQ as a pattern emerges.


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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