Syntax for writing UNECE documents using Metanorma

Document header attributes


Below are listed only document attributes that are unique to Metanorma’s processing of UNECE documents.

For common document attributes, see Document attributes reference in general Metanorma author’s documentation. That page describes attributes that apply to all Metanorma flavors, not just UNECE.

For an introduction to Metanorma AsciiDoc document attributes and how Metanorma uses them, see the corresponding topic.


The document type (see UNECE deliverables: The different types of UNECE publications) (mandatory). Note that the document types are reflected in the document identifier. The permitted types for UNECE are:


UNECE Recommendation


UNECE Plenary document








Reissue (of something)


Documents relating to agendas of principal organs


Documents relating to programme budget implications


Notes by the Secretary-General


Reports of intergovernmental and expert bodies


Resolutions and other formal decisions of United Nations organs


The document status. Synonym: :docstage:. The permitted types are: proposal, working-draft, committee-draft, draft-standard, final-draft, published, withdrawn.


The name of the relevant UNECE committee, for example, United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) (mandatory)


The language(s) of the document. This is the language in which the document has been issued, not the language(s) in which it has been submitted. ISO-639-1 codes are used for languages, and they are comma-delimited. If not specified, the six official languages of the UN are assumed: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish (ar,zh,en,fr,ru,es).


Include table of contents in Word output. (Table of contents is always included in HTML output.)


Extent of distribution allowed. For example: General



The document number if the document is a Recommendation (required only for Recommendations). For example, specify 42 for Recommendation 42.


The language(s) in which the document was originally submitted. ISO-639-1 codes are used for languages. Multiple languages can be comma-delimited.

Plenary documents


The session where this document will be discussed. For example, Geneva, 30 April – 1 May 2018


Number of the agenda item this document belongs to. For example, Item 6 of the provisional agenda.

  • If the document corresponds to multiple items, they are comma-delimited.

  • If the document belongs to multiple subitems under a single item, following editorial practice of th UN, give the item and subitems identifiers here.


Name of the agenda item this document belongs to. If the document corresponds to multiple items, they are comma-delimited.


Name of the agenda subitem this document belongs to. If the document corresponds to multiple subitems, they are comma-delimited.


Collaborator of this document, if any. For example, World Economic Forum


The unique identifier of this agenda item. For example, ECE/TRADE/C/CEFACT/2018/6. If there are multiple agenda items or subitems, given them comma-delimited.


Footnoted reference to item, if item is on the preliminary list or the provisional agenda.



Abstracts are moved to the front page in Plenary documents. In Recommendation documents, they appear in the document preface, before the foreword and introduction.

Paragraph numbering

Paragraphs are automatically numbered in Metanorma-UNECE, and paragraph numbers should not be entered in the AsciiDoc source.

Paragraphs are numbered by treating each paragraph in the Metanorma XML as a separate clause; all terminal clauses in UNECE Metanorma XML are rendered as a numbered paragraph.

Non-paragraph blocks (tables, figures, admonitions, lists) are not numbered; nor are paragraphs in prefatory material (introduction, foreword, abstract).


The admonition container "IMPORTANT" is used to render UNECE document boxes. Unlike normal Metanorma admonitions, UNECE admonitions can have titles, and can be numbered in output. As with other assets in Metanorma, the option attribute unnumbered can be applied to prevent an admonition being numbered. (So [IMPORTANT%unnumbered] or [IMPORTANT,options="unnumbered"].)

For example:

.Business Process Analysis Plus (BPA+)   (<==== This is the box title)
Business Process Analysis was initially designed to document and evaluate an import/export process at a given point time and its relative simplicity. It also specifically includes a measurement of the time and cost of the complete range of procedures as one of the main outputs of the analysis. This combination makes it suitable as the basis/core of a trade facilitation monitoring and improvement system.