Evatt is not a debating competition; it’s a game of diplomacy.
Private behind-the-scenes negotiation are as important as public speaking in the quest to change (not just support or oppose) the resolution. Just like in real life, the Evatt Competition requires students to use all the tools of persuasion to get their way.
The amount of time students are given to speak is at the discretion of the Chair. Usually, students are given no more than two minutes to speak. Much more time is spent answering questions (see below) from the other countries in the UNSC rather than giving an uninterrupted presentation. In light of this, a student’s speech should achieve two things: outlining why their nation is in favour of or opposed to the resolution as a whole or the amendment being debated (justifying their stance) and providing a reason or reasons why the other members of the UNSC should share that stance and vote accordingly.
Questions, which are called Points of Information in Model UN, are a balancing act. Teams need to present their argument in the form of a succinct question and in doing so need to simultaneously remain respectful and diplomatic.
Whenever another team is speaking, students should write down any questions they may want to ask. Remember that Points of Information are the best opportunities for students to make their team’s arguments since the speaking time for speeches is so short.
Negotiation and Diplomacy
Evatt is not just a debating competition; it is a negotiation competition where teams attempt to build consensus with other member nations to adopt amendments that their country likes and to reject amendments that their country doesn’t like. When a disagreement occurs between countries, the best negotiators will inquire as to why that disagreement has occurred, because they can then use that to understand the things that those countries may agree on!
In addition to negotiation, the Judging Criteria also assesses diplomacy skills. This means teams should engage constructively with other teams and build meaningful working relationships. Teams should also adopt a negotiation style which would preserve their country’s interests in the long term in real life, beyond the simulation. Therefore, teams shouldn’t be obnoxious or bullying in their manner but rather, should focus on being inclusive and polite.