How Debate Works

Evatt is a simulation of the UN Security Council (UNSC), one of the principal organs of the United Nations and the body with the maintenance of international peace and security.

Its powers, exercised through UN Security Council resolutions, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action.

It also plays a central role in admitting new Member States and appointing the UN Secretary General. It sits in “permanent session” which means meetings can be held at a moment’s notice to respond to a global crisis.

Members of the UNSC

The Council is composed of 15 Member States:

UNSC Procedure

The Security Council’s procedure is based on the premise that representatives do this full time (which is fair, since it’s their job). Sadly, we don’t have that luxury, and so an Evatt Security Council simulation runs on rules of procedure developed specifically for the competition.

We realise that these rules are complicated, and so you can find on this page a more detailed Guide to Procedure and a Procedure Cheat Sheet. Amendments (changes to the resolution you write yourself) are the heart of Evatt, and you can find a useful Amendment Form for printing, as well as tips on how to figure out which amendments to propose, at our Research site.

However, there is absolutely no substitute for actually doing an Evatt to learn the procedure, and to that end you should check out the Evatt competition in your state for the next round or an opportunity to hold an Evatt in School!

Likewise we would recommend that advanced and experienced students review the official rules of procedure, since there are lots of hidden goodies in there for the high performing team.

How to Win

The aim of a team in an Evatt competition is simple: achieve your nation’s goals through diplomacy.

The arena is the UN Security Council, convened to consider a draft resolution (drawn up by your UN Youth judges).

You must use all the tools of the Security Council to mould this resolution to advance your assigned country’s interests: formal speeches, amendments, parliamentary procedure, and, of course, lots of back-room wheeling and dealing.

The particular Security Council rules and the means by which you’ll be assessed are in our Rules of Procedure. This is pretty dense, so check out our guides:

Researching your Country

Research is the most straight forward portion of Evatt to prepare for – it just requires a little bit of time!

When tackling research, we can divide it into three areas: keeping up with the news and picking your stance.


Evatt resolutions are always based in the present. Keep an eye on the news for a good idea of what resolutions we’ll be cooking up.

Picking your stance

Begin by reading the resolution. Each Evatt resolution will always start with a “preamble” that you cannot change (“amend”) but that includes a bunch of helpful hints about the issue. Especially check out past UN Security Council resolutions cited in the preamble. Next, brief yourself on the issue. Remember, what matters is not how much research you get but how you apply what you got.

The next step is to ask yourself what principles are at stake in the resolution: does it infringe on sovereignty? Does it promote human rights? Or possibly poverty reduction? Understanding the principle will help you understand what your country would say about the resolution (if it isn’t obvious from your research on the topic).

If you’re still stuck trying to figure out your stance, try to fill out the first page of this Stance Worksheet for each resolution (and check out the Country Briefs to the side)! Think about:

  • What involvement has your country had in the issue, or issues with the same principle?
  • Who are your country’s major allies, and what is their stance?
  • Does this resolution meet with your country’s national identity (i.e. religion, priorities, ideals, etc.)?
  • What method would your country prefer to solve this problem (i.e. diplomatic methods, sanctions, use of force, etc.)?
  • How would this resolution affect decisions in the future?
  • Is there something that can be changed about the resolution that would make it more in line with your national interests?

Write up some proposed changes from your nation’s perspective in advance with our handy Amendment Form. If you want even more information, check out your country’s UN mission website.


Country Briefs

Speaking & Negotiation

Evatt is not a debating competition; it’s a game of diplomacy.

Therefore, private behind-the-scenes negotiation is as important as public speaking in your quest to change (not just support or oppose) the proposed topic. Just like in life, Evatt asks you to use all the tools of persuasion to get your way. This Evatt speeches are only two minutes – much more time is spent answering questions rather than giving an uninterrupted presentation. A speech should really give us just two points: why your nation is in favour/opposed (justifying your stance) and a reason or reasons why everyone should share that stance. Questions (called “Points of Information” in Model UN) are a balancing act: you should be presenting arguments in the form of a succinct question, but you should also be respectful. Whenever another team is speaking, keep writing down questions to ask. Remember that these are your best opportunities to actually make your team’s arguments since your speeches are so short.

Negotiation and Diplomacy

Evatt is not just a debating competition; it is a negotiation competition where you attempt to build consensus with other member nations to adopt amendments that your country likes and reject amendments your country doesn’t like. The best negotiators always ask why you disagree, because then you can understand things with which the other side might agree.

In addition to negotiation, the Judging Criteria also assess your Diplomacy skills. This means you should engage constructively with other teams and build meaningful working relationships. You should also adopt a negotiation style which would preserve your country’s interests in the long term in “real life”, beyond the simulation. Therefore, you shouldn’t be obnoxious or bullying in your manner but rather, should focus on being inclusive and polite.