An Interview with United Nations Security Council Director Ben Betik

BY YENA SEO, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

The United Nations Security Council has been in intense debate over two separate topics in very different regions of the world: the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the tension in the South China Sea. Ben Betik, a junior at Harvard University, serves as the committee director for the United Nations Security Council.

Q: How long have you been doing Model United Nations?

A: I’ve only been doing MUN for about a year. I first got into it as an Assistant Director for HNMUN last year, and that was for an ECOSOC. After I became a delegate, I fell in love with crisis committees. I can never go back to General Assembly committees or ECOSOCs.

Q: How did you end up as the director for the United Nations Security Council?

A: It honestly wasn’t my first choice. My first choice was a 15th century Ming Dynasty committee…. Jonah and I spent about 40 minutes on the application so when we got UNSC, it was really a surprise…we weren’t sure how it was going to work out but so far it’s worked out well.

Q: How did you choose the topics for the committee?

A: I chose the South China Sea because I’m getting a minor in East Asian Studies. I’m interested in the geopolitics of East Asia, so that was a no-brainer. Nagorno-Karabakh was a little less intricate. I googled crises happening around the world and it was one of them, and I picked that one because I didn’t know much about it, but it’s been the one we’ve spent the most time on.

Q: How is the committee functioning as a double-delegation committee? Pros/Cons?

A: Having it double-delegation makes it a little more difficult logistically. It’s a larger room with only 15 technical delegations, but sometimes it can be harder to hear and stuff. Concept-wise, it’s better. One delegate can be writing crisis notes, one delegate is speaking, so you can get different perspectives. It makes moderated caucuses significantly easier because people can go out into the hall and talk.

Q: What makes a good crisis delegate?

A: A good crisis delegate is willing to watch the world burn in order to get what they want. We like creativity, anything in the world can be turned into a crisis. The best crisis delegates are the ones who can turn anything back into what they’re talking about. The sneaky delegates, the next Dick Cheneys of the world, are those who make the best crisis delegates.

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United Nations Security Council committee director Ben Betik.

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