UPDATE: Saudi Arabia Declines Seat on the U.N. Security Council for Two Year Term
SUSTG.org | Lucien Zeigler | 10.17.13
This is the first time in the Kingdom's history that it would have served on the U.N. Security Council. The seat was rejected in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Saudi Arabia has been elected to the United Nations Security Council as a non permanent member, a seat the Kingdom will hold for two years. However, a Foreign Ministry statement said that it would decline to take the seat.
Reuters reports that a ”decision of such magnitude would have to have been taken by King Abdullah or Crown Prince Salman,” citing a Saudi analyst who asked not to be named.
“Saudi Arabia has been working on (getting onto the Security Council) for the last three years. They trained diplomats, male and female, the cream of the Foreign Ministry, our best talented youths. Then somebody made the decision suddenly to pull out,” the analyst quoted by Reuters said.
The Associated Press reports that Saudi Arabia and Chad “easily won” seats on the council. Seats are highly coveted “because they give countries a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security, in places like Syria, Iran and North Korea, as well as the U.N.’s far-flung peacekeeping operations.”
Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, said after the election: ”Our election today is a reflection of a long-standing policy in support of moderation and in support of resolving disputes in peaceful means,” Reuters reports.
This is the first time in the Kingdom’s history that it would have served on the U.N. Security Council. Saudi Arabia’s Mission to the United Nations is under the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The five permanent members of the council are the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain. The council “gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened,” according to the UNSC’s website.