Asharq Al-Awsat
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on : Friday, 18 Oct, 2013
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Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council seat

Saudi Foreign Ministry cites UN Security Council's inability to end international conflicts for decision

A general view of members of the United Nations General Assembly during an election of five non-permanent members of the Security Council during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA, on October 17 2013.(EPA/JASON SZENES)

A general view of members of the United Nations General Assembly during an election of five non-permanent members of the Security Council during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA, on October 17 2013.(EPA/JASON SZENES)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia declined to take up the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council on Friday, citing “double standards” in the international organization hampering its ability to end international conflict. Riyadh cited a number of international issues precluding it from joining the UN Security Council, including the Palestinian Cause and the Syrian crisis, calling for the Security Council to be reformed to allow it to carry out its responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security.

A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement, published by the state Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said: “First of all, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is pleased to extend its sincere thanks and deep gratitude to all the countries that have given their confidence in electing it as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the next two years.”

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a founding member of the United Nations, is proud of its comprehensive and enduring commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN charter, believing that the commitment of all member states—honestly, truthfully, and accurately, as stipulated in the Charter—is the real guarantee for world security and peace.”

However the Saudi Foreign Ministry statement added: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the manner, the mechanisms of action, and double standards, existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities towards preserving international peace and security as required, leading to the continued disruption of peace and security, the expansion of injustice, the violation of rights, and the spread of conflicts and war around the world.”

“In this regard, it is unfortunate that all international efforts that have been exerted in recent years, in which Saudi Arabia has participated very effectively, did not result in reaching the reforms required to enable the Security Council to regain its desired role in the service of peace and security in the world,” the statement added.

“The continuation of the Palestinian Cause without a just and lasting solution for 65 years, resulting in several wars that threatened international peace and security, is irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council’s inability to carry out its duties,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“The failure of the Security Council to make the Middle East a region free of all weapons of destruction, its inability to subdue the nuclear programs of all countries in the region without exception…is more irrefutable evidence of its inability to shoulder its responsibilities,” it added.

“Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people through the use of chemical weapons, while the world stands idly by, without applying any deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime, is also proof of the Security Council’s inability to carry out its duties and responsibility,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“Accordingly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, based on its historic responsibilities towards its own people, and Arab and Islamic nations, as well as towards all people aspiring for peace and stability across the world, announces its apology for not accepting membership of the Security Council until the body is reformed and enabled, effectively and practically, to carry out its duties and responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security,” the statement concluded.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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