Saudi Arabia’s Decision to Turn Down UNSC Seat

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My message today will primarily focus on the urgency of reforming the UN and for redressing the injustices committed against the people of Eritrea … – Foriegn Minister of Eritrea

Saudi Arabia has turned down a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, accusing the world body of "double standards".
Saudi Arabia has turned down a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, accusing the world body of “double standards”.

By Ibrahim A. Ibrahim,

The writer never expected that Saudi Arabia will reject such a prestigious seat in the United Nations Security Council. It has been known since the Kingdom has lobbied and worked hard for the seat. It surprised many countries politicians if not the Saudis themselves. 

The objection came for reasons that are very legit to the Kingdom. It has been obvious that Saudi Arabia is playing a major roll in the Syrian issue. Saudi Arabia is calling the regime of President Bashar El Assad out of office.

When the issue of using chemical weapon for killing civilians came to light the intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia Prince Bandar was pushing for military action against the regime in Syria. For a while the situation seemed to be working the Princes wish until the snug came from the British Parliament who opposed military interference and with that President Obama weighed the situation as the mood to another war from the Americans was not available. Obama opted not to involve militarily, luckily the Russian’s gave the cover by bringing the chemical weapons disarmament of Syria. Analysts thought it was a great tool for Obama to come out from the dilemma he was in.

In the mean time, in Iran, the new administration is smart enough to somehow talk the language the western countries want to hear. The cajoling of Tehran and Washington was not easy to Saudi Arabia as the Iranian influence is getting stronger towards the whole Middle East and specially the core issue of Arab States that is Palestine.

All the above added to count for the swift reaction taken by the Royal Family of Al Saud. Undoubtedly, with its limited influence, Saudi Arabia would like to have the seat in the UNSC. But the message able to send was smarter and more influential than that of sitting within the UNSC as non-permanent member that have limited influence if there is.

The most important explanation provided by the Saudis for not accepting the seat is the magic word that many nations had to voice for “United Nations has to be reformed”.

True enough, many nations specially when they are small and with limited wealth they have become the tool of political exchange or bartending.

Countries such as Eritrea without any sin has become victim for the United States interest in the early Fiftieth and is now for the same matter to benefit their messenger in the region, i.e. Ethiopia, is being placed into illegal sanction.

Eritrea has demanded the reform of the United Nations to serve all countries with equality and in accordance with the mandate bestowed to the UNSC.

In this case Saudi Arabia deserves the most respect for speaking out against the UNSC, for the same reason that Eritrea is calling for.

United Nations must be reformed to represent all nation with equal footing.
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