Saudi Arabia rejects UN seat over body's handling of Syria crisis
Saudi Arabia is rejecting its seat on the UN Security Council and says the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts.
The move came just hours after the kingdom was elected as one of the Council's 10 nonpermanent members.
In a statement carried on Friday by the official Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Foreign Ministry says the Council has failed in its duties toward Syria.
It says this alleged failure enabled Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime to perpetrate the killings of its people, including with chemical weapons, without facing any deterrents or punishment.
The Council remained divided for more than two years over taking action against Assad's government, with his allies Russia and China using their veto power as permanent members to block resolution after resolution aimed at imposing tough sanctions.
The Ministry also says the Council has not been able to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict over the past decades and has failed to transform the Middle East into a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
The 15-member council includes five permanent members with veto power — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 nonpermanent members elected for two-year terms.
Security 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.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based human rights group U.N. Watch, accused Saudi Arabia of denying women the right to vote, drive a car or travel without the permission of a male relative.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Saudi Arabia Tells the United Nations To Go To Hell
From The Telegraph.