Saudi Arabia refuses seat on UN Security Council

posted at 10:41 am on October 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Well, this is a bit of a switch.  Normally when we discuss the United Nations, it’s either to point out the uselessness of the Security Council or the double standards of its Human Rights Council in regard to Israel.  Until last year, the latter included Saudi Arabia, one of a number of states with significant human-rights issues that used the UNHRC to obsess over Israel while distracting global attention from their own regimes.

Saudi Arabia had an opportunity to join the 15-member Security Council, but rejected their election to the panel over double standards and impotence at the UNSC.  In particular, they’re unhappy that the Security Council hasn’t endorsed military action against Bashar al-Assad in Syria:

Saudi Arabia is rejecting its seat on the U.N. 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 accused the Council of having “double standards” and failing 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.

It’s not just Syria, either:

“To have the Palestinian cause remaining without a fair and permanent solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars that threatened international peace and security, is evidence and proof of (the) Security Council’s inability to perform his duties and responsibilities,” the ministry said.

It also blamed the Security Council for not preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the region — especially nuclear weapons, a likely allusion to Saudi Arabia’s adversarial neighbor Iran.

It’s difficult to argue with the conclusion that the UN is basically worthless as an imposer of peace.  Thanks to Russia and China over the last ten years, the UN Security Council has proven worthless as a way to stop nuclear-weapons proliferation, too, especially in that region.  The P5+1 hasn’t done much better, but it’s been marginally more effective than the UN.  Perhaps Saudi Arabia could improve the situation by participating on the Security Council, but the permanent veto pretty much makes everyone else powerless.

It’s a big rebuke to the General Assembly, which voted overwhelmingly to make Saudi Arabia the latest representative on the top panel. One wonders how the Saudis will be greeted at Turtle Bay after this rejection.


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They may be savages who would slaughter every Jew in the Levant, but you have to give them credit for spurning the stultifying, illusory pretensions of the diplomatic fantasy-land.

HitNRun on October 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Saudi Arabia.

Ben Hur on October 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Saudi Arabia is rejecting its seat on the U.N. Security Council and says the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts.

Saudi Arabia is absolutely right, only they didn’t go far enough. The U.N is completely useless.

sadatoni on October 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Ed,

You also missed the really important reason for their action, talk about Israel was simply par for the course.

The Saudi’s are almost as terrified as the Israeli’s over the fact that it appears like the so-called western nations, led by the United States, are preparing to allow a nuclear Iran to come into existence.

Janovus on October 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

“To have the Palestinian cause remaining without a fair and permanent solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars that threatened international peace and security, is evidence and proof of (the) Security Council’s inability to perform his duties and responsibilities,” the ministry said.

Wonder what that solution would be? Could they want the total destruction of Israel as a “fair” solution?

Johnnyreb on October 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM

It’s probably for the best. Wouldn’t want the funders of the Muslim Brotherhood having an easy system to set up the Caliphate, would we?

nobar on October 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Saudi Arabia is rejecting its seat on the U.N. Security Council and says the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts.

First time I’ve ever agreed with Saudi Arabia.

Bitter Clinger on October 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I doubt their stated reasons are their primary real reason. They rarely are in the Middle East. If I had to guess, I suspect higher on their list of reasons are: not being in a responsible position to be held accountable, and seeking to undermine the UN rather than wishing it to be more responsible (to which I say: Go Saudis!).

Fenris on October 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Fenris on October 18, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Almost right…the fear is from Iran going nuclear, and the UN not doing anything about it.

Saudi, for the first time, begin to realize who the real threat is, not just Israel.

And when Iran and Israel go at it, everyone else is drug into the war…

…or when Iran decides to go after the Saudi’s or anyone else with a nuclear bomb in their back pocket.

Saudi know they could end up as the biggest glass factory in the world…

right2bright on October 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Can’t say I’ve EVER offered kudos to Saudi Arabia since their decision on the Kuwaiti invasion, but they deserve some for this.

michaelo on October 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

But the UN generates AWESOME strongly worded letters!

Roy Rogers on October 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

It’s difficult to argue with the conclusion that the UN is basically worthless as an imposer of peace.

This is the root of the issue.

The United Nations today is as irrelevant and feckless as the League of Nations was in the 1930′s.

What’s interesting about the Saudi whinge over ‘double-standards’ is that Saudi is also part and parcel of the OIC – the bloc comprised of 57 Islamic nations that as recently as September 17, 2013 was demanding a permanent seat on the Security Council with the same rights as the other permanent members.

Ultimately, the UN is going to go the same way as the League of Nations despite the efforts of some on the left to create a true global government to ensure ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’.

Athos on October 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

right2bright on October 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

I don’t think Saudis ever saw Israel as a threat, they just say that for public consumption. They want to eliminate them, but they’re not scared Israel is going to invade. You’re right about Iran; they both want to be the head of the next Caliphate, as does Iraq. Saudi Arabia has the advantage of being home to Mecca and Medina, which are relatively safe from Islamic nuclear bombs. So I don’t think they’re scared of that actually happening to them, just the bully power Iran gets from having the bomb. And the possibility of a radioactive Jewish neighborhood.

Fenris on October 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM

With Saudi Arabia stepping down, any chance Israel gets the regional seat? Just askin’…

Blaise on October 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Now if we can just get someone to reject “The Nobel Peace Prize” as basically worthless.

GarandFan on October 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Not where I expected to see some refreshing honesty to come from, but in the world of Obama I’ll take what I can get.

ElectricPhase on October 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

How about some action against these terror assisting savages?

pat on October 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

The Saudi’s are almost as terrified as the Israeli’s over the fact that it appears like the so-called western nations, led by the United States, are preparing to allow a nuclear Iran to come into existence.

Janovus on October 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Just for a short time, like, a nanosecond, I felt sorry for them.

The Saudi’s have more cash than any other country on the planet, and have an able-bodied population in the millions with no real future.

Both of these, combined, would produce an army capable of resolving their fears in a matter of minutes.

BobMbx on October 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Consider this a bullet that has been dodged – perhaps.

{^_^}

herself on October 19, 2013 at 2:32 AM