Saudi Arabia Rejects U.N. Security Council Membership

Craig Ruttle/AP

AA Font size + Print

Riyadh is frustrated by the Security Council's unwillingness to punish Bashar al-Assad for the alleged chemical weapons attack in August. By Global Security Newswire

Saudi Arabia on Friday unexpectedly rejected a temporary seat on the powerful U.N. Security Council, citing frustrations with the body’s inability to punish the Bashar Assad regime for assumed chemical weapon attacks and to advance efforts to ban unconventional weapons in the Middle East, the New York Times reported.

A day earlier, Saudi Arabia and four other countries were elected to serve two-year terms on the Security Council beginning early next year. Riyadh had never before sought a seat on the 15-member body and its campaigning for one was seen by analysts as evidence of the nation’s desire to be more active in pushing for plan to end the Syrian civil war.

In turning down its seat on the council, the Saudi Foreign Ministry in a statement said “allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stands idly, without applying deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities.”

Security Council permanent member and veto-holder Russia has repeatedly refused to allow any resolutions to pass that sanction the Assad regime for its use of massive military force against Syrian civilians, including in the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack on a Damascus suburb that is estimated to have killed 1,400 people and for which the Syrian military is largely presumed to be responsible.

Riyadh also faulted the council for being unsuccessful in making “the Middle East a free zone of all weapon of mass destruction.”

That last line is seen as an allusion to Israel’s widely assumed nuclear weapons stockpile. The United States, which also holds veto power, has shielded the Israeli government from formal Security Council criticism over its failure to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Washington has also accepted Israel’s reasons for not accepting an invitation to an international conference planned for last year that would have focused on establishing a ban on all nuclear, biological and chemical arms in the Middle East.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.