Friday, October 18, 2013
Yesterday, five new non-permanent members were elected to the United Nations Security Council: Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Non-permanent members hold their seats for two-year terms, in this case from January 1, 2014 through the end of 2015.
Initially, Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador welcomed the election, stating that it is a recognition of Saudi Arabia's role in peacefully resolving Middle East disputes. Overnight, however, Saudi Arabia changed its position and rejected the seat, accusing the UNSC of double standards, which resulted in its failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Some human rights advocates are pleased with the Saudi withdrawal. They believe Saudi Arabia should not be on the UNSC because of its own poor human rights record, especially with respect to its treatment of women and homosexuals. Human rights advocates and organizations also opposed other states with poor human rights records, such as Chad, which has a recent history involving the use of child soldiers.
Presumably, the UN will elect a new member to fill the seat vacated by Saudi Arabia.