Saudi Arabia Rejects Seat on U.N. Security Council and Confuses Everyone

The World: by Nate Rawlings –

But one wonders if the temporary focus that Saudi Arabia gets by doing this is worth giving up a seat on the Security Council where at least they’d have some voice in resolutions on Syria.”

On Thursday, the 193 countries making up the U.N. General Assembly held asecret ballot to select new members of the Security Council. Each year, the Assembly elects five new countries to serve two-year rotating posts; competition is keen, and countries lobby years in advance for a seat at what remains the highest table in international politics.

In one round of balloting, the five countries rotating off­–Azerbaijan,GuatemalaMorocco, Pakistan and Togo–were replaced by Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. There was a hearty round of applause and somecriticism of human rights records, but otherwise little in the way of surprises from the annual election.

Less than 24 hours later, Saudi Arabia announced it was rejecting its coveted seat on the Council, an unprecedented move that shocked the diplomatic community.

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