Daily Israel Report

Saudi Arabia Rejects Security Council Seat

Saudis refuse seat on the Security Council because of its inaction on Syria. UN Watch: Saudi refusal a “victory for human rights.”
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 10/18/2013, 9:41 PM

UN Security Council
UN Security Council
AFP photo

Saudi Arabia has won a seat on the United Nations Security Council but rejected it on Friday, saying the Council is incapable of ending wars and resolving conflicts.

“The kingdom sees that the method and work mechanism and the double standards in the Security Council prevent it from properly shouldering its responsibilities towards world peace,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia won a rotating seat on the UN Security Council for the first time.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry blamed the Security Council for failing in its duties toward Syria. It said this has allowed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to commit crimes against Syrian people without facing any punishment.

Human rights group welcomes Saudi’s refusal
UN Watch, the Geneva-based NGO, welcomed Saudi Arabia's refusal to take its seat on the UN Security Council, saying the refusal is a “victory for human rights.”

"A country whose legal system routinely lashes women rape victims rather than punish the perpetrators never belonged in the UN Security Council in the first place," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which has for years reported on Saudi Arabia's oppression of women and its other gross human rights abuses.

UN Watch also noted that Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist terrorist groups, and was an "absurd choice" to legislate for the world on combating terrorism.

"While the Saudi statement invoked UN 'double standards' as their grounds for refusal, the truth is that Saudi Arabia's entire system is a double standard. Under Saudi law and practice, there is one standard for men, and another for women, who cannot vote, drive a car, or travel without a male guardian; one for Muslims, and another for Christians, 53 of whom who were arrested this year by religious police for praying in a private home; one for heterosexuals, and another for gays, where homosexuality is punishable by death, and where gays have been publicly beheaded," said Neuer.

"Saudi Arabia has an abysmal human rights record, and by logic and morality never belonged on a Security Council where members need to address critical human rights and humanitarian issues. Saudi Arabia continues to rank as one of the worst places on the planet when it comes to the rights of women, freedom of religion, and other fundamental liberties," said Neuer.

"We are now calling on Saudi Arabia to also pull out of next month's election to the Human Rights Council. The Saudi bid is the height of hypocrisy," he added.

"The Saudi pull-out is a relief for the cause of justice in Darfur, given Saudi Arabia's despicable record of repeatedly praising and shielding Sudan. Anyone who cares about Security Council action on Darfur -- including the ICC arrest warrant against the Sudanese president for genocide -- ought to be gratified to see Riyadh excluded from this situation."

"Saudi Arabia never qualified under any imaginable interpretation of the UN criteria, said Neuer. "Women are subjugated in Saudi Arabia. They suffer gross and systematic inequality, and discrimination in law and practice. It is shocking but true that technological progress in Saudi Arabia means that the government now sends male guardians automatic text messages on the cross-border movements of female dependents."

"Freedom of religion does not exist under the Wahabist regime. Saudis are required by law to be Muslims, while the practice of Christianity and other religions is completely forbidden," he added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)