Ban Ki-moon and others caught in surprise by Saudi Arabia

UN chief says Saudi Arabia is still needed in many fields, including ending the war in Syria, helping Palestinians' to achieve their own state, and to help the current transition in Yemen

Ban Ki-moon and others caught in surprise by Saudi Arabia

Talking about decision of Saudi Arabia to give up her seat at the UN Security Council, that was just honored to the Kingdom in a voting at UN General Assembly on Thursday, the mindful United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautioned that he “has not received any official notification in this regard.”

Full considerate, waiting for new news from Riyadh and enhanced diplomatic reticence could be described as a first reaction to the decision of Saudi Arabia to withdraw from the UN Security Council in New York.

“We have not yet received a formal note or any formal language in the terms of any type of communication from Saudi Arabia,“ Afaf Konja a spokesperson for President of UN General Assembly (UNGA) John Ashe confirmed to Anadolu Agency in New York.

Konja added, “It is unclear what the exact step Saudi Arabia has or will take in terms of its seat at the Security Council.”

Talking very briefly to the press on his way to the Security Council Ban Ki-moon said he would like to “encourage all Member States to fully engage with the principal organs of the United Nations while advancing their efforts to improve their working methods.” But the UN Secretary General also said -- it is up to the UN member states to decide on their participation in the work of the Security Council and other UN bodies.

Many were caught by surprise with Saudi Arabia’s decision to give up its seat at the UN Security Council, Mr. Abdelkader Abbadi, former director of the UN Department for Security Council told AA. He added - he couldn’t recall – that one member state went to refuse its place in the Security Council that she campaigned for:

UN reforms are at stake

“It is unprecedented, but the important thing is weather or not this development which is making waves here at (UN) Headquarters and around the world, as far as the press is concerned – will be an impetus for something that is more important behind this decision - of not honoring the seat at the council,” Mr. Abbadi told AA.

He said it could mean that Saudi Arabia want to show that they are, among the other things - unhappy with the reforms of the UN Security Council.

“I don’t see it has been postponed on the back burner, but in recent months and years has not been the top priority as far as the major goals are concerned,” Abbady said. He added the issue of the reforms of the UNSC is simply pushed away from the major agenda of the UN.

“That is not correct. It is crucial,” a former director for the UN Security Council Department told AA in New York, commenting of Saudi Arabia sudden decision to very publicly withdraw from just earned Security Council place.

Saudi Arabia still needed

The UN Secretary General stressed Friday that the World Organization is looking forward to working very closely with Saudi Arabia.

This primarily relates, as Mr. Ban put it in the order to bringing to an end the war in Syria, to help Palestinian people to achieve a viable State, and to help the current transition in Yemen. Ban simply said, UN is very much counting on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to continue with their cooperation in the field of the humanitarian assistance, combating terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Yet, Saudi Arabia could be disappointed with at least several issues at the UN, and how the World Body deals with them, Masood Haider, a long serving UN correspondent for daily “Dawn” in Pakistan told AA:

“Saudi Arabia has invested itself in the Security Council to handle the Palestinian issue, which is not solved at the UN for the last almost 60 years. Then, there is an issue of the nuclear arsenal which is owned by Israel, and they have not said it openly and named Israel but everybody knows the Security council is not being able to resolve it,” Haider told AA, adding Saudis are not happy with that.

He said “all this things” are “big issues” for Saudi Arabia, including what is going on in Syria.

“They know, since Saudi Arabia is a founding member of the United Nations there are so many issues that they are not going to be able to resolve during their tenure at the UNSC,” Haider told AA.

Answering to a question – why then Saudi Arabia run for the place at the UN Security Council, Haider said, the country was chosen by the regional group of countries. He added, it would be likely, and if this situation persist -- Saudi Arabia could be replaced by one of the Gulf states. He mentiond United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and even Jordan.

Ban will wait for the regional group

When Ban Ki-moon was asked by reporter at the UN -- weather he will call the King of Saudi Arabia to talk about this issue, the UN chief said -- he will have to wait and see.

“I understand that some member states, particularly some concerned group of member states, are discussing [this] among themselves.  I will just very closely follow how member states will decide on this matter,” Ban answered.

AA

Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2013, 08:56
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