X Close

World

Published: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 1:10:03 AM
Updated: Saturday December 7, 2013 MYT 1:10:04 AM

Jordan elected to take Saudi seat on U.N. Security Council

A Jordanian soldier looks on as a rainbow is seen the background, before the arrival of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the violence in their country, near the town of Ruwaished, 240 km (149 miles) east of Amman December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

A Jordanian soldier looks on as a rainbow is seen the background, before the arrival of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the violence in their country, near the town of Ruwaished, 240 km (149 miles) east of Amman December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Jordan to the U.N. Security Council on Friday to replace Saudi Arabia, which rejected its two-year term in protest at the council's failure to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues.

Saudi Arabia was elected in October to join the 15-member council from January 1, but in an unprecedented move Riyadh declined the role a day after the vote. While unopposed as the replacement, Jordan still needed two-thirds approval by the General Assembly. It was elected with 178 votes on Friday.

"We are extremely honoured," Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters after the vote, adding that the election "recognizes the role of Jordanian diplomacy worldwide."

Jordan emerged last month as the alternative candidate for the traditional Arab seat after Amman dropped out of a race against Riyadh for a three-year U.N. Human Rights Council seat. Saudi won the position on the top U.N. rights body on November 12.

A week later Jordan, which closely follows regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia on most foreign policy issues, announced its plan to run for the Security Council, with officials saying it wanted to raise its international profile and win more recognition for accommodating Syrian refugees.

The officials made clear Jordan's bid to win one of the Security Council's 10 rotating seats had the blessing of Saudi Arabia, its biggest financial backer, and the United States. Jordan is expected to follow closely the Saudi line on Syria and other regional crises, diplomats say.

The United States, Russia, China, France and Britain are permanent veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council.

Jordan is now home to more than 600,000 refugees from the 2-1/2 year civil war in neighbouring Syria, according to U.N. estimates, though Amman puts the figure as high as one million.

The refugees are posing a huge strain on the kingdom's creaking infrastructure and limited resources.

Saudi Arabia has warned of a shift away from the United States in part over what it sees as Washington's failure to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its policies on Iran.

Citing the Security Council's failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, take steps to end Syria's civil war and stop nuclear proliferation in the region, Riyadh said the body had instead perpetuated conflicts and grievances when it declined the council seat that it had won with 176 votes.

Russia and China have repeatedly blocked resolutions supported by Saudi Arabia to toughen action against Assad, whose government forces' assault on rebel-held areas has been described by the kingdom as genocide.

Jordan will now join Lithuania, Chile, Nigeria and Chad as new members of the council, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo. The other five temporary council members that will remain next year are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Louis Charbonneau and Vicki Allen)

advertisement

  1. Gobind: My father was a simple man, who enjoyed simple things
  2. CM proposes that sea front be renamed Karpal Singh Drive
  3. No Obama meeting for Anwar
  4. Former police chief recalls fond memories
  5. Dr Mahathir: Kassim Ahmad's arrest wrongly portrays Islam as 'hard and unmerciful'
  6. Karpal Singh: He never feared defeat, says Guan Eng
  7. Karpal Singh, my loving husband
  8. ‘Don’t play the fool’ and other quotes by Karpal Singh
  9. MERS virus: 64 villagers from Kampung Bintang quarantined for a week
  10. Michael — shy man whose care spoke volumes

advertisement

advertisement