United Nations: Jordan has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, filling a seat that Saudi Arabia had declined to accept after an earlier election to protest the world body`s failure to end the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.
Jordan, endorsed by the African and Asian regional group, was elected yesterday to serve on the Council for two years beginning January 2014. It received 178 "yes" votes in the election in the 193-member General Assembly.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Jordan was "extremely honoured" and "humbled" by the near consensus support from the world community which recognised his country`s "relentless efforts in the pursuit of peace and security, the very principles that the Security Council is mandated to preserve."
Jordan will be seated alongside Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria, which the General Assembly elected in October. Saudi Arabia was also elected in the October vote, but signalled that it would not accept the position.
In a November statement to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Saudi Foreign Ministry formally confirmed that it would not take up the UN Security Council seat.
In the statement, the Ministry apologised for its non-acceptance, explaining that the country could not serve on the Council until the body is "reformed and enabled, effectively and practically, to carry out its duties and responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security.
The Foreign Ministry cited the situation of the Palestinian cause, lacking a just and lasting solution for 65 years, as "irrefutable evidence and proof of the Security Council`s inability to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities".
It also laments the Council`s "failure to make the Middle East a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction."
It added that "allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people with chemical weapons while the world stands idly by, without applying deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime, is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities."
Jordan has held the seat twice before since joining the world body in 1955. It will be president of the Security Council for the first month it is on the council. The council presidency rotates monthly in alphabetical order and Jordan follows France, which has the presidency in December.
The five permanent members with veto powers are the US, UK, China, France and Russia. Non-permanent members Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda will remain on the Council until the end of 2014.