UAE begins bid for UN Security Council seat

The Gulf country is seeking to become a nonpermanent member of the United Nations body for the 2022-2023 term.

al-monitor German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (C) speaks at a UN Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York on Feb. 26, 2020.  Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images.

Sep 30, 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The UAE announced the effort on Tuesday to obtain a nonpermanent seat for the 2022-2023 term. The Gulf country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said the UAE, given its experience and leadership in the region, can play a key role in helping solve global problems, the state-run Emirates News Agency reported.

“We will be guided by our understanding of these crises, our experiences in the Arab region and our close relationships with other states,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UN Security Council has 15 members and addresses international security and conflict. The United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom are permanent members and have veto power, meaning they can vote down any resolution. The other members are divided among other countries that hold the seat for two years without veto power. Three-fifths of the Council, or nine countries, must vote affirmative for any measure to pass.

There are currently no Middle Eastern states on the Security Council.

The Security Council deliberates on several issues of importance to the UAE. In September, the body voted to urge all parties in the Libya conflict to abide by a UN arms embargo. The UAE backs the Libyan National Army against the Libyan government.

Earlier this month, the Security Council rejected efforts by the United States to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran. The UAE has relations with Iran but is closer to Tehran’s foes Saudi Arabia and Israel. The UAE voted alongside other Gulf nations in August to ask the UN to extend a weapons embargo on Iran.

In September, the Emirates became the first Gulf state to normalize relations with Israel. Bahrain did the same after the UAE decision.

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