Saudi Arabia’s failure to obtain seat at UNHRC should be a wake-up call
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has failed on Tuesday, 13 October to, to win a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Saudi failure came despite efforts made by the Kingdom to win the seat, despite its low human rights record and support for the Yemen war.
The competition over the four seats in the Asia and the Pacific region was between Saudi Arabia, China, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. While China won 139 votes, Nepal scored 150, thus leaving Saudi Arabia with the lowest number of votes.
The International United Nations Watch (UNW) believes that the failure of the Saudi government to win a seat at UNHRC should be a lesson to learn and a wake-up call to the authorities to end its involvement in the Yemen war which resulted in numerous human rights violations. Domestically, the Saudi authorities have been engaged in a campaign of muzzling the voices of its opponents at home, including the arrest of religious figures, human rights activists, writers, businesspeople, Saudi royals, and foreigners opposing Saudi policies in the Middle East.
The Saudi government has suffered a serious blow and lost much of its reputation after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashogji in his country’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
It is time for the Saudi authorities to end human rights abuses and allow free speech at home and end its involvement in various conflicts in the Middle East as doing so opposes the fundamental principles of UNHRC which Saudi Arabia sought to join. The international community can no longer turn a blind eye to the ongoing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and those resulting from Saudi support for the Yemen war.
Countries with low human rights records managed to win the UNHRC seat, which should be a striking reminder for countries who didn’t that they need to do much more to improve the situation of human rights at home and elsewhere in the world.