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Amid Saudi Withdrawal Mystery, Kuwait as Replacement, HRC in Doubt?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 18 -- The UN is abuzz with the question, why did Saudi Arabia run for a Security Council seat only to this morning decline it? And, this being the UN, the question of which country would replace them.

  From well-placed Arab Group sources comes the name: Kuwait. These sources, when Inner City Press asked of the possibility that Saudi Arabia will find a way to reverse its reversal said no.

"This is what happens when a country is run by one family," one observer put it, likening it to a decision made in Pyongyang.

Given the way Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative spoke at the UNTV stakeout after his country's election yesterday, either he didn't know or he deserves an Academy Award for acting.

The Saudi mission has been getting training for this seat for some time. And now, not.

One of his staffers is re-tweeting the stories of Saudi Arabia's rejection of the seat, and expressing pride.

What will happen with Saudi Arabia's candidacy for the Human Rights Council? In the future, how can their candidacies be taken seriously? At least, debate should be required, at which the question can be asked: are you serious?

  Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky if there are any rules on the gifts given in the General Assembly for votes, as Saudi Arabia did. He said to ask the office of the President of the General Assembly, which now tells Inner City Press there is no cap, no procedure, this is not under the scope of any GA rule so gifts of any size can be given.  Ah, the UN. Watch this site.


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