What can Egypt bring to the U.N. Security Council?

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. (Reuters)

Egypt has been elected as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for the sixth time.

The election shows that the country “has regained its international weight and regional leadership,” former Al-Ahram editor-in-chief Osama Saraya told Al Arabiya News.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Egypt with 179 votes in favor and none opposed.

Regional conflicts

It gives the country a “golden opportunity to translate to the international community what is really happening on the ground regarding the fight against terrorism,” Saraya said. “This is very important, as the fight against terror is related to most conflicts in the region.”

Saraya added that due to its “objectivity,” Egypt has acquired the ability to “talk to various parties in the [Syrian] conflict, including Russia and the United States, which it will use as a tool to bring solutions to the table.”

Amani al-Tawil, a political analyst with the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Al Arabiya News that Egypt is also “likely to play a central role in reviving the stalled peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Cairo has “already proposed solutions regarding the matter, and will push even harder in the coming month, especially with the recent escalation between Palestinians and Israeli forces,” she added.

In 2014, Egypt garnered international praise for helping to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

Saraya said other conflicts in the region were also expected to be addressed during Egypt’s tenure in the Security Council, including Iraq and Yemen.

Tawil said Cairo would also “try to shed light on the economic struggles of third-world countries.”

However, Tawil said Egypt’s power in the Security Council would be limited, as “the country doesn’t have the right to veto any decision, but can only propose solutions to end conflicts.”

Meanwhile, Sayed Amin Shalaby - Egypt’s former ambassador to Norway, and executive director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA) - told Al Arabiya News that “the country will also have to handle international issues from the perspective of third-world countries especially that they have helped it obtain its seat at the U.N.”

Shalaby added that the “fight against terrorism” remains the most important matter that Egypt can tackle during its mandate thanks to its “huge experience in the field.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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