By Abderraouf Betbaieb: Tunisia’s term on the Security Council ends in a fishtail – Tunisia

Tunisia’s term on the United Nations Security Council ended on December 31, 2021 with a poor result. The political crisis in Tunisia on the one hand and the uncertainties of Tunisian diplomacy heavily jeopardized the performance of the Tunisian delegation in New York.

The only achievement of this two-year mandate is undoubtedly the adoption of Security Council resolution 2532 on the impact of Covid on peace and security in the world. This is a historic feat for Tunisian diplomacy, which for the first time in its history since independence led negotiations between the masters of the world to bring them back on July 1, 2020 to a consensus. The Palme d’Or obviously goes for this success to Ambassador Kais Kabtani who skillfully invested himself during four months of breathtaking negotiations, particularly between the Americans and the Chinese to wrest a historic deal that saved the credibility of United Nations and in particular the appeal of the Secretary General of the United Nations for a ceasefire in areas of conflict.

Strangely, no one is a prophet in his country. Indeed, and against all expectations, Ambassador Kabtani was transferred on September 4, 2021 to the Sultanate of Oman for reasons that everyone does not know. Faced with his refusal of this transfer, he was pilloried and stoned on social networks. Funny management of state affairs.

It is clear that the appointment of three Ambassadors to New York for a two-year term was largely compromising for the credibility and seriousness of Tunisia (Mr. Moncef Baati from January to March 2020 then Mr. Kais Kabtani from March 2020 to September 2020 and finally Tarek Ladab from September 2020 to December 2021). According to observers, this is a first in the annals of the Security Council.

To tell the truth, the abusive departure of Ambassador Kabtani had a dissuasive effect on the Tunisian team in New York, which has since resigned itself to following and catching up with the accelerated pace of the Security Council without being able to present any initiative, nor to take advantage of any leadership on any of the issues on its agenda (Libyan and Palestinian issues, terrorism, peacekeeping, etc.).

The hesitations of Tunisian diplomacy and the ignorance of geopolitical realities have even cost us two diplomatic crises: one with Ethiopia on the road to rebirth and the second with Morocco on Western Sahara.

The funniest thing to note about these two years of Tunisia on the Security Council is that the President of the Republic and Tunisian head of diplomacy Mr. Kais Saied has never seen fit to meet with the Secretary-General once. of the United Nations Mr. Antonio Guterres, a great friend of Tunisia and a fervent defender of the democratic transition in our country. Such a waste.

It is regrettable to note that instead of seizing this opportunity to advocate for the Tunisian cause and to position themselves on the international scene, our leaders once again offer the world a pitiful image of a precarious country in disunity. It is even more regrettable when we know that according to the rule of geographical rotation, Tunisia will only sit on the Security Council in twenty years. Pity.

Abderraouf BETBAIEB
Former Ambassador
Member of the Democratic Initiative

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By Abderraouf Betbaieb: Tunisia’s term on the Security Council ends in a fishtail – Tunisia