Deeply disturbed by continuing reports of the use of chemical weapons, as well as the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Syria, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned any such use by any party to the conflict and stressed that the entire international community has the responsibility to hold the perpetrators to account.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, Mr Ban reiterate that a resolution unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council earlier this month, is a strong collective message from the international community that any use of chemical weapons “shall not be tolerated and will have consequences.”
The resolution, agreed on 7 August, gave the greenlight for the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. It requested the UN Secretary-General, in coordination with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to submit recommendations for the establishment of the Mechanism within 20 days.
The Mechanism, established for a period of one year with a possibility of future extension, will be tasked with identifying “individuals, entities, groups, or governments involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical,” in Syria, according to the Council, which reiterated that those responsible must be held accountable.
In the statement issued today, the UN chief reiterated that the international community has a responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure that chemical weapons never be used again as an instrument of warfare.
Pursuant to the, Mr. Ban, in coordination with the OPCW Director-General, today submitted to the Security Council the requested recommendations, including elements of Terms of Reference, on the OPCW–UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to be established by the resolution on the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in Syria.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties in the [Syria] to cooperate fully with the JIM. He counts on the continued engagement and support of the members of the Security Council as well as the entire UN membership to ensure the effective implementation of this resolution,”