Security Council condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation

6 March 2015 – The Security Council today adopted a resolution strongly condemning the use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in Syria and stressing that those who use such weapons must be held accountable.

According to the adopted resolution –put forth by the United States– the Council expressed deep concern that toxic chemicals have been used as a weapon in Syria which was the conclusion with a “high degree of confidence” by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission. To that end, the Council reiterated that the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon would constitute a violation of Council resolution 2118 (2013).

Under the text, the Council recalled its decision that Syria “shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or, transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors.” Member also reiterated that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons.

Additionally, the Security Council expressed support for the OPCW Executive Council decision of 4 February 2015 to continue the work of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission, in particular to study all available information relating to allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Members welcomed the intention of the OPCW Director-General to include further reports of the Mission as part of his monthly reports to the Security Council.

Stressing that those individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, must be held accountable, the Council called on all parties in Syria to extend their full cooperation to the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission.

Lastly, the Council also recalled its decisions in resolution 2118, and in this context decides in the event of future non-compliance with resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

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