Notes to correspondents
Note in response to questions on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria
New York, 5 June 2013
The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his grave concerns over the reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Most recent reports, including in the press, have highlighted again the urgency for the Mission established by the Secretary-General to conduct on-site investigations of the allegations. Thus far, the Syrian government has not granted access to the Mission as requested by the UN.
The Mission has continued to monitor developments and collection of information available off-site. Mr. Sellström, the Head of the Mission, recently visited London and Washington DC.
Yesterday in Paris Mr. Sellström received additional information related to the reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria submitted by the Government of France. Mr. Sellström cautions that the validity of the information is not ensured in the absence of convincing evidence of the chain-of-custody of the data collected. In this regard, he reiterates his belief that on-site activities are essential if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts.