Syria: Break Impasse in Security Council, Avoid Situation ‘Spiralling Out of Control’ – UN Chief

Human Wrongs Watch

Amid the risks of the situation in Syria “spiralling out of control,” the United Nations chief has appealed to the five permanent members of the Security Council to break the current deadlock on reported use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country.

UN Photo/Loey Felipe | The Security Council votes on a draft resolution on Syria.
“I have also been closely following developments in the Security Council and regret that the Council has so far been unable to reach agreement on this issue,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement issued late 12 April 2018 night.
“Let us not forget that, ultimately, our efforts must be about ending the terrible suffering of the Syrian people,” he added.

Guterres said that he called the ambassadors of the five permanent Council members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – on Wednesday [11 April 2018] to reiterate his “deep concern about the risks of the current impasse” and stressed the need to “avoid the situation spiraling out of control.”

On Tuesday [10 April2018], the 15-member body voted on three separate draft resolutions in response to recent allegations of a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma. None of the texts garnered enough support.

The first draft considered today – penned by the United States – which would have established a new investigative mechanism for one year, as well as identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, was rejected owing to a negative vote – or veto – from Russia.

Similarly, a competing draft – penned by Russia – which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted.

The Council rejected a third text – also proposed by Russia – which concerned the work of the fact-finding mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997.

Despite the deadlock in the Security Council, OPCW has said that it would shortly send a team to Syria to “establish the facts” surrounding the incident.

On Wednesday, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said that it has received reports that an estimated 500 patients at Syrian health facilities have exhibited signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals, after the shelling of a Damascus suburb over the weekend.

WHO has demanded immediate unhindered access to the area to provide care to those affected, to assess the health impacts, and to deliver a comprehensive public health response.(SOURCE: UN).

Read also:

WHO Demands ‘Unhindered Access’ to Site of Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria

Mass Evacuations from Syria’s War-Ravaged Cities ‘Desperate Measures in Desperate Times’ — Senior UN Adviser

Syria Withdrawal Dilemma: Trump’s Mideast Strategy Is as Confused as Ever

Security Council Urged to Prevent ‘Uncontrollable Escalation’ in Syria

Amid Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Douma, Syria, UN Calls for Civilian Protection

‘When Weapons Speak, Civilians Pay the Price’ as Syria War Grinds On — UN Aid Chief

Syria — Thousands Suffering amid Harrowing Conditions in East Ghouta and Afrin 

2018 Human Wrongs Watch

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