Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vetoes Sink Latest UN Security Council Resolution on Syrian Chemical Weapons

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which was established in August 2015 under a unanimously approved Security Council resolution, was assigned the responsibility to determine who was responsible for a series of chemical attacks since 2013 that killed Syrian civilians. The independent expert panel concluded that there was sufficient evidence to determine that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on three separate occasions from 2014 to 2015, while ISIS had used them at least once. With that conclusion in hand, the United States, United Kingdom and France introduced a draft resolution on February 28th imposing sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter on Syrian government officials and entities linked to the chemical weapons attacks; placing an embargo on arms sales and chemicals intended to be used as weapons; and establishing a sanctions committee and panel of experts to monitor the implementation of these measures. Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution, which blocked its adoption. Bolivia also voted no. Nine Security Council members voted yes, and three abstained. [more...]

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