September 28, 2013 2:50:54 pm
In a major breakthrough,the UN Security Council on Friday voted unanimously on a resolution to destroy Syria’s chemicals weapons stockpile and warned of strong actions in case of non-compliance by Damascus.
Ending a dramatic month of diplomacy,the 15-nation UNSC voted unanimously on the resolution which was based on a deal struck between Russia and the US following a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb that killed hundreds on August 21.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the passing of the resolution the “first hopeful news” on Syria in a long time and said he hopes to convene a peace conference in mid-November to end the ongoing civil war in the Arab country.
“It is time for the parties to focus on how to build the peaceful,democratic future Syria needs. All those with influence on the parties must use that influence,” he said.
In the wake of the August chemical attack in Syria which was confirmed a UN investigation team later,the UNSC called for the elimination of the country’s chemical weapons,while endorsing a plan for Syrian-led negotiations toward peace.
The UNSC called for the speedy implementation of procedures drawn up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons programme and stringent verification thereof.”
In the text,the Council underscored “that no party in Syria should use,develop,produce,acquire,stockpile,retain,or transfer chemical weapons.”
Defiance of the resolution,including unauthorised transfer of chemical weapons,or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria,would bring about measures under the UN Charter’s binding Chapter VII,which can include sanctions or stronger coercive action,the Council said.
Saturday’s historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time,” Ban told the Council following the adoption. “For many months,I have said that the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria would require a firm,united
response. On Saturday the international community has delivered.”
“As we mark this important step,we must never forget that the catalogue of horrors in Syria continues with bombs and tanks,grenades and guns,” Ban added.
“A red light for one form of weapons does not mean a green light for others. This is not a license to kill with conventional weapons. All the violence must end. All the guns must fall silent.”
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