UN to investigate possible use of chemical weapons in Syria: Ban

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Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced his decision to launch an investigation into a possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

This follows a formal request he received from the Syrian authorities on Wednesday for a specialized, impartial and independent mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons.

Mr. Ban told reporters in New York on Thursday that his senor advisers are working on the modalities for the mission in close consultation with the relevant bodies, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Health Organization.

"It is my hope that the mission would contribute to ensuring the safety and security of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria. The investigation mission should look into the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian Government as well as other similar cases involving the alleged use of chemical weapons. In discharging its mandate of an investigation mission, full cooperation from all parties will be essential. I stress that this includes unfettered access."

The Secretary-General said he will communicate his decision to the Security Council.

Calling it "a difficult mission" Secretary-General Ban said he intends for the investigation to start "as soon as practically possible."

Mr. Ban added that his "announcement should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity that simply cannot be tolerated."

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1'30"

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