Secretary-General: Chemical weapons report findings could be rallying point for international community on Syria

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a press conference on his participation in the recent G-20 Summit held in St. Petersburg and the continuing Syria crisis. [UN Photo/Mark Garten]

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that as he awaits the report of a chemical weapons team's mission to Syria, he is considering proposals that could be presented to the Security Council when the report is finalized.

Mr. Ban told journalists in New York on Monday that there has been "significant speculation regarding major use of chemical agents" in Syria on 21 August which led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

He said if confirmed by the report from the UN investigations team, headed by Swedish professor Dr. Ake Sellström, this would be an "abominable crime" requiring action by the international community.

"Two-and-a-half years of conflict in Syria have produced only embarrassing paralysis in the Security Council. Should Dr. Sellström's report confirm the use of chemical weapons, then this would surely something around which the Security Council could unite in response, and indeed something that should merit universal condemnation." (28")

Mr. Ban said he is considering certain proposals which he could make to the Security Council when presenting the report, including the need for accountability, deterrence and greater security for chemical weapons stocks.

The Secretary-General returned to New York over the weekend after participating in the G-20 summit in Russia.

He said Syria "dominated" the summit and his meetings with world leaders there.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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