Security Council adopts resolution condemning chemical weapons in Syria

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Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

A resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria has been adopted by the UN Security Council by a vote of 14 in favour and one abstention.

A fact finding mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said last December that chlorine gas had most likely been used as a weapon of war in the ongoing conflict in the country.

At least 1,400 people were gassed to death in the suburbs of the capital Damascus in August 2013, and spates of new allegations have been made since then.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Venezuela was the only country of the 15-member body to abstain from the vote.

The resolution reiterates the Security Council's deep concern that toxic chemicals have been used in the civil war between the Government and armed groups.

Since September 2013, many steps have been taken to destroy the country's chemical weapons stockpile.

But nearly 18 months later, there continues to be what was described by the British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant as "consistent credible reports of chemical weapon use".

"We cannot change the past but we can prevent the future use of these barbaric weapons. Its use by the regime constitutes yet one more human rights violation whose continued use of barrel bombs, starvation and denial of medical supplies amount to crimes against humanity."

Meanwhile the Venezuelan Ambassador said his country abstained as the investigation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is still ongoing in Syria.

He said the resolution pre-judges the organisation's findings.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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