Set up of Security Council mechanism on chemical weapons in Syria advances

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

Recommended ways to set up a UN mechanism to determine who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria have been submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council.

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

The 15 UN Security Council members voted earlier this month to create a joint mechanism of the UN and the OPCW, for one year initially, to identify the responsible parties.

Maria Carlino reports.

The UN Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by reports of the continued use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

Earlier this month, the 15 UN Security Council members agreed to create a mechanism of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for one year initially, to identify who is responsible for their use.

Ban Ki-moon said the international community must hold those responsible to account and ensure that chemical weapons are never used again.

Mr Ban submitted his recommendations, including terms of reference, to the Security Council Thursday on how to set up and operate the joint mechanism.

And he called on all parties in Syria to cooperate fully with the mechanism.

Over 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

An estimated nine million Syrians have fled the country.

Maria Carlino, United Nations. 

Duration: 56″

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