8673rd Security Council Meeting: Threats to International Peace and Security

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22-Nov-2019 00:05:02
Security Council presidential statement condemns chemical weapons use, urges that perpetrators be held to account at 8673rd meeting.

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Following a briefing by the Director-General of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Security Council today condemned the use of such weapons “anywhere, at any time, by anyone”, reaffirming that they are a threat to international peace and security.

In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2019/14) presented by Karen Pierce (United Kingdom), which holds the body’s presidency for November, the Council reaffirmed its strong support for the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, which, it said, bans an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.

Expressing its strong conviction that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons should be held accountable, the Council called on all States parties to the Convention to fully comply with their obligations and called upon all States that have not yet done so to become parties without delay.

Welcoming the Director-General’s attendance at the 5 November meeting, the Council said it was held in furtherance of the cooperation between the United Nations and the OPCW under the agenda item “the situation in the Middle East”.

Speaking following the statement’s introduction, Dmitry A. Polyanskiy (Russian Federation) welcomed the presidential statement in light of his delegation’s concerns over instances of chemical weapons use by terrorist groups in the Middle East. All States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention — without exception — should be able to abide by its terms and restore its true purpose as a neutral, de-politicized instrument, he said.

Nicholas de Rivère (France) voiced support for the work of the OPCW, as well as the broader global non-proliferation regime. “We have every faith that the [OPCW] will discharge its mandate,” he said, calling on parties to grant its personnel unimpeded access to all concerned sites.

Karen Pierce (United Kingdom) spoke briefly in her national capacity, echoing the statement delivered by the delegate of France. While several divergences exist among Council members on the issue of attribution, she said it is crucial that all remain committed to the non-proliferation regime.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:11 p.m.

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