UN / SYRIA

13-Apr-2018 00:04:12
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the “Cold War is back with a vengeance” adding that Syria "represents the most serious threat to international peace and security” today. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 04:12
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 13 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

13 APRIL 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Secretary-General at Security Council
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The Cold War is back with a vengeance but with a difference. The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present.”
5. Wide shot, Secretary-General at Security Council
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Syria indeed today represents the most serious threat to international peace and security. In Syria, we see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and international militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organizations.”
7. Wide shot, Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Ensuring accountability for a confirmed use of chemical weapons is our responsibility, not least to the victims of such attacks. A lack of accountability emboldens those who would use such weapons by providing them with the reassurance of impunity. This in turn further weakens the norm proscribing the use of chemical weapons and the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture as a whole. I urge all Member States to act responsibly in these dangerous circumstances.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“Bellicose rhetoric is being ratcheted up at all levels, including the highest levels, to Syria’s shores there are additional forces and naval means of the US and their allies are nearing. It appears that Washington has adopted categorical policy to unleash a military scenario against Syria. This cannot be tolerated. Such a development of events is fraught with grave repercussions for global security especially in the light of the deployment of Russia troops in Syria.”
11. Wide shot, Russian ambassador addressing Council
12. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily Alekseevich Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“Who will benefit from a potential strike against Syrian troops who bear the main burden in combating terrorism and have achieved major victories in this regard? We understand fully well that the heads of Syrian armed groups have received instructions to begin an offensive following a potential act of force. Is the latest wave of chaos truly being unleashed only for the sake of that?”
13. Wide shot, US ambassador addressing Council
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Our President has not yet made a decision about possible actions in Syria. But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defence of a principle on which we all agree. It will be in defence of a bedrock international norm that benefits all nations.”
15. Med shot, Russian ambassador
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Everything the United Nations stands for is being blatantly defied in Syria, with the help of a permanent member of this Council. All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”
17. Wide shot, Security Council
18. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Ja’afari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“If these three countries, the United States, United Kingdom, and France, think that they are able to attack us and launch an aggression on our sovereignty, we will not have a way out of applying article 51 of the (UN) Charter which gives us the right to legitimate self-defence. This is not a threat as they threaten us. This is a promise. This is a promise. We will not allow anyone attack our sovereignty.”
19. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the “Cold War is back with a vengeance” adding that Syria “represents the most serious threat to international peace and security” today.

Addressing the Security Council today, Guterres said the mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed during the Cold War “no longer seem to be present.” He said Syria was facing “confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and international militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organizations.” He reiterated that there was no military solution to the conflict in the country adding that the solution must be political through the Geneva intra-Syrian talks.

The UN chief expressed his outrage by the continued reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He said the seriousness of the recent allegations required a thorough investigation using impartial, independent and professional expertise. He reaffirmed his support to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact finding mission which already has a team in Syria and is expected to send a second today or tomorrow.

Guterres said ensuring accountability for a confirmed use of chemical weapons “is our responsibility, not least to the victims of such attacks.” He added, “A lack of accountability emboldens those who would use such weapons by providing them with the reassurance of impunity; this in turn further weakens the norm proscribing the use of chemical weapons and the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture as a whole.” He urged all countries to act “responsibly in these dangerous circumstances.”

Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia the world continued to observe preparations for illegal military action as “additional forces and naval means of the US and their allies are nearing” Syria’s shores. He added, “It appears that Washington has adopted categorical policy to unleash a military scenario against Syria; this cannot be tolerated; such a development of events is fraught with grave repercussions for global security especially in the light of the deployment of Russia troops in Syria.”

Nebenzia said the US and its allies had identified the guilty party in the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma without verification that the attack even occurred. He stressed that the Security Council alone had the authority to decide what action would be taken if chemical weapons we used by any country. The Russian ambassador asked, “Who will benefit from a potential strike against Syrian troops who bear the main burden in combating terrorism and have achieved major victories in this regard?” Nebenzia said armed opposition groups in Syria had received instructions “to begin an offensive following a potential act of force” adding that the US, UK, and France were not looking for an investigation rather were only looking to oust the Syrian Government and contain Russia.

US ambassador Nikki Haley said Russia was ignoring the real threat to international peace and security, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government. She said in theory the Council agreed on the core principle that no country can be allowed to use chemical weapons with impunity, however Russia alone dismantled the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) into the chemical weapons use in Syria.

Haley said US President Donald Trump “has not yet made a decision” about possible actions in Syria, but should the United States and its allies decide to act, “it will be in defence of a principle on which we all agree; it will be in defence of a bedrock international norm that benefits all nations.” She stressed that this was not the first use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government adding that the US estimated the Government had used them at least 50 times.

The US ambassador said the world must not passively accept the use of chemical weapons after almost a century of their prohibition adding that everything the United Nations stands for “is being blatantly defied in Syria, with the help of a permanent member of this Council.” She stressed that all nations would be harmed if “we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”


Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said his Government had taken the initiative in inviting the OPCW to send a fact-finding mission to the alleged attack site and has provided all the necessary facilitations adding that the team is expected to start its work within the coming hours. He said this stance is one of strength and confidence and not due to fear of threats to attack. Ja’afari said Syria condemns the threats against it emanating from the US, UK, and France. He stressed that if the three countries think that they are able to “launch an aggression” on Syrian sovereignty, then Syria would have no choice but to defend itself. He added, “This is not a threat as they threaten us; this is a promise; this is a promise; we will not allow anyone attack our sovereignty.”
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