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Guterres outraged by the continued reports of use of chemical weapons in the Syria

UNICEF/2018/Amer Almohibany Ru’a, 18 months, rides on her grandfather’s motorbike as he drags it across Mesraba in East Ghouta, Syria.

UNICEF/2018/Amer Almohibany
Ru’a, 18 months, rides on her grandfather’s motorbike as he drags it across Mesraba in East Ghouta, Syria.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said he is outraged by the continued reports of use of chemical weapons in the Syria.

“I reiterate my strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. Any confirmed use of chemical weapons, by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances, is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law” said Secretary General with a statement he issued during his official visit to the People’s Republic of China.

“The seriousness of the recent allegations requires a thorough investigation using impartial, independent and professional expertise. In that regard, I reaffirm my full support for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its Fact-Finding Mission in undertaking the required investigation into these allegations. The Fact-Finding Mission should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities” continued Secretary General in his statement.

Guterres emphasized that the norms against chemical weapons must be upheld and he appealed to the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility and find unity on this issue. He also encouraged the Council to redouble its efforts to agree upon on a dedicated mechanism for accountability and he is ready to support such efforts.

In the mean time, the recent escalating violence across Syria, including allegations of chemical weapons use in a Damascus suburb, could have consequences so devastating they are “difficult to even imagine,” a United Nations envoy warned on April 9, calling for unity among global powers to prevent a chain of events that could draw in actors far beyond the region.

“Recent developments carry more than ever before the dangers that the Secretary-General has warned about,” Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, told an emergency meeting of the Security Council.

In sounding the alarm, Mr. de Mistura reiterated that is it the first time since his appointment (in July 2014), that he has issued such a warning.

“The Council cannot allow a situation of uncontrollable escalation to develop in Syria, on any front,” he said.

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