Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

United Nations chief warns against escalation over Syria

United Nations chief warns against escalation over Syria

On Wednesday, I called the ambassadors to the UN of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and France and I reiterated my deep concern about the risks of the current stalemate in that 15-member organization with respect to the Levantine country, the Portuguese diplomat indicated.

"I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap".

"There are no military solutions to the crisis in Syria", Guterres said.

The draft resolution expresses support for a fact-finding mission by the OPCW and requests that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres separately dispatch a "high-level disarmament mission" with the task of addressing "all outstanding issues on the use of chemical weapons once and for all".

UN Secretary General António Guterres pleads today for the permanent members of the Security Council to achieve a common position to prevent the situation in Syria from being uncontrollable.

Guterres called on all the United Nations members to "unite" to deter further escalation that might aggravate the suffering that the Syrian people have endured during the conflict.

Similarly, a competing draft - penned by Russian Federation - which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted.

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Guterres had termed the use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent", saying the suffering it causes is "horrendous".

The Swedish-drafted text calls for the establishment of an investigative panel to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria after Russian Federation this week vetoed a United States proposal to set up such a mechanism.

"In Syria, we see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and global militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organisations", he added.

Last October, the Council failed to renew the mandate of a UN-OPCW body, known as the Joint Inspection Mechanism, which was established three years ago. Meanwhile, Russia and the U.S. trade accusations over suspected chemical attack in Syria.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimates that Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad's forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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