Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
United Nations, February 28 2017
A resolution imposing sanctions regarding the use and production of chemical weapons in Syria was rejected by the Security Council today as Russia and China vetoed the draft.
After the vote, United States Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Council Russia and China had made “an outrageous and indefensible choice today” by refusing “to hold Bashar al-Assad’s regime accountable for the use of chemical weapons.”
Haley recalled that the Council had set up the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to answer the question of who was involved in the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
She said “everyone on this Council, including Russia, including China, said at that time they wanted to know who used chemical weapons. The question was answered. However Russia and China didn’t like the answer.”
British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said he was “appalled that Russia has vetoed this resolution today, and I am surprised and disappointed that China has chosen to join them, at complete odds with the principles of non-proliferation that both China and Russia claim to support so strongly.”
Russian representative Vladimir Safronkov said that “the fact that the resolution was not supported by six out of 15 Security Council members should make the co-sponsors seriously think.”
Safronkov said “the statements we heard leave no doubt that the draft was put to a vote based on the doctrine of Western states.”
Regarding “the outrageous statements made against Russia, China and other states,” he said, “God shall judge you and the statements will remain on your consciousness.”
Syrian Ambassador Mounzer Mounzer for his part said “my country is very sad to see that some Security Council members are trying to use reports of various UN mechanisms for political ends. There is not a single logical scientific and objective piece of evidence in these reports. Reading these reports has to be done based on the strictest legal and scientific criteria. We have seen that the JIM is not complying itself with the tools nor methods that had been set forth for it since the very beginning.”
The draft resolution would have established a sanctions regime, a committee and a panel of experts to ensure accountability for the use and production of chemical weapons in Syria. The draft resolution would also impose sanctions on a number of individuals and entities associated with the Syrian government and linked to the use of chemical weapons in cases where responsibility was established by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).
Source: EuropaNewswire and UNTV