An official in the Syrian Coalition said that the UN Security Council’s failure to extend the mandate for the panel investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria is “a dark chapter in the history of humanity.”
In response to Russia’s vetoing of the draft resolution calling for the extension of the mandate for the UN-OPCW investigation panel, Ahmad Ramadan, director of the Coalition’s Media Department, said: “It is a disgraceful day in the history of humanity that the UN Security Council failed once again to redress thousands of victims of chemical weapons in Syria or hold war criminals accountable.”
The Russian veto triggered condemnation by the majority of the UN Security Council member states. The United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “The message to anyone listening is clear: in effect, Russia accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria.”
France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the Russian veto was a blow to international efforts to curb the use of chemical weapons. “Let there be no doubt: We have unleashed a monster here,” said Delattre.
UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said that Russia has “failed as a supposed supporter of peace in Syria.”
It was Moscow’s 10th such veto of UN resolutions condemning the Assad regime and demanding accountability for war crimes in Syria since the conflict began in 2011.
Ramadan added: “We are both sad and angry at the fact that Russia, a permanent member at the UN Security Council and which claims to be a guarantor of agreements in Syria, is using the veto for the tenth time to shield the Assad regime; enable it to escape punishment; and block the course of justice.”
“The Russia decision risks undermining the foundations of international justice; serving terrorism and the terrorists’ narrative; and establishing the law of the jungle. It also confirms the failure of the international system in the protection of international peace and security,” Ramadan added.
The latest report of the UN-OPCW’s joint Inquiry concluded that the Assad regime was responsible for the use of the banned sarin nerve agent in attacks on rebel-held areas, including the April 4 attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)