The UN Security Council on Thursday reaffirmed its full support for the UN-OPCW investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria in remarks made by Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN.
Council members reiterated their strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons at the end of a closed-door briefing at the UN Security Council on Thursday on recent chemical attacks in Syria.
Jieyi said that the council members were briefed on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN’s fact-finding mission in the April 4 sarin attack on the town of Khan Sheikoun in rural Idlib.
“The Council members reiterated their support for the work of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM),” said Jieyi, who is serving as president of the Security Council for the month of July.
“The Council members look forward to the investigation into the attacks in Khan Shaykhun and Umm Hawsh that the JIM will conduct,” Jieyi said. “The Council members reiterated that there must be no impunity for the use of chemical weapons or chemicals as weapons and that those responsible must be held accountable.”
Noting that its members are working in a highly politicized environment, the panel investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Thursday appealed to the international community to allow it to complete its work in an independent, impartial and professional manner.
“We do receive, unfortunately, direct and indirect messages, all the time, from many sides, telling us how to do our work; my message again, to the Council today was, please let us do our work,” said Edmond Mulet, head of the three-member panel leading the Joint Investigative Mechanism on Chemical Weapon Use in Syria.
Mulet added that the three members of the panel “absolutely condemn” the use of chemical weapons and are working to identify the purported perpetrators. Findings are expected to be presented to the UN Security Council in mid-October.
Following the April 4 sarin attack, a joint statement by the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, the Syrian Civil Defense, the Syrian American Medical Society, and the UN-OPCW Fact Finding Mission called for mandating investigators with full powers to determine who was responsible for the use of sarin and hold the perpetrators to account. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)