National Statement by Sweden following the vote on the Syria Chemical Weapons Draft Resolution

Published

National Statement by Sweden, Ambassador Carl Skau, at the UN Security Council following the vote on the Syria Chemical Weapons draft resolution. Tuesday, February 28, 2017, New York.

Thank you Mr President,

Until today, this Council has stood united in its demand on all parties to refrain from the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Council has consistently confirmed that the use and proliferation of such weapons of mass destruction constitute a threat to international peace and security. With the adoption of resolution 2209, the Council committed itself to hold those responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons in Syria, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, to account.

The Council has so far failed to deliver on this commitment and respond to the conclusions of the OPCW-UN joint investigatory mechanism. The conclusive findings of the JIM are clear: the Syrian Armed Forces have used chemical weapons on at least three occasions, and the terrorist group Da'esh has used mustard gas at least once. The Council cannot remain passive in the face of confirmed non-compliance with its own numerous resolutions and the first confirmed case of non-compliance by a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. To demand accountability is not politicisation, but our common responsibility.

That the Council today was not able to honour its commitments, due to the use of the veto power by two of its permanent members, is deplorable.

Mr. President,

Sweden condemns in the strongest terms all use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere and will continue to do so. We trust that the Council will be able to once again show a united front against such international crimes.

The Council's work to ensure accountability for chemical weapons use in Syria doesn't stop here. We strongly support the JIM's continuing efforts to reach independent and technically underpinned conclusions regarding the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria. Sweden will be making a voluntary contribution of SEK 2 000 000 in response to the appeal in the fifth JIM report. We look forward to the coming reports of the JIM, and will continue to work with all the members towards the Council assuming its responsibility. We owe this to all those who have suffered the inhumane consequences of toxic chemicals used as weapons. It must be clear that there will be no impunity for these crimes.

In conclusion, Mr. President, over the past six years, this Council has been divided on too many occasions on how to bring an end to the conflict and the needless human suffering in Syria. We fully support the on-going UN-led talks in Geneva. A renewed process towards lasting peace in Syria is our joint responsibility.

Thank you Mr. President

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis