Explanation of Vote by Sweden at the Security Council Meeting pertaining to the Situation in the Middle East (Syria)

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Explanation of Vote by Sweden, Ambassador Olof Skoog, Vote on a Resolution pertaining to the Situation in the Middle East (Syria), Wednesday,12 April 2017, New York

Madam President,

Sweden has repeatedly expressed outrage over the abhorrent and unacceptable reported chemical attack in Khan Sheykoun.

The use of chemical weapons is not only a clear violation of international law but also a threat to international peace and security. We, as members of the Security Council, have a responsibility to take action in response. It should not be a polarizing this issue. This is a core duty of the Security Council.

As an elected member, Sweden has worked tirelessly to ensure the urgent adoption of a strong resolution that would condemn the reported attack, support a prompt and thorough investigation and hold those responsible to account, and that all efforts to this end be exhausted over the last few days. The Council had the chance to speak with one voice against the illegal use of chemical weapons. Unity in the Council would have strengthened the hand of the on-going investigations and sent a clear message about this Council's rejection of chemical weapons. We are therefore deeply disappointed that it was not possible to find such unity on an issue where there should be common ground.

We regret that resolution was not passed because of a Russian veto.

This Council must come together so that those responsible for this horrendous attack will be held to account. We will continue our efforts in this regard.

Madam President,

We trust that the mechanisms in place will ensure a rapid, full and impartial investigation to establish all facts. We urge all parties and especially the Government of Syria to cooperate fully in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2118. When the reports by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission and the (OPWC-UN) and the JIM (Joint Investigative Mechanism) on the attack in Khan Sheykoun are available, this Council must act unitedly upon those findings.

As was discussed this morning, we must now more than ever intensify our efforts to reinvigorate the UN-led political process, revitalise the ceasefire and ensure humanitarian access. The only way to end the suffering in Syria is through a transitional political process in line with resolution 2254.

Thank you.

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