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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Resolution 2209 on chlorine gas in Syria

A view of the meeting, as Council members vote in favor of the 
draft resolution. (Venezuela abstained) - UN Photo.
The Security Council,

Recalling the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC), and the Council’s resolutions 1540 (2004) and 2118 (2013), 

Recalling that in resolution 2118 the Council decided that the Syrian Arab Republic shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors and that the Council underscored that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons,

Recalling that the Syrian Arab Republic acceded to the CWC,noting that the use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a chemical weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic is a violation of resolution 2118, and further noting that any such use by the Syrian Arab Republic would constitute a violation of the CWC,

Noting that chlorine was the chemical first used as a chemical weapon on a large scale in the Battle of Ypres in April 1915,

Noting the first, second, and third reports from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission, which was mandated to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic,  

Noting the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of 4 February 2015 that, while stating diverse views on these reports, expressed serious concern regarding the findings of the Mission made with a high degree of confidence that chlorine has been used repeatedly and systematically as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic,

Noting that this is the first ever documented instance of the use of toxic chemicals as weapons within the territory of a State Party to the CWC,

Reaffirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law and reiterating that those individuals responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,

1.  Condemns in the strongest terms any use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic;

2. Expresses deep concern that toxic chemicals have been used as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic as concluded with a high degree of confidence by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission and notes that such use of toxic chemicals as a weapon would constitute a violation of resolution 2118 and of the CWC;

3. Recalls its decision that the Syrian Arab Republic shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, ortransfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors; 

4Reiterates that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons;

5. Expresses support for the OPCW Executive Council decision of 4 February 2014 to continue the work of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission, in particular to study all available information relating to allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria and welcomes the intention of the OPCW Director-General to include further reports of the Mission as part of his monthly reports to the Security Council;

6Stresses that those individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, must be held accountable, and calls on all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic to extend their full cooperation to the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission;

7. Recalls the decisions made by the Security Council in resolution 2118, and in this context decides in the event of future non-compliance with resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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