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Thursday, July 9, 2015

US draft resolution on chemical weapons in Syria: Attribution mechanism, accountability

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), 2118 (2013) and 2209 (2015),

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,

Condemning in the strongest terms any use of any toxic chemical as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic and noting with outrage that civilians continue to be killed by chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic,

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

Recalling its request to the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Secretary-General to report in a coordinated manner on noncompliance with resolution 2118,

Noting the letter of the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council of 25 February 2015 (S/2015/138), transmitting the note of the Director-General of the OPCW, discussing the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of 4 February 2015 that expressed serious concern regarding the findings of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) 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 chlorine has allegedly been used as a chemical weapon subsequent to the adoption on March 6 of Security Council resolution 2209 (2015),

Recognizing that the OPCW FFM is not mandated to reach conclusions about attributing responsibility for chemical weapons use,

Recalling that, in its resolution 2118, it decided that the Syrian Arab Republic and all parties in Syria shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations,  

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

2. Recalls its decision that the Syrian Arab Repiiblic 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;

3. Reiterates that no party in Syria should use develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapens;

4. Expresses its determination to identify those responsible for these acts and reiterates that those individuals, entities, groups, orr governments 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 in this regard;

5. Requests the UN Secretary General, in coordination with the OPCW Director-General, to submit to the Security Council, for its authorization, within 15 days of the adoption of this resolution, recommendations regarding the establishment of an OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic where the OPCW FFM has determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemical weapons, and expresses its intent to respond to the proposal within five days of receipt;

6. Recalls that in its resolution 2118 it decided that the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations and that all parties shall cooperate fully in this regard and stresses that the Council understands that such obligation includes an obligation to cooperate with the OPCW Director-General and its FFM and the United Nations SecretaryGeneral and the Joint Investigative Mechanism, and that such cooperation also includes access to relevant locations, individuals, and materials in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the ability of the Joint Investigative Mechanism to examine additional information and evidence that was not obtained or prepared by the FFM;

7. Calls on all other States to cooperate fully with the Joint Investigative Mechanism and in particular to provide it and the OPCW FFM with any relevant information they may possess pertaining to chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian Arab Republic;

8. Requests the FFM to collaborate with the Joint Investigative Mechanism from the commencement of the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s work to provide full access to all of the information and evidence obtained or prepared by the FFM including but not limited to, medical records, intervieuu tapes and transcripts, and documentary material, and requests the Joint Investigative Mechanism, with respect to allegations of chemical weapons use that are the subject of investigation by the FFM, to work in coordination with the FFM to fulfill its mandate;

9. Requests the United Nations Secretary-General, in coordination with the OPCW Director General, to present a report to the United Nations Security Council and inform the OPCW Executive Council as of the date the Joint Investigative Mechanism begins its full operations and every 30 days thereafter on the progress made;

10. Requests further the United Nations Secretary-General, in coordination with the OPCW Director General, to undertake without delay the steps measures, and arrangements necessary for tthe speedy establishment and full functioning of the Joint Investigative Mechanism including recruiting impartial and experienced staff with relevant skills and expertise in accordance with Terms of Reference and notes due regard should be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible;

11. Requests the Joint Investigative Mechanism to complete its first report within 90 days of the date on which it commenced its full operations, as notified by the United Nations Secretary - General;

12. Requests the Joint Investigative Mechanism to retain any evidence related to possible uses of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic other than those cases in which the FFM has determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemical weapons and to transmit that evidence to the Secretary- General and Director General of the OPCW every six months;

13. Affirms that the establishment of the Joint Investigative Mechanism need not be approved by any body other than the United Nations Security Council;

14. Decides to establish the Joint Investigative Mechanism for a period of one year with a possibitity of future extension by the Security Council, if it deems it necessary;

15. Reaffirms its decision in response to violations of resolution 2118 to impose measures uiider Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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