Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Revised P3 draft on Syria: UN Access to Assad's Air Bases

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) ratified by the Syrian Arab Republic on 14 September 2013, and the Council’s resolutions 1540 (2004), 2118 (2013), 2209 (2015), 2235 (2015), 2314 (2016), and 2319 (2016),
Expressing its horror at the reported use of chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun area of southern Idlib in the Syrian Arab Republic on 4 April 2017 causing large-scale loss of life and injuries, affirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, and stressing that those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,  
Noting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has announced, in addition to its ongoing investigation, that its Fact Finding Mission (FFM) is in the process of gathering and analysing information on this incident from all available sources and will report to the OPCW Executive Council,
Recalling that in resolution 2118 (2013) 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 underscored that no party in Syria should use, develop produce acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons,
Recalling the report by the Director General of the OPCW (EC-82/DG18 dated 6 July 2016) that the OPCW Technical Secretariat is not able to resolve all identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in Syria’s declaration, and therefore cannot fully verify that Syria has submitted a declaration that can be considered accurate and complete in accordance with the CWC or OPCW Executive decision EC-M-33/DEC.1 dated 27 December 2013 or resolution 2118;
Recalling its determination that the use of chemical weapons in the Syria Arab Republic represents a threat to international peace and security,
1. Condemns in the strongest terms the reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the attack on Khan Shaykhun reported on 4 April 2017, expresses its outrage that individuals continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and expresses its determination that those responsible must be held accountable;
2. Expresses its full support to the OPCW Fact Finding Mission, demands that all parties provide delay-free and safe access to any sites deemed relevant by the OPCW FFM, and, as applicable, by the JIM, to the reported incident in Khan Shaykhun, including the site of the reported incident on April 4, in accordance with resolution 2118, and requests that the FFM report the results of its investigation as soon as possible;
3. Requests that the Secretary General make the necessary arrangements for the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism to liaise closely with the Fact Finding Mission to expeditiously investigate any incident the FFM determines involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons in order to identify those involved in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of its Resolution 2235;
4. Recalls that in its resolutions 2118 and 2235 it decided that the Syrian Arab Republic and all parties in Syria shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations including the Joint Investigation Mechanism;
5. Emphasises that this includes the obligation upon the Syrian Arab Republic of complying with the relevant recommendations of the OPCW and the UN, including the JIM, by accepting personnel designated by the OPCW or the United Nations, by providing for and ensuring the security of activities undertaken by these personnel, by providing these personnel with immediate and unfettered access and the right to inspect, in discharging  their functions, any and all sites, and by allowing immediate and unfettered access to individuals that the OPCW has grounds to believe to be of importance of the purpose of its mandate, and specifically that this includes the obligations upon the Syrian Arab Republic to provide the JIM and FFM with the following and take the following steps:
(a) flight plans, flight logs, and any other information on air operations, including all flight plans or flight logs filed on April 4 2017;
(b) names of all individuals in command of any helicopter squadrons;
(c) arrange meetings requested including with generals or other officers, within no more than five days of the date on which such meeting is requested;
(d) immediately provide access to relevant air bases from which the JIM or the FFM believe attacks involving chemicals as weapons may have been launched
6. Requests the Secretary-General to report on whether the information and access described in paragraph 5 has been provided in his reports to the Security Council every 30 days pursuant to paragraph 12 of resolution 2118.
7. Recalls its decision in response to violations of resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations charter.
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  1. Hello,

    RT says the veto is justified by the 7th point:
    'Recalls its decision in response to violations of resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations charter.'

    Which indeed include on 42th statement military measures, after 41th and all other measures.

    My questions are:

    1/ Is it a point that appear systematically in every resolution, or is it an exception here?
    2/ If measures under Chap. VII were to be taken, would that require a new resolution by the Security Council?

    Kind regards

    1. Oh sorry I misread. Thank you Nicolas Villard. It says it 'recalls' a decision from resolution 2118 which is already effective... So many lies.

      Still, it would be great to know about my second question please.

  2. I think that the US is assuming it doesn't and is claiming the strike was legal under international law because of that clause in the original resolution. They probably also claim it was legal under US law because it wasn't an "act of war" but a UN authorized use of force to maintain or restore the peace, which was already authorized when congress ratified the UN agreement. If the interpretation is that a Chap. VII action still requires a new resolution, how does that not render point 7 above completely meaningless and banal, since a new Chap VII resolution can be put forward at anytime without this measure?


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