Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Economy | By

Secretary-General's statement on Syria

Secretary-General's statement on Syria

On the other hand, the recent threats by US President Donald Trump of an imminent attack on Syria have increased tensions and uncertainty on the worldwide scenario.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday said the Middle East is "in chaos", warning it has become a threat to worldwide peace and security and Syria "represents the most serious threat".

On Tuesday, a U.S drafted resolution on a new mechanism to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria was vetoed by Russian Federation, whose draft resolution on the same issue failed to win majority support. I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility.

Guterres' interview with Al Arabiya came just hours before the United States, Britain and France launched targeted air strikes on Syria after the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma weeks earlier left 40 people killed.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned against any further escalation after the USA, U.K., and France jointly launched airstrikes targeting the Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons capabilities in Syria. The suffering it causes is horrendous.

The Swedish-drafted text calls for the establishment of an investigative panel to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons use in Syria after Russian Federation this week vetoed a USA proposal to set up such a mechanism. I will continue to engage with Member States to help achieve this objective.

Guterres remarks came after the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which was created as a body to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2015, expired in November past year.

He contacted the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the SC to reiterate deep concern about the risks of the impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation from spiraling out of control.

In his briefing to the Council, the United Nations chief warned that "increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation".

I have also closely followed the events in the Council and I regret that they have not been able to reach an agreement so far, he said in a statement.

The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) said it has received reports that an estimated 500 patients at Syrian health facilities have exhibited signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals, after the shelling of a Damascus suburb over the weekend.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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