Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Investigating the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remains seriously concerned about alleged chemical weapons use in Syria and welcomed yesterday the Government’s offer to continue discussions regarding the United Nations team he set up to carry out an on-the-ground investigation into the matter. “The Secretary-General welcomes the offer of the Government of Syria to continue discussions on the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesman. 

According to the statement, the head of the Mission, Åke Sellström, will travel to New York this week to update the Secretary-General on the status of his activities. “Pending its on-site access in Syria, the Mission has continued to monitor developments as well as to collect and analyze information made available by Member States,” said the statement, adding that the Mission has also conducted fact-finding activities in a neighbouring country.

Mr. Ban hopes that Syria will grant access to the Mission to conduct its on-site investigation, added the statement, which noted that cooperation from Damascus “will be essential for the Mission to establish facts in a credible manner regarding any use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

(Adapted from a UN press release)

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