Speech

"We strongly support the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism into alleged uses of toxic chemicals as weapons in Syria."

Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Peter Wilson of the UK Mission to the United Nations at the Security Council Meeting on Syria Chemical Weapons

Madam President,

The United Kingdom is pleased to have co-sponsored this resolution. We strongly support the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism into alleged uses of toxic chemicals as weapons in Syria. This mechanism is a vital step forwards. Through our actions today we have moved closer to ending impunity and to holding account for those who have used these barbaric weapons.

The mechanism we have established today will be impartial, it will be independent and it will be comprehensive. It builds logically on past investigations. It has a clear mandate to identify individuals, entities, groups or governments who are perpetrators, organisers or sponsors of the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. This includes chlorine or any other toxic chemical.

Launching this impartial mechanism shows our commitment to a rules-based international system, where the hard facts will identify those responsible for these crimes. This is an important step forward, but there is more to do. We look forward to the mechanism starting its work promptly. And we reiterate this Council’s call on all States to cooperate fully with UN investigators, as well as with the fact-finding mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They will play a key facilitating role in the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism.

Madam President,

In establishing this Mechanism today, we have demonstrated that this Council can find common ground; we look forward to building on this to tackle the other challenges we face on Syria, to bring an end after so long to the suffering of the Syrian people.

Thank you.