lunes, 16 de abril de 2018

SYRIA AND ALLEGED USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS: THREE DRAFTS RESOLUTION VOTED AT UNSC LAST APRIL 10TH

Last April 10th, 3 different drafts resolution have been tabled and voted. Despite different press releases referring to the veto of Russia to one of them, we consider extremely useful to edit the complete version of three drafts discussed during the session of April 10 on Douma alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.



Document 1: Draft Resolution (S/2018/175) presented by Russia:

Russian Federation: draft resolution

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 2319 (2016), 2314 (2016), 2253 (2015), 2235 (2015), 2209 (2015), 2178 (2014), 2118 (2013), 1989 (2011), 1540 (2004) and 1267 (1999),

Reaffirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, and reiterating that those individuals, entities, groups or governments responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,

Condemning in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and elsewhere, and expressing grave concern that civilians continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and beyond,

Expressing further alarm that chemical weapons have been used in Syria and beyond by non-State actors and that the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIL or Da’esh), the Al Nusrah Front and other non-State actors used or have shown obvious intent to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer, or use chemical weapons,

Reaffirming that no party should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons,

Noting that additional allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria are being investigated by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and stressing the imperative for the FFM not to do so in a remote mode,

which does not allow to ensure the necessary quality of the investigation,

Stressing the importance, as part of any investigation, of considering all possible leads and scenarios without exception, respecting the chains of custody to preserve the integrity of material evidence as well as conducting timely on-site visits, including collecting and analysing samples, as appropriate, whenever security conditions allow,

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

Recalling further the Decision of the OPCW Executive Council EC-86/Dec.9 dated 13 October 2017, which encouraged States Parties to share, according to their national laws and as appropriate, information related to cases of developing, producing, acquiring,

stockpiling, retaining, transferring, or using chemical weapons by non-State actors, as well as domestic investigations conducted with regard to chemical weapons, including information on any subsequent criminal or other legal proceedings undertaken,

Welcoming cooperation between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the OPCW,

Recognizing the need to have a truly impartial, independent, professional and credible investigative mechanism able to identify beyond reasonable doubt facts which may lead to the attribution by the Security Council of the involvement in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic or elsewhere on the basis of credible, verified and corroborated evidence,

Expressing concern that informal partnerships established to fight impunity for the use of chemical weapons may duplicate or undermine relevant international inquiry and investigation mechanisms,

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

2. Recalls its decision 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;

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

4. Expresses its determination to identify those responsible for these acts and reiterates that those individuals, entities, groups, or 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 or elsewhere to extend their full cooperation in this regard;

5. Decides to establish the United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation (UNIMI) for a period of one year of the date the Security Council approves its Terms of Reference with a possibility of further extension and update by the Security Council if it deems necessary, urges the UNIMI to fully ensure a truly impartial, independent, professional and credible way to conduct its investigations on the basis of credible, verified and corroborated evidence, collected in the course of on-site visits, and underlines that the Security Council will thoroughly assess the UNIMI’s conclusions;

6. Requests the United Nations Secretary-General, in coordination with the OPCW Director-General, to submit to the Security Council, for its authorization, within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, recommendations, including elements of Terms of Reference, regarding the establishment and operation of the UNIMI to identify beyond reasonable doubt facts which may lead to the attribution by the Security Council of the involvement in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in the Syrian Arab Republic, and expresses its intent to respond to the recommendations, including elements of Terms of Reference, within fifteen days of receipt;

7. Requests further that after the Security Council has authorized the UNIMI that the United Nations Secretary-General, in coordination with the OPCW Director-General, undertake without delay steps, measures, and arrangements necessary for the speedy establishment and full functioning of the UNIMI, including recruiting impartial and experienced staff with relevant skills and expertise in accordance with Terms of Reference in coordination with relevant States, to be endorsed by the Security Council, and notes due regard should be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide of a geographical basis as is practicable;

8. Decides that the UNIMI in conducting its investigations must be guided by high standards established by the CWC and, accordingly, use the whole spectrum of relevant methods envisaged in the above-mentioned Convention and in particular Part XI of its Annex on Implementation and Verification, which includes investigation, sampling, interviewing witnesses and collection of evidence and information on the site of an incident;

9. Recalls its decision that the Syrian Arab Republic and all parties in Syria shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations, and stresses that this includes an obligation to cooperate with the OPCW Director-General and its FFM and the United Nations Secretary-General and the UNIMI, that such cooperation includes full access, in accordance with norms of international law, to all locations, individuals, and materials in the Syrian Arab Republic relevant to UNIMI’s investigation and where access is justified based on the assessment of the facts and circumstances known at the time, including in areas within the Syrian territory but temporarily outside of the control of the Syrian government;

10. Calls on the UNIMI and the FFM to engage into the closest cooperation on all the identified cases of the chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic in order for the investigation to be as full and comprehensive as possible, with due regard to all relevant procedures and methods, and requests the FFM to provide UNIMI with full access to all of the credible, verified and corroborated information and evidence obtained or prepared by the FFM;

11. Directs the UNIMI in the course of its investigations to make full use of the credible, verified and corroborated evidence collected by the FFM in accordance with the CWC high standards;

12. Directs also the UNIMI to collect and examine additional credible, verified and corroborated information and evidence that was not obtained or prepared by the FFM but that is related to the mandate of the UNIMI as set forth in paragraph 6, including all information provided by the Syrian Arab Republic as well as others pertaining to activities of non-State actors with regard to using, developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, retaining or transferring chemical weapons;

13. Notes that alternative information collection efforts and investigative skills, including in the areas of forensics, counter-terrorism and military analysis, are required to ensure full-scale, professional and high quality investigations; 14. Calls on all States to cooperate fully with the UNIMI and in particular to provide it and the OPCW FFM with any relevant information they may possess pertaining to individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic or elsewhere;

15. Requests the UNIMI to retain any evidence related to possible use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic other than those cases in which the FFM determines or has determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, and to transmit that evidence to the FFM through the Director-General of the OPCW and to the Secretary-General as soon as practicable;

16. Affirms that the UNIMI, when deemed appropriate, may request that the OPCW provide technical support to the UNIMI to conduct timely on-site visits to locations allegedly being exposed to the use of chemical weapons, and invites the OPCW Director-General to make resources available to the UNIMI as appropriate, to enable such a visit;

17. Urges all parties in Syria and Member States with relevant capabilities to facilitate without any further delay free and safe access for the UNIMI to the sites relevant to the mandates of the FFM and the UNIMI;

18. Calls upon the OPCW Director-General to timely inform the United Nations Security Council through the United Nations Secretary-General of any difficulties in organizing an on-site visit within the process of investigating a chemical incident, in order to make the United Nations Security Council aware of the problem;

19. Requests the UNIMI to retain its findings and the findings of the FFM, not based on the results of on-site investigation, as well as remotely collected evidence and information until such time, when full-scale and high quality investigation on the site of an incident becomes possible;

20. Reiterates its support expressed in paragraph 5 of resolution 2209 for the OPCW Executive Council decision of 4 February 2015 to entrust the OPCW FFM with the task “to study all available information relating to allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria”, and encourages the OPCW Director-General to take fully into account paragraph 8 of the Terms of Reference of the OPCW FFM in Syria in what regards its composition;

21. Encourages the UNIMI to consult and cooperate with appropriate United Nations counter-terrorism and non-proliferation bodies, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 and 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee, in order to exchange information on non-State actors’ perpetration, organization, sponsorship, or other involvement in use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic or elsewhere;

22. Invites the UNIMI to engage relevant regional States in pursuit of its mandate, including in order to identify beyond reasonable doubt facts which may lead to the attribution by the Security Council of the involvement of any individuals, entities or groups associated with ISIL (Da’esh) or ANF in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, encourages relevant regional states to provide, as appropriate, to the UNIMI and the OPCW FFM information on non-State actors’ access to chemical weapons and their components or efforts by non-State actors to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use chemical weapons and their means of delivery that occur under their jurisdiction, including relevant information from national investigations, and underscores the importance of States Parties’ obligations under Article VII of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC);

23. Recalls Article X.8 and X.9 of the CWC allowing any State Party to request and receive assistance and protection against the use or threat of use of chemical weapons if it considers that chemical weapons have been used against it, recalls further that such requests, substantiated by relevant information, are transmitted by the Director-General of the OPCW to the Executive Council and all States Parties to the CWC, and invites the UNIMI to offer its services to the OPCW in such circumstances if relevant to effectively fulfilling the UNIMI’s mandate;

24. Requests the UNIMI to submit to the Security Council and the OPCW Executive Council its first report within 90 days of the date it commences its full operations, as notified by the United Nations Secretary-General, as well as subsequent reports on its investigations as appropriate thereafter;

25. Requests the UNIMI to collect and analyse information on trends in the activities of non-State actors involving preparations for use and actual use of chemical weapons and include this information in its reports;

26. Decides to remain seized of the matter.




Document 2: Draft Resolution (S/2018/321) presented by France, United Kingdom and United States:

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 its resolutions 2401 (2018), 2319 (2016), 2314 (2016), 2253 (2015), 2235 (2015), 2209 (2015), 2178 (2014), 2118 (2013), 1989 (2011), 1540 (2004) and 1267 (1999),

Noting that additional allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria continue to be investigated by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),

Expressing deep concern at the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Douma area outside Damascus in the Syrian Arab Republic on 7 April 2018 reportedly 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 that the Director-General of 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 its findings to States Parties to the CWC,

Condemning in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and expressing grave concern that civilians continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic,

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,

Reaffirming their grave concern that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with ISIL (Da’esh) or Al-Qaida, including but not limited to foreign terrorist fighters who have joined ISIL (Da’esh in Syria, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL (Da’esh), and Al-Nusra Front (ANF), continue operating in the Syrian Arab Republic,

Emphasizing the importance of conducting an independent, impartial and transparent investigation that examines relevant evidence with professionalism, and including, where safety and security permits, in coordination with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and the OPCW, safe travel to sites the investigators deem relevant to the investigation, which could include but is not limited to the site of the alleged attack, and where the investigators determine there are reasonable grounds to believe access is justified based on their assessment of the facts and circumstances known to them at the time, when security conditions allow for safe access,

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

1. Reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms of any use of any toxic chemical, including chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic and expresses its outrage that civilians continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic;

2. Reiterates that no party in the Syrian Arab Republic should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons;

3. Recalls its decision in resolution 2118 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;

4. Condemns in the strongest terms the continued reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma on 7 April 2018;

5. Expresses its full support to the OPCW FFM, demands that all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic provide unhindered and safe access without delay to any sites deemed relevant by the OPCW FFM, and requests that the FFM report the results of its investigation of the alleged attack in Douma to the Director-General of the OPCW as soon as practicable;

6. Reiterates its demand, reminding in particular the Syrian authorities, that all parties facilitate safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items, to all people in need, particularly in Douma, consistent with international humanitarian law;

7. Decides to establish the United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation (UNIM) for a period of one year with a possibility of further extension and update by the Security Council if it deems necessary;

8. Requests the United Nations Secretary-General, in coordination with the OPCW Director-General, to submit to the Security Council, for its authorization, within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, recommendations, including elements of Terms of Reference, regarding the establishment and operation of the UNIMI, based on the principles of impartiality, independence and professionalism, to identify to the greatest extent feasible, individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemical weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in the Syrian Arab Republic, and expresses its intent to respond to the recommendations, including Terms of Reference, within fifteen days of receipt;

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

10. Reaffirms support to the OPCW and UNIMI as they undertake their respective investigations in a manner they deem appropriate to fulfil their mandate, acknowledges the dangers associated with investigating chemical weapon use in Syria, and highlights the importance of full coordination with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and the OPCW, to ensure the FFM and UNIMI can safely travel to sites they deem relevant to their investigation, which could include but is not limited to the site of the alleged attack, where they determine there are reasonable grounds to believe access is justified based on their assessment of the facts and circumstances known to them at the time, when security conditions allow for safe access, and urges all Member States to facilitate such access where possible;

11. Requests the OPCW to provide UNIMI full access to all of the information and evidence obtained or prepared by the OPCW, including, but not limited to, medical records, interview tapes and transcripts, and documentary material, further reaffirms that the UNIMI should work in coordination with the OPCW to fulfil its mandate, and requests that the Secretary-General make the necessary arrangements for UNIMI to liaise closely with the OPCW to expeditiously investigate any incident the OPCW determines involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons in order to identify those involved in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 8 of this resolution;

12. Calls upon all parties within the Syrian Arab Republic, to provide full cooperation with the FFM and UNIMI, and to facilitate immediate and unfettered, safe and secure access to witnesses, evidence, reporting, material and sites relevant to the investigation, in order for the FFM and the UNIMI to accomplish their mandates, further calls upon all parties to pause hostilities in the areas in which the FFM and the UNIMI require access in fulfilment of OP10, to enable where possible safe access for the FFM and the UNIMI to such sites, and encourages UNIMI to inform the Security Council in case they are unable to safely access sites that they deem necessary for their investigation;

13. Recalls its decision in paragraph 7 of resolution 2118 that the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and United Nations, including by complying with their relevant recommendations, 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 to 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 for the purpose of its mandate, and specifically recalls that all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully in that regard;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to report whether the information and access described in paragraph 13 of this resolution has been provided in his reports to the Security Council every 30 days pursuant to paragraph 12 of resolution 2118;

15. Encourages the UNIMI where relevant, to consult and cooperate with appropriate United Nations counter-terrorism and non-proliferation bodies, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 and 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, in order to exchange information on non-State actors’ perpetration, organization, sponsorship or other involvement in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic;

16. Requests the UNIMI to retain any evidence related to possible use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic other than those cases in which the FFM determines or has determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, and to transmit that evidence to the FFM through Director-General of the OPCW and to the Secretary-General as soon as practicable;

17. Requests the UNIMI to submit to the Security Council and the OPCW Executive Council its first report within 90 days of the date it commences its full operations, as notified by the United Nations Secretary-General, as well as subsequent reports on its investigations as appropriate thereafter;

18. Requests the Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1540 (2004) to analyse information on trends in the activities of non-State actors involving preparations for use and actual use of chemical weapons in Syria and transmit a report to the Security Council as appropriate;

19. Underlines that the Security Council will thoroughly assess how to take action following the UNIMI’s conclusions, and reaffirms in this regard its decision in response to violations of resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

20. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.




Document 3: Draft Resolution (S/2018/323) presented by Russia:

Russian Federation: draft resolution

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) 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 deep concern with regard to the alleged incident with use of toxic chemicals as weapon in Douma in the Syrian Arab Republic on 7 April 2018 reportedly 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.

Condemning in the strongest terms any use of any toxic chemical as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic, and elsewhere.

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.

Welcoming the readiness of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to immediately send its Fact Finding Mission (FFM) to the site of the alleged incident in Douma to gather and analyse information on this incident and report its findings to the OPCW Executive Council.

Taking note of the invitation of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic to the FFM experts to visit the site of the alleged incident in Douma without any delay.

Reaffirming its determination to identify and hold accountable all those responsible for the use of chemicals as weapons on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Noting with due consideration the assurances of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the military authorities of the Russian Federation in Syria to provide the FFM experts with full security arrangements for a safe access to the site of alleged incident in Douma.

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

2. Expresses its alarm at the allegations of use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the alleged incident in Douma on 7 April 2018, notes its outrage that individuals reportedly continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and reiterates its determination that those responsible must be held accountable;

3. Welcomes the decision of the OPCW Director-General to send the FFM experts for investigation in accordance with the CWC to the site of the alleged incident in Douma and adjacent areas and requests the FFM to report the results of this investigation to the OPCW Executive Council as soon as possible and further requests the Director-General to keep the Security Council informed of the progress;

4. Expresses its full support to the OPCW FFM, demands that all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic shall without any delay facilitate free and safe access for the FFM to relevant sites as well as provide any information and evidence, including, but not limited to, medical records, interview tapes and transcripts, and documentary material, in accordance with resolution 2118, in relation to the alleged incident in Douma and adjacent areas;

5. Recalls that in its resolutions 2118 and 2235 it decided that all parties in the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations;

6. Emphasises that this includes the obligation of all the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic of complying with their relevant provisions, by accepting personnel designated by the OPCW or the United Nations, by ensuring the security of activities undertaken by these personnel and providing these personnel with immediate and unfettered access to the site of the alleged incident in Douma and adjacent areas;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, and on compliance by all relevant parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, within 15 days of adoption of this resolution and thereafter within the framework of its reporting on resolution 2118 (2013).



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