Explanation of vote (1) by Sweden at the UNSC Adoption on Middle East (Syria)

Explanation of vote (1) delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Adoption on Middle East (Syria), 10 April 2018, New York.

Thank you very much Mr President.

As everyone else, we deeply regret that today this Council once again was prevented from establishing a mechanism for attribution for the purpose of impartially identifying perpetrators and organisers of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

I am sure we all share a very tragic sense of déjà vu as we repeat the scenario this Council faced in November, when the renewal of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism was blocked.

However, and I am sorry to repeat this, and I'm sorry, I apologise to all of those who are tired of hearing me say this but we will not give up. Efforts to reach agreement on an attributive mechanism must continue. And, we support all serious and genuine initiatives that aim to achieve this objective and we stand ready to help facilitating efforts to find a way forward. Accountability for the use of chemical weapons is crucial. As we have stated before, the Syrian people – suffering from more than seven years of conflict – deserve no less from us. They want peace and justice not further military escalation or impunity.

So, a collective response to the most recent alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma remains urgent and critical. The credibility of this Council is at stake.

We must now come together to swiftly condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria and express alarm at the alleged attack in Douma. We must support an immediate and thorough investigation through the OPCW. And we must demand full, free and safe access, without any restrictions or impediments, to the Fact Finding Mission in its immediate deployment to Syria.

Establishing the facts of what has taken place in Douma remains an essential first step towards confirming the alleged use of chemical weapons and finding the truth. And we need independent, impartial attribution of guilt followed by full accountability.

This Council must remain seized and live up to its responsibility. That is why we circulated yesterday a draft text aimed at finding common ground. We stand ready to work tirelessly to find agreement on a robust, swift and immediate response. We need to come back together again after the failure that we have just witnessed.

Thank you very much Mr President.

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
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