On Norway’s initiative, the eight foreign ministers of the Nordic and Baltic states agreed at a meeting in Gotland today on a joint statement calling on the UN Security Council to respond to reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria by assessing all the available facts and considering what action is appropriate. The foreign ministers’ statement is a response to growing evidence of the use of chemical weapons and the work of the UN chemical weapons inspection team that recently visited Syria.
“The use of chemical weapons is a very serious violation of international law, and requires a sharp international response. The Security Council should condemn such use unequivocally and ensure that those behind it are held accountable. If the Security Council fails to respond, this will undermine respect both for the global ban on chemical weapons and for the authority of the Council itself,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
“I am therefore glad that the eight Nordic and Baltic countries have now joined forces in appealing to the members of the Security Council. We all support a United Nations that is both legitimate and effective,” continued Mr Eide.
“The Security Council plays a vital role in maintaining international peace and security on behalf of the world community and the 193 member states of the UN. The five permanent members of the Security Council are all parties to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, and have undertaken to ensure that chemical weapons are never used. Their combined role as parties to the convention and permanent members of the Security Council gives them a special responsibility in the current situation,” Mr Eide concluded.
Read the statment here.