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Security Council Issues

Security Council in 2013 (Continuation)

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Security Council: As part of the United States' ongoing consultations with international partners, allies, and the broader international community, today the U.S. Mission hosted a series of briefings for Member States regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime on August 21st. Today's briefings presented our assessment regarding the events of August 21 in the suburbs of Damascus, which overwhelmingly point to one stark conclusion: the Assad regime perpetrated a large-scale and indiscriminate attack against its own people using chemical weapons.

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The actions of the Assad regime are morally reprehensible and they violate clearly established international norms. The use of chemical weapons is not America's redline. As President Obama said yesterday, “This is the world's red line.” 189 countries, representing 98% of the world's population, and all 15 members of the UN Security Council, agree that the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and we have all collectively approved a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war.

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Let me address now an issue on many on your minds. We in the United States agree with the view that—at times like this—the Security Council should live up to its obligations and should act. That is why for two and a half years we have brought press statements, presidential statements, resolutions, and a whole host of Syria-related concerns to the UN Security Council, each time hoping that our common security and our common humanity might prevail, each time making the case that countries on the Council should be motivated by our shared interest in international peace and security, in protecting civilians, but also in preventing extremism, regional spillover, and chemical weapons use.

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Unfortunately, for the past two and a half years, the system devised in 1945 precisely to deal with threats of this nature did not work as it was supposed to. It has not protected peace and security for the hundreds of Syrian children who were gassed to death on August 21. It is not protecting the stability of the region. It is not standing behind now an internationally accepted ban on the use of chemical weapons. Instead, the system has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world's largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century—while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town. And even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the Council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities, including as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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What we have learned—what the Syrian people have learned—is that the Security Council the world needs to deal with this crisis is not the Security Council we have. Nonetheless, as the Secretary General himself has stressed, chemical weapons must “not become a tool of war or terror in the twenty-first century.” It is in our interest—and the interest of all member states of the UN—to respond decisively to this horrific attack.

Security Council

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International Human Rights

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Children

Under this topic, in the Encyclopedia, find out information on Children and Armed Conflict. Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about Security Council

Security Council

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Sanctions, Export Controls, International Restrictions

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Imposition, Implementation, and Modification of Sanctions and Certain Other Restrictions

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  • Armed Conflict: Restoration of Peace and Security
  • Somalia

. Note: there is detailed information and resources, in relation with these topics during the year 2011, covered by the entry, in this law Encyclopedia, about Security Council

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Notes

  1. Security Council in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

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