UN chief ‘shocked’ by new allegations of chemical weapons use

400px-Ban_Ki_Moon_RingTheBell_BreakthroughSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his shock at reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Damascus suburbs today, as a United Nations team continues to investigate the matter in other parts of the war-torn country.

Following a late-day closed-door briefing to the Security Council on the latest developments, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson reiterated Mr. Ban’s deep shock at reports of chemical weapons use in Syria.

“We see the need to investigate this as soon as possible; no matter what the conclusions, this represents a serious escalation with grave humanitarian and human consequences,” Mr. Eliasson told reporters outside the Council chamber.

He added that the UN investigation team is “in place” and that he and Mr. Ban hope The Syrian Government will give its consent so that the probe can be carried out. “This should also be seen in the larger and broader perspective, namely the great need for cessation of hostilities,” he said of
the dramatic situation, underscoring that: “What this incident has shown is that we must contain this conflict,” especially given its regional implications, and now, the possibility of the use of chemical weapons, which is to be investigated.

Stressing that there has been no confirmation of chemical weapons use, the Deputy-Secretary-General said senor UN officials are in contact with the Syrian Government. Also at the microphone, Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval of Argentina, President of the Security Council during the
month of August, said there is “strong concern among the Council members” about the allegations, and a general sense that there must be clarity on what happened and that the situation has to be followed carefully.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN
Photo/Rick Bajornas (file photo)
UN Daily News

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