UN political chief speaks strongly against chemical weapons

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
April 7, 2017World News
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U.N. Political Affairs Chief Jeffrey Feltman spoke strongly against the use of chemical weapons at a Security Council meeting April 7.

“It’s important that this council sends a strong collective message that any use of chemical weapons shall not be tolerated and will have consequences,” he said to open the meeting.

“The Secretary-General stresses that the international community has a responsibility to hold any perpetrator of chemical weapons attacks accountable and to insure that chemical weapons are never again used as an instrument of warfare.

“The protection of civilians and accountability should be at the top of our peace and security agenda.”

Feltman went on to make clear that “the parties to the conflict, government and opposition alike” had to follow U.N. guidelines—possibly hinting that President Trump’s missile strike was a bit over the top, but not something the Secretary General would publicly criticize.

he concluded his remarks by telling Acting Council President Nikki Haley of the U.S., “Madame President, as the Secretary-General has said, these events underscore our belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict that through a political solution. We call on the parties to renew urgently their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks.”

Bolivia’s U.N. Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz  was not at all shy about criticizing President Trump’s missile strike on al-Shayrat airfield.

“The United States has not only unilaterally attacked … the United States has become that investigator, has become the prosecutor, has become the judge, has become the jury. So where is the investigation that would allow us to establish in an objective manner, who is responsible for the attacks. This is an extremely, extremely serious violation of international law.”

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft responded by saying the UK completely supported Trump’s actions.

“War crimes have consequences and the greatest war criminal of all, Bashar al-Assad, has now been put on notice. The U.S. strike was a proportionate response to unspeakable acts that gave rise to overwhelming humanitarian distress. It was also a strong effort to save lives, ensuring that such acts never happen again.”

Rycroft went on to note that Russia had defied the will of the security council by vetoing every proposed resolution.

“And what did Russia get for its unconditional support?” Rycroft asked. “Assad ignores Russia’s request for him to obey a ceasefire. Assad defies Russia’s request for him not to gas his own people. Assad thumbs his nose at Russia’s calls for Assad to join a peace process.”

Rycroft pointed out that in 2013 Assad gassed a large number of civilians, a “heinous war crime.” Huge efforts were made and huge sums were spent to supposedly destroy all of Assad’s chemical weapons. Yet here again, Assad attacked civilians with banned chemical weapons—another war crime committed.

“Impunity cannot be the norm,” Rycroft stated.

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