Deal reached on U.N. resolution to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons

Foreign Ministers representing the five permanent member countries of the United Nations Security Council pose together on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York Sept. 25, 2013. (Reuters)

The five permanent members of the deeply divided U.N. Security Council agreed Thursday on a draft resolution to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile and it will be put to a vote late Friday, officials said.

The agreement represents a major breakthrough in addressing the two-and-a-half-year conflict, which has killed more than 100,000 people, according to the Associated Press.

Divisions among the permanent members have paralyzed U.N. Security Council action on Syria since the conflict began.

U.N. diplomats said this resolution would be the first legally binding one on Syrian conflict  if adopted.

Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, tweeted that Britain, France, the U.S., Russia and China had agreed on a “binding and enforceable draft ... resolution.”

The U.S. and Russia had been at odds on how to enforce the resolution, but Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power confirmed that the last hurdles to the agreement had been overcome.

On Twitter, Power said the draft resolution establishes that Syria’s chemical weapons “is threat to international peace & security & creates a new norm against the use of CW.”

The Security Council will vote on the draft resolution on Friday night if the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, accepts a linked U.S.-Russian plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control, diplomats said, according to AFP.

(With AFP and the Associated Press)

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The following is the full text of the draft resolution obtained by Al Arabiya:

 

Draft UNSCR – 9/26/13 6 pm
The Security Council

 



PP1. Recalling the Statements of its President of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012, and its resolutions 1540 (2004), 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012),

PP2. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,

PP3. Reaffirming that the proliferation of chemical weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

PP4. Recalling that the Syrian Arab Republic on 22 November 1968 acceded to the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925,

PP5. Noting that on 14 September 2013, Syria deposited with the Secretary-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Convention) and declared that it shall comply with its stipulations and observe them faithfully and sincerely, applying the Convention provisionally pending its entry into force for the Syrian Arab Republic,

PP6. Welcoming the establishment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic (“the Mission”) pursuant to General Assembly resolution 42/37 C (1987) of 30 November 1987, and reaffirmed by resolution 620 (1988) of 26 August 1988, and expressing appreciation for the work of the Mission,

PP7. Acknowledging the report of 16 September 2013 (S/2013/553) by the Mission, underscoring the need for the Mission to fulfil its mandate, and emphasizing that future credible allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic should be investigated,

PP8. Deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons on 21 August 2013 in Rif Damascus, as concluded in the Mission’s report, condemning the killing of civilians that resulted from it, affirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, and stressing that those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,

PP9. Recalling the obligation under resolution 1540 (2004) that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, and their means of delivery,

PP10. Welcoming the Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons dated 14 September 2013, in Geneva, between the Russian Federation and the United States of America (S/2013/565), with a view to ensuring the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest manner, and expressing its commitment to the immediate international control over chemical weapons and their components in the Syrian Arab Republic,

PP11. Welcoming the decision of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of [XX September 2013] establishing special procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof, and expressing its determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program according to the timetable contained in the OPCW Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013],

PP12. Stressing that the only solution to the current crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, and emphasising the need to convene the international conference on Syria as soon as possible,

PP13. Determining that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

PP14. Underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Council's decisions,

1. Determines that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to international peace and security;

2. Condemns in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the attack on 21 August 2013, in violation of international law;

3. Endorses the decision of the OPCW Executive Council [XX September 2013], which contains special procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof and calls for its full implementation in the most expedient and safest manner;

4. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors;

5. Underscores that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons;

6. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall comply with all aspects of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of [XX September 2013] (Annex I);

7. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with the OPCW and the United Nations, including by complying with their relevant recommendations, by accepting personnel designated by the OPCW or the United Nations, by providing for and ensuring the security of activities undertaken by these personnel, by providing these personnel with immediate and unfettered access to and the right to inspect, in discharging their functions, any and all sites, and by allowing immediate and unfettered access to individuals that the OPCW has grounds to believe to be of importance for the purpose of its mandate, and decides that all parties in Syria shall cooperate fully in this regard;
8. Decides to authorize an advance team of United Nations personnel to provide early assistance to OPCW activities in Syria, requests the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to closely cooperate in the implementation of the Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013] and this resolution, including through their operational activities on the ground, and further requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Director-General of the OPCW and, where appropriate, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, to submit to the Council within 10 days of the adoption of this resolution recommendations regarding the role of the United Nations in eliminating the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program;

9. Notes that the Syrian Arab Republic is a party to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, decides that OPCW-designated personnel undertaking activities provided for in this resolution or the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of [XX September 2013] shall enjoy the privileges and immunities contained in the Verification Annex, Part II(B) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and calls on the Syrian Arab Republic to conclude modalities agreements with the United Nations and the OPCW;

10. Encourages Member States to provide support, including personnel, technical expertise, information, equipment, and financial and other resources and assistance, in coordination with the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General, to enable the OPCW and the United Nations to implement the elimination of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program, and decides to authorize Member States to acquire, control, transport, transfer and destroy chemical weapons identified by the Director-General of the OPCW, consistent with the objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to ensure the elimination of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest manner;

11. Urges all Syrian parties and interested Member States with relevant capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW and the United Nations to arrange for the security of the monitoring and destruction mission, recognizing the primary responsibility of the Syrian government in this regard;

12. Decides to review on a regular basis the implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council [XX September 2013] and this resolution, and requests the Director-General of the OPCW to report to the Security Council, through the Secretary-General, who shall include relevant information on United Nations activities related to the implementation of this resolution, within 30 days and every month thereafter, and requests further the Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to report in a coordinated manner, as needed, to the Security Council, non-compliance with this resolution or the OPCW Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013];

13. Reaffirms its readiness to consider promptly any reports of the OPCW under Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the referral of cases of non-compliance to the United Nations Security Council;

14. Decides that Member States shall inform immediately the Security Council of any violation of resolution 1540 (2004), including acquisition by non-State actors of chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials in order to take necessary measures therefore;

Accountability


15. Expresses its strong conviction that those individuals responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic should be held accountable;

Political transition


16. Endorses fully the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 (Annex II), which sets out a number of key steps beginning with the establishment of a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers, which could include members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent;

17. Calls for the convening, as soon as possible, of an international conference on Syria to implement the Geneva Communiqué, and calls upon all Syrian parties to engage seriously and constructively at the Geneva Conference on Syria, and underscores that they should be fully representative of the Syrian people and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and to the achievement of stability and reconciliation;


Non-Proliferation


18. Reaffirms that all Member States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any violations of this paragraph to the Security Council immediately;

19. Demands that non-State actors not develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer, or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any actions inconsistent with this paragraph to the Security Council immediately;

20. Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of chemical weapons, related equipment, goods and technology or assistance from the Syrian Arab Republic by their nationals, or using their flagged vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic;

Compliance

21. Decides, in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

22. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


ANNEX 1
OPCW Executive Council Decision


ANNEX II

Action Group for Syria Final Communiqué
30 June 2012

1. On 30 June 2012, the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey, Iraq (Chair of the Summit of the League of Arab States), Kuwait (Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the League of Arab States) and Qatar (Chair of the Arab Follow-up Committee on Syria of the League of Arab States), and the European Union High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy met at the United Nations Office at Geneva as the Action Group for Syria, chaired by the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria.

2. Action Group members came together out of grave alarm at the situation in Syria. They strongly condemn the continued and escalating killing, destruction and human rights abuses. They are deeply concerned at the failure to protect civilians, the intensification of the violence, the potential for even deeper conflict in the country, and the regional dimensions of the problem. The unacceptable nature and magnitude of the crisis demands a common position and joint international action.

3. Action Group members are committed to the sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity of Syria. They are determined to work urgently and intensively to bring about an end to the violence and human rights abuses and the launch of a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future.

4. To secure these common objectives, the Action Group members (i) identified steps and measures by the parties to secure full implementation of the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, including an immediate cessation of violence in all its forms; (ii) agreed on guidelines and principles for a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people; and (iii) agreed on actions they would take to implement the above in support of the Joint Special Envoy’s efforts to facilitate a Syrian-led political process. They are convinced that this can encourage and support progress on the ground and will help to facilitate and support a Syrian-led transition.

Identified steps and measures by the parties to secure full implementation of the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, including an immediate cessation of violence in all its forms

5. The parties must fully implement the six-point plan and Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043. To this end:

• All parties must re-commit to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms and implementation of the six-point plan immediately and without waiting for the actions of others. The government and armed opposition groups must cooperate with UNSMIS with a view to furthering the implementation of the above in accordance with its mandate.
• A cessation of armed violence must be sustained with immediate, credible and visible actions by the Government of Syria to implement the other items of the six-point plan including:

o Intensification of the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities; provision without delay through appropriate channels of a list of all places in which such persons are being detained; the immediate organization of access to such locations; and the provision through appropriate channels of prompt responses to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;

o Ensuring freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

o Respecting freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

• In all circumstances, all parties must show full respect for UNSMIS’ safety and security and fully cooperate with and facilitate the Mission in all respects.

• In all circumstances, the Government must allow immediate and full humanitarian access to humanitarian organizations to all areas affected by the fighting. The Government and all parties must enable the evacuation of the wounded, and all civilians who wish to leave to do so. All parties must fully adhere to their obligations under international law, including in relation to the protection of civilians.

Agreed Principles and Guide-lines for a Syrian-led transition

6. Action Group members agreed on the following ‘Principles and Guide-lines on a
Syrian-led transition’:

Any political settlement must deliver to the people of Syria a transition
that:

• Offers a perspective for the future that can be shared by all in Syria;

• Establishes clear steps according to a firm time-table towards the
realization of that perspective;

• Can be implemented in a climate of safety for all, stability and calm;

• Is reached rapidly without further bloodshed and violence and is credible.



I. Perspective for the Future



The aspirations of the people of Syria have been clearly expressed by the wide range of Syrians consulted. There is an overwhelming wish for a state that:

• Is genuinely democratic and pluralistic, giving space to established and newly emerging political actors to compete fairly and equally in elections. This also means that the commitment to multi-party democracy must be a lasting one, going beyond an initial round of elections.

• Complies with international standards on human rights, the independence of the judiciary, accountability of those in government and the rule of law. It is not enough just to enunciate such a commitment. There must be mechanisms available to the people to ensure that these commitments are kept by those in authority.

• Offers equal opportunities and chances for all. There is no room for sectarianism or discrimination on ethnic, religious, linguistic or any other grounds. Numerically smaller communities must be assured that their rights will be respected.

II. Clear Steps in the Transition


The conflict in Syria will only end when all sides are assured that there is a peaceful way towards a common future for all in Syria. It is therefore essential that any settlement provides for clear and irreversible steps in the transition according to a fixed time frame. The key steps in any transition include:

• The establishment of a transitional governing body which can establish a neutral environment in which the transition can take place. That means that the transitional governing body would exercise full executive powers. It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.

• It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country. All groups and segments of society in Syria must be enabled to participate in a National Dialogue process. That process must not only be inclusive, it must also be meaningful—that is to say, its key outcomes must be implemented.

• On this basis, there can be a review of the constitutional order and the legal system. The result of constitutional drafting would be subject to popular approval.

• Once the new constitutional order is established, it is necessary to prepare for and conduct free and fair multi-party elections for the new institutions and offices that have been established.

• Women must be fully represented in all aspects of the transition.



III. Safety, stability and calm



Any transition involves change. However, it is essential to ensure that the transition can be implemented in a way that assures the safety of all in an atmosphere of stability and calm. This requires:

• Consolidation of full calm and stability. All parties must cooperate with the transitional governing body in ensuring the permanent cessation of violence. This includes completion of withdrawals and addressing the issue of the disarming, demobilization and reintegration of armed groups.

• Effective steps to ensure that vulnerable groups are protected and immediate action is taken to address humanitarian issues in areas of need. It is also necessary to ensure that the release of the detained is completed rapidly.

• Continuity of governmental institutions and qualified staff. The public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security services. However, all governmental institutions, including the intelligence services, have to perform according to human rights and professional standards and operate under a top leadership that inspires public confidence, under the control of the transitional governing body.

• Commitment to Accountability and National Reconciliation. Accountability for acts committed during the present conflict must be addressed. There also needs to be a comprehensive package for transitional justice, including compensation or rehabilitation for victims of the present conflict, steps towards national reconciliation and forgiveness.


IV. Rapid steps to come to a Credible Political Agreement



It is for the people of Syria to come to a political agreement, but time is running out. It is clear that:

• The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected.

• The conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiation alone. Conditions conducive to a political settlement must now be put in place.

• There must be an end to bloodshed. All parties must re-commit themselves credibly to the six-point plan. This must include a cessation of armed violence in all its forms and immediate, credible and visible actions to implement items 2-6 of the six-point plan.

• All parties must now engage genuinely with the Joint Special Envoy. The parties must be prepared to put forward effective interlocutors to work expeditiously towards a Syrian-led settlement that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The process must be fully inclusive to ensure that the views of all segments of Syrian society are heard in shaping the political settlement for the transition.

The organized international community, including the members of the Action Group stands ready to offer significant support for the implementation of an agreement reached by the parties. This may include an international assistance presence under a United Nations Mandate if requested. Significant funds will be available to support reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Agreed actions Group members will take to implement the above in support of the Joint Special Envoy’s efforts to facilitate a Syrian-led political process

7. Action Group members will engage as appropriate, and apply joint and sustained pressure on, the parties in Syria to take the steps and measures outlined in paragraph 5.

8. Action Group members are opposed to any further militarization of the conflict.

9. Action Group members underscore to the Government of Syria the importance of the appointment of an effective empowered interlocutor, when requested by the Joint Special Envoy to do so, to work on the basis of the six-point plan and this communiqué.

10. Action Group members urge the opposition to increase cohesion and be in a position to ensure effective representative interlocutors to work on the basis of the six-point plan and this communiqué.

11. Action Group members will give full support to the Joint Special Envoy and his team as they immediately engage the Government and opposition, and consult widely with Syrian society, as well as other international actors, to further develop the way forward.

12. Action Group members would welcome the Joint Special Envoy’s further convening of a meeting of the Action Group should he deem it necessary to review the concrete progress taken on all points agreed in this communiqué, and to determine what further and additional steps and actions are needed from the Action Group to address the crisis. The Joint Special Envoy will also keep the United Nations and the League of Arab States informed.

 

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