The victims of chemical-weapon attacks in Syria were barely mentioned during a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss the Assad regime’s failure to comply with a resolution ordering the destruction of all such weapons.
As those victims were relegated to the sidelines, member states engaged in another, all-too familiar round of in-fighting as they traded accusations and vilified each other.
This was the 88th time the Security Council had gathered to discuss the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. Members were briefed by Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN’s under-secretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, on the implementation of Resolution 2118.
It was unanimously adopted in September 2013 following a UN investigation that confirmed the use of chemical weapons against civilians in a Damascus suburb the previous month. Images of people, including children, suffocating after breathing in the nerve agent caused outrage worldwide.
The resolution called on the Syrian regime to destroy its stockpiles of chemical weapons by mid-2014, and set out punitive measures in the event of non-compliance. It banned Syria from using, developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling or retaining chemical weapons, or transferring them to other states or non-state actors.
In October 2013, Syria submi