Statement by the Secretary-General on Syria

I have been following closely the reports of air strikes in Syria conducted by the United States, France and the United Kingdom. There’s an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with international law in general. The UN Charter is very clear on these issues. The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility. I urge all Member States to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people.

Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. The suffering it causes is horrendous. I have repeatedly expressed my deep disappointment that the Security Council failed to agree on a dedicated mechanism for effective accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap. I will continue to engage with Member States to help achieve this objective.

New York, 13 April 2018

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