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    UNSC Authorizes Joint Investigation on Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

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    UN Security Council authorized the launch of a joint Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, as President of the UN Security Council for September, has signed a letter containing the UN Security Council's authorization of the launch of a joint UN-OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    "The Secretary-General welcomes the authorisation by the Security Council of the Secretary-General’s recommendations to establish and operate the OPCW – UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). It underlines once again the importance of addressing the use of toxic chemicals as weapons, and the need for the perpetrators to be held accountable," the United Nations said in a Thursday statement.

    Ban Ki-moon called on all relevant parties to fully cooperate with the JIM and assured that all the necessary steps will be taken in order to ensure the full functioning of the investigative mechanism.

    Churkin told journalists on Thursday that he expects at least one Russian expert to be part of the JIM. According to the Russian envoy, experts from permanent members of the UN Security Council (Big Five – Russia, China, France, the United States, the United Kingdom) have not always been included in such missions, although they will most likely take part in the Syria investigation.

    The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in August on the establishment of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to identify and bring to justice individuals and organizations responsible for chemical weapon attacks in Syria.

    The joint venture is located in The Hague, Netherlands. It is being established for a period of one year with a possibility of future extension.

    A mission to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal was announced after a deadly gas attack killed hundreds outside Damascus in August 2013.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011.

    According to the OPCW, 98.8 percent of Syrian chemical weapons were destroyed as of July 27.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    chemical weapons, investigation, UN Security Council, Syria
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