19:40 GMT +317 October 2019
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    A Syrian man collects samples from the site of a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 5, 2017

    Russian Draft on JIM Mandate Renewal Fails to Be Adopted By UN Security Council

    © AFP 2019 / Omar haj kadour
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    The Russian draft resolution to renew the mandate of UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) put to vote by Bolivia at the UN Security Council on Thursday evening did not obtain the required number of votes, Italian Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi said.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Russia put its draft resolution on the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) back to vote upon Bolivia’s suggestion.

    "The result of the voting is as follows: 4 votes in favor, 7 votes against, 4 abstentions, the draft resolution has not been adopted having failed to obtain the required number of votes," Sebastiano Cardi, who currently presides with the UN Security Council, said on Thursday.

    Russia, China, Bolivia and Kazakhstan voted in favor of the draft resolution, while Japan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Senegal abstained from vote. The United Kingdom, United States, France and the rest of the UN Security Council members voted against the draft resolution.

    Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday that the real goal of the US draft resolution to extend JIM was to undermine Russia’s credibility as a mediator in Syria’s political settlement.

    "The UK Ambassador said Russia has no place in the political process in Syria. Here it is. That is the real aim of the this dirty plot — to cast doubt on Russia’s role in the Syrian political settlement," he told the UN Security Council.

    Earlier in the day, Russia vetoed the US draft on JIM's mandate extension, current Council president and Italian Ambassador to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi told the Council. Prior to the vote on the US draft resolution, Russia withdrew its own draft on JIM's mandate extension.

    The JIM's mandate expires on November 17. The United States and Russia had earlier presented two different versions of the renewal, both proposals suggesting extending the mission, but on different terms.

    On October 26, JIM presented to the UN Security Council a confidential report on the April sarin attack in the Syrian province of Idlib in which more than 80 people were killed. The report put the blame for the attack on the Syrian government. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the opinions of Russian experts were not taken into consideration during the investigation, though "they are indeed objective, because, unlike the JIM report, they are based on laws of physics, ballistics and technical analysis."    

    "The selective approach and disdain for the OPCW standards played a dirty trick on [JIM head Edmond] Mulet" as the OPCW-UN report is marked by "a low level of professionalism, on the verge of dilettantism" and its conclusions about Damascus' alleged use of sarin nerve agent are "fully untenable," the ministry statement read.


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