Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC session on chemical attacks in Syria

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC session on chemical attacks in Syria

Mr. President,

I can hardly find words to express my frustration over the result of the vote. We didn’t have any illusions about it, but a little bit of hope remained. It vanished very quickly.

Ukraine voted in favor of this draft, fully realizing its crucial importance not only for the JIM’s existence but, eventually, to the whole non-proliferation regime.

I wish to recall that Ukraine was among those states who supported a technical roll-over of the JIM’s mandate for one year as a best option. We were trying hard to avoid a repetition of the previous year (experience) when the mandate negotiations in 2016 strained the Mechanism’s activity.

This year, the world is witnessing even more dramatic situation. Obstruction by one Council’s member left JIM no chance to continue its important work.

Yesterday’s and today’s meetings have clearly proved that the Russian Federation will never allow the independent investigation of the horrible crimes in Syria to take place, whatever document is put on the table. Despite numerous attempts and faithful efforts of the Council’s majority to secure JIM, Russia is the only country which preferred to do its utmost to protect both, Assad regime and ISIL, from the accountability. It has been done intentionally and in an extremely cynical way.

Given the fact that a vast majority of the incidents, when chemical weapons were probably used, are still to be investigated, we do not exclude the possibility that the Russian side may also be interested in preventing JIM from uncovering the truth about those cases. Such desperate efforts to shut down the JIM at all cost actually raise a serious question regarding the identity of possible direct sponsors of such crimes.

The Russian delegation keeps recalling that it, together with the US, initiated the creation of JIM. Now they should take full responsibility for unilaterally killing it.

It is our strong belief that, notwithstanding the current situation we have to continue to spare no effort in averting growing risk of further use of chemical weapons, bearing in mind those innocent who have already paid ultimate price. Preventing such crimes in the future is vital and necessary.

In conclusion, Mr. President, the Russian delegation sees no problem in interruption the JIM’s mandate. Let’s not full ourselves. Once the Mechanism’s mandate ends tonight, there will be nothing to roll over. Many delegations committed in their statements to continue working on JIM. We should realize that starting tomorrow these efforts will have to start from the scratch.

Thank you.