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Security Council – Explanation of Vote on the renewal on the mandate of Joint Investigative Mechanism

Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and President of the Security Council, at the Security Council meeting on the renewal of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) —

In six occasions the JIM has certified the use of chemical weapons in Syria, by the Syrian government and by Daesh. Many other allegations are being investigated by the Fact Finding Mission.

The Security Council has the responsibility to address this very dramatic trend. Upholding the integrity and credibility of these crucial longstanding norms of our collective security, and preserving pathways for accountability also to deter reiteration of violations should be common priorities for all Council members.

The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanisms is a critical tool in this respect and Italy fully supported the renewal of its mandate.

The resolution under consideration today is the result of an open negotiation where collective efforts have been carried out by Council members to strengthen the implementation of JIM mandate. A number of delegations have suggested ways to ensure that the JIM operates in a more effective way and this resolution includes a number of them. At the same time, as requested by many of us, the resolution protects the Mechanism’s independence, preserves the integrity of its mandate and upholds the credibility of its past investigations.

We believe that the draft, and the negotiation that produced it – we thank the US delegation for its continued efforts in this respect – embodied the willingness to find compromise and achieve common ground, meeting concerns and principles expressed by all delegations.

We are deeply disappointed therefore for the result of the vote today, as it deprives the international community of a crucial tool to fight impunity in some of the most heinous and unacceptable crimes committed in Syria. The international community is now weaker, and our collective security architecture is shakier, as a result of today’s vote.

But this outcome is difficult to accept, this is why we will continue working with the other Council Members on this issue, hopefully starting immediately after this meeting, mindful of its crucial importance for the non-proliferation regime and for the principle of accountability. We hope that collectively we shall be able to return to the positive trend of cooperation and consensus developed in this Council since 2013 on this crucial issue.