Explanation of Vote delivered by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, at the Security Council Meeting on the Draft Resolution on the use of chemical weapons in Syria —
Italy had hoped that the unity of the Council would be preserved in ensuring swift action following the latest horrors in the Syrian conflict.
As an elected Member of the Security Council, we feel a special responsibility to live up to the expectations that the UN membership has entrusted us to help maintain international peace and security; responsibility that today we were not able to uphold.
We voted in favor of this resolution to reiterate:
– First, our condemnation in the strongest terms of any use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances
– Second, our support to a full-fledged investigation on the facts in Khan Shaykhun by the OPCW and the Joint Investigative Mechanism. We call upon the Syrian government and all parties in Syria to cooperate fully with the OPCW and the UN to allow a prompt conclusion of its investigation on this heinous incident
– Third, the need to fight impunity. As long as nobody is held accountable and faces tangible consequence for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the incentive will remain to continue carrying them out
We will do our best to ensure that, even in the absence of a specific UN Security Council resolution, the mechanism in place work in order to clarify facts and responsibilities of the Khan Shaykhun incidents as soon as possible.
It’s deeply disturbing that humanitarian international law, as well as the international non-proliferation architecture, continue to be blatantly violated. Upholding the respect of these norms – including Resolution 2118, which this very Council adopted, and the Convention on Chemical Weapons, which is the cornerstone of international non-proliferation regime – should have been a shared priority, one that unifies us instead of dividing us.
The challenges in the Syrian crisis require a strong cohesion and cooperation of the International Community.
Therefore, there is no alternative to engaging and trying to find common solutions. We remain committed to working with the other members of the Council to do so.
As I said this morning, the international community has the duty to stop the horrendous sufferings of the Syrian civilian people through a political solution and to bring back peace and hope for the future in that country.