Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and President of the Security Council, at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Syria – JIM 7th Report —
Thank you High Representative Nakamitsu and Mr Mulet for your briefings. You have our full support in your undertaking, which is crucial to uphold the international security architecture.
We thank the JIM for its 7th report, the result of an investigation that was conducted in the framework of very complex security challenges and constraints.
Italy supports the work of the JIM. We hold its professionalism and independence in high regard and trust.
Italy is deeply concerned by the JIM findings, as they confirm again that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. The JIM has so far verified four chemical attacks by the Syrian armed forces and two by Daesh.
What happened in Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 and in Umm Housh in September 2016 is totally unacceptable and confirms the abysmal scale of human suffering in the Syrian conflict. We condemn it in the strongest terms. These episodes are a tragic reminder that international law, including this Council’s resolutions, as well as the international non-proliferation architecture, continue to be blatantly violated in Syria, by the government and by the terrorists further eroding – as emphasized by the Secretary General in his latest report – the taboo against chemical weapons.
As long as nobody is held accountable for these acts, the risk of their reiteration will remain and even grow. Allegations of new incidents involving the use of sarin keep emerging, as examined by the OPCW Fact Finding Mission with regard to the incident in Ltamenah.
This is one more reason why fighting impunity, identifying the perpetrators and holding them accountable must be shared priorities of this Council.
This is one more reason to renew the mandate of JIM which will soon expire.
On the implementation of resolution 2118, we are disappointed that the recent high-level consultations between the OPCW and Syria in September were unable to achieve any significant progress.
As the global non-proliferation architecture continues to face extremely serious challenges, the Security Council has the responsibility to defend the integrity and credibility of these crucial longstanding norms of our collective security, preserving means of prevention and pathways for accountability in case of violations.
The OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanisms is a critical tool in this respect and Italy fully supported the renewal of its mandate two weeks ago mindful of the need to preserve its expertise, protect its independence and uphold the credibility of its investigations.
We are committed to engaging with the other Council members to achieve consensus on such a pressing objective, and we would like to thank the penholder for its constructive effort in pursuing a consensual solution , including through a draft that we consider a very good basis for discussion leading to preserve the unity of this council.