Historical archive

Syria must grant the UN access to investigate claims of chemical weapons use

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“New claims that chemical weapons may have been used in the civil war in Syria give grounds for deep concern. The use of chemical weapons is a breach of the fundamental norms of international humanitarian law, and it is something we condemn in the strongest possible terms,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

“New claims that chemical weapons may have been used in the civil war in Syria give grounds for deep concern. The use of chemical weapons is a breach of the fundamental norms of international humanitarian law, and it is something we condemn in the strongest possible terms,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.  

A UN-led team of experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General stands ready to investigate claims that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, but so far the Syrian authorities have not allowed them into the country. It is essential that the Syrian authorities now cooperate fully with the UN Secretary-General so that what has happened can be clarified.

“The international community has an obligation to investigate all suspected cases of chemical weapons use. In the first instance, the claims that chemical weapons have been used apply to Aleppo and Homs. It is therefore vital that Syria immediately grants the UN team of experts access to the country and to all relevant areas, so that what has happened can be established. The team of experts’ report should form the basis for further consideration of the matter in the UN Security Council,” said Mr Eide.

Syria is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the international community has little hard and fast information about the alleged use of these weapons in Syria. However, there can be little doubt that the management and security of Syria’s stockpiles of weapons pose a formidable challenge.

“The use of chemical weapons can have catastrophic consequences for the population of Syria. The international community must therefore do its utmost to prevent the use or spread of weapons of this kind,” said Mr Eide.